After a stellar opening night win in El Paso, Republic FC plays its first home match of 2023 this weekend. The first opposing side to visit Heart Health Park is Charleston Battery, coming off a strong start of their own in an opening weekend draw.
A clean sheet victory got the season off to a good start for Sacramento – the Week 1 win marked their first ever on the road in El Paso and just the second over the West Texas side all-time. Now, Mark Briggs’ men are looking to build on the valuable road result. They did a lot of good things in the season opener but still aren’t satisfied knowing there’s more to play for.
“It’s [this week] been about improving our performance from week one, keeping the intensity we had, and continuing the trajectory.” said defender Shane Wiedt. “…Day by day, improving on what we’re doing and tactically tuning in to what we’re doing.”
“It’s a different opponent, a different animal in that it’s a home game,” said Head Coach Mark Briggs. “We’ve got to come out the gates, put them under pressure and play our game and be ruthless.”
“We’re just trying to build momentum going into the first home game and take it one game at a time,” said Jack Gurr.
The squad knows Charleston won’t make things easy. Last week, they were one of the most dangerous in the league against on Phoenix Rising FC. It’ll take sound execution and an attention to detail to leave the stadium with what they want.
“They are going to be a well-coached team,” Wiedt went on. “It’s going to take a lot from us to stay focused and execute the game plan.”
Throughout the week, playing at home has added to the anticipation of the match for the club. As always, the home opener marks a special occasion as fans return to cheer for their squad. Last year Republic FC was at their strongest at Heart Health Park, losing just twice, and they want that advantage to remain.
“We need them [the fans] to be horrible on Saturday night,” said Briggs. “We love playing at home and want the fans to show Charleston what a Sacramento atmosphere looks like. They’re the 12th man for us.”
“It should be an electric atmosphere, said Wiedt. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”