Sacramento Republic FC will travel south to take on Orange County SC on Wednesday, Oct. 4 in the first of three straight road matches to end the USL regular season. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Orange County Great Park. The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide.
The match is the second of two meetings between Republic FC and Orange County SC this season. Republic FC won the first match in convincing fashion, a 4-0 victory on Apr. 1 in their home opener.
Republic FC enter the match after a 2-0 win over Phoenix Rising FC on Saturday, Sept. 30. The win broke Phoenix’s 11-match unbeaten and five-match win streaks and helped propel Republic FC into 6th place in the USL Western Conference. With the win, Republic FC will clinch a 2017 USL Cup Playoff spot with a win or a draw against Orange County on Wednesday.
Defender Emrah Klimenta scored Republic FC’s first goal on Saturday, with a 49th minute free kick strike from about 20 yards away. The defender continues to have a strong goal scoring season, recording his fourth goal of the season, a career-high. Klimenta and forward Trevin Caesar will be unavailable for Wednesday’s match against Orange County as both are currently with their respective National Teams for World Cup Qualifying matches. Both will return to the club prior to their last match of the season on Oct. 14.
Midfielder Agustin Cazarez scored Republic FC’s second goal against Phoenix, continuing his career season. Cazarez has now scored three goals on the season. The midfielder has now set career-highs in goals, assists, appearances, starts, minutes and consecutive appearances.
Goalkeeper Evan Newton and Republic FC’s defense recorded their 7th shutout of the season on Saturday and their first since Aug. 13. Republic FC’s defense stopped Phoenix Rising FC who had outscored their opponents 11-1 during their five-match winning streak. With the clean sheet on Saturday, five of Newton’s eight goalkeeper wins this season have been shutouts.
Orange County SC come into the match winning just one of their last four matches, following a 2-1 loss to Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Saturday. Orange County is fighting for the eighth and final playoff spot in the USL Western Conference, although they are currently in 10th place and on the outside looking in.
Midfielder Irvin Parra has been one of the most important offensive players for Orange County this season, leading the club in both goals and assists, recording eight of each. Parra is in his first season with Orange County SC after playing the 2016 season with Seattle Sounders FC 2. Parra scored once and added two assists in six appearances with S2 last season.