Once again, Republic FC’s youth development academy teams made noise on the national stage. Stacked with the best players from the region, Republic FC’s five teams left a mark on the annual national tournament and showcase. The week in Frisco, Texas brings the 2021-22 Academy season to a close, and leaves the club with a lot to be proud of this year.
The 15’s squad led the charge reaching the tournament’s semifinals and serving as the only non-MLS club to reach the final four in their age group. After defeating New York Red Bulls Tuesday, Republic FC’s U15 squad took on 2021 champion Real Salt Lake in the MLS NEXT Cup semifinals on Thursday, falling 2-0 in a hard fought contest. Their appearance in the penultimate stage of youth soccer’s top competition was the third for the club in consecutive years after Sacramento’s U17 and U19 sides reached the semifinal round in the 2021 tournament.
“This was a tremendous season for our academy, both on the field and off,” said Republic FC Academy Director Eder Quintanilla. “We’re disappointed we didn’t get the U15’s to the final, but we have to be happy with what we achieved this season and the play of all of our teams. Our club performed incredibly, proving we are among the best in the country and that Sacramento players are some of the most talented nationwide.”
Sacramento’s U15’s capped off a spectacular regular season with MLS NEXT Cup postseason tournament wins over Toronto FC, FC United Soccer Club, and New York Red Bulls. While not ending with the hardware they wanted, it was still a memorable week for the club, and a strong showing for all teams against some of the top competition North America.
Sacramento’s U17 and U19 teams performed admirably, showing their best to top-level teams. The U19 squad won their opening match vs. Chargers Soccer Club, bagging four scores and holding on to a 4-3 result to reach the quarterfinals. Sacramento’s U17 team played excellent against Columbus Crew in the Round of 32, but went down to the Ohio club in by way of penalty shootout. The squad won their following two matches in the showcase tournament in convincing fashion.
In addition to the U15, U17, and U19 sides, Republic FC’s younger U13 and U14 teams capped off their remarkable seasons with strong performances at the MLS NEXT Cup Showcase. On the season, the U13 (30-1-0) side was the best in the nation, and the U14 squad (26-0-5) was one of three Sacramento teams alongside the U15’s (11-0-1) and U19’s (14-0-3) to go unbeaten.
Sacramento’s players also had a season to remember individually, with nine earning first team opportunities on academy contracts. In November, and again in June, more than 10 players were invited to U.S. Youth National Team ID camps. Two players – 13-year-old forward Chance Cowell, and the U19’s J.P. Cortez – earned national team callups, and Republic FC also sent off 18 to the next level, the largest ever outgoing group to move on to collegiate soccer.
Republic FC’s youth teams will break for the remainder of the summer, and return to action in September for the start of the 2022-23 season.
2022 MLS NEXT Cup Results
- Tuesday (6/28): 3 – 2 Loss vs. Albion SC San Diego
- Wednesday (6/29): 2 – 0 Win vs. New York Soccer CLub
- Friday (7/1): 3 – 0 Win vs. St. Louis Scott Gallagher
- Tuesday (6/28): 2 – 2 Draw vs. Strikers FC
- Wednesday (6/29): 2 – 2 Draw vs. Weston FC
- Friday (7/1): 2 – 1 Loss vs. St. Louis Scott Gallagher
- Saturday’s Round of 32: 1 – 1 (3 – 2 in penalties) Win vs. Toronto FC
- Monday’s Round of 16: 2 – 1 Win vs. FC United Soccer Club
- Tuesday’s Quarterfinal: 3 – 1 Win vs. New York Red Bulls
- Thursday’s Semifinal: 2 – 0 Loss vs. Real Salt Lake
- Sunday’s Round of 32: 2 – 2 (3 – 5 in penalties) Loss vs. Columbus Crew
- Monday’s Showcase Match: 3 – 1 Win vs. Beachside Soccer Club
- Wednesday’s Showcase Match: 6 – 2 Win vs. St Louis City SC
- Sunday’s Round of 32: 4 – 3 Win vs. Chargers Soccer Club
- Monday’s Round of 16: 1 -0 Loss to San Francisco Glens
- Wednesday’s Showcase Match: 1 – 0 Loss vs. Sockers FC