Sacramento, Calif. (May 25,2022) – An absolutely electric night at Heart Health Park helped Republic FC best the San Jose Earthquakes in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16. An assist and goal apiece by Rodrigo Lopez, paired with a stellar defensive effort by Sacramento’s backline punched the Indomitable Club a ticket to the quarterfinal for a meeting with LA Galaxy in Carson.
Some early nerves saw Republic FC start a bit slow, but regain their footing as the first half progressed. Great work between the sticks from Danny Vitiello in the 18th minute seemed to jumpstart the club, who got right to work just moments creating a flurry of opportunities on the break. Two excellent crosses in from the right gave Zeiko Lewis and Luis Felipe great looks, but a stellar save and a blocked shot kept the ball out of the net.
To the liking of the raucous crowd at Heart Health Park, Luis Felipe got the Boys in Old Glory Red on the board with a set piece score in the 28th minute. The midfielder put a head on a Rodrigo Lopez corner kick, getting the attempt past San Jose’s Matt Bersano in goal for his second score in as many contests in this year’s U.S. Open Cup.
Republic FC was hard to break down for the entire match, but especially in the second half. Even if a handful of chances from the hosts put Sacramento on their heels, Mark Briggs men held San Jose without a shot on target for the whole second half, and neutralizing a bevy of set piece opportunities from Major League Soccer’s 5th highest-scoring team. Danny Vitiello was excellent again in goal, logging his third clean sheet of the season.
Republic FC’s first ever player would put a bow on the match. After two quality attempts just after the hour mark, Rodrigo Lopez would etch his name into Republic FC’s history books again with a rocket in the 84th minute. The midfielder’s goal would notch his third goal in the tournament – and his 6th Open Cup tally making him Republic FC’s all-time tournament leader.
With the win, Republic FC will head down to Southern California for the Indomitable Club’s first appearance in the tournament’s quarterfinals. They’ll face off against LA Galaxy fresh off a 3-1 win over LAFC in their Round of 16 matchup.
On the heels of the exciting win, Sacramento has another NorCal derby on their hands this Saturday when they travel to face Oakland Roots SC for the first time this season. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. from Laney College Stadium, and the match will be broadcast live on Antenna TV 40.2, FOX40.com and the FOX40 App, and streaming on ESPN+
Sacramento Republic 2 – 0 San Jose Earthquakes
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
Heart Health Park, Sacramento, California
May 25, 2022
Scoring Summary: SAC– Luis Felipe (Rodrigo Lopez) 28’, Rodrigo Lopez 84’ SJ – None
Misconduct Summary: SAC– Luis Felipe (caution) 53’, Matt LaGrassa (caution) 61’, Rodrigo Lopez (caution) 62’, Douglas Martinez (caution) 68’ SJ – Tanner Beason (caution) 67’
Sacramento Republic FC: Danny Vitiello, Lee Desmond, Dan Casey, Conor Donovan, Jack Gurr, Duke Lacroix, Nick Ross (Matt LaGrassa 45’), Luis Felipe, Rodrigo Lopez (C) (Damia Viader 90+2’), Zeiko Lewis (Luther Archimede 64’), Douglas Martinez (Keko Gontan 71’)
Unused substitutes: Carlos Saldana, Rafa Jauregui, Maalique Foster
Stats – Shots: 10, Shots on Goal: 4, Saves: 5, Fouls: 12, Corner Kicks: 3, Offsides: 1
San Jose Earthquakes: Matt Bersano, Tommy Thompson (Eric Remedi 73’), Oskar Ågren, Tanner Beason, Shea Salinas (C) (Jeremy Ebobisse 73’), Judson, Jack Skahan, Ján Greguš (Javier Eduardo “Chofis” López 58’), Will Richmond (Cristian Espinoza 58’), Ousseni Bouda (Cade Cowell 59’), Benjamin Kikanovic
Unused substitutes: J.T. Marcinkowski, Casey Walls
Stats – Shots: 17, Shots on Goal: 4, Saves: 2, Fouls: 7, Corner Kicks: 12, Offsides: 0