Today, Republic FC midfielder Matt LaGrassa announced his retirement from professional soccer. A Sacramento native and graduate of Pleasant Grove High School, LaGrassa’s eight-year career has included stints in Major League Soccer and USL Championship, three of which were with the Indomitable Club.
LaGrassa signed his first professional contract with hometown club Republic FC in 2016. In his rookie season, he logged 14 appearances with one goal and two assists for Sacramento, as well as four appearances on loan for FC Tulsa. The following season, he joined USL side Reno 1868 and appeared in every match, helping the team reach the postseason in its inaugural season.
“Growing up in Sacramento, it has been a dream come true to begin and end my soccer career with Sac Republic. It’s truly been the honor of a lifetime to play for this club. I love this team, I love my teammates, I love the fans, I love this city and I love this game,” said LaGrassa. “Virtually no one in professional sports gets the opportunity to play for their hometown club or enjoy the considerable success that we achieved. I am grateful to have experienced both. It is through this lens of gratitude and deep appreciation that I have decided to retire from professional soccer.”
After Reno, LaGrassa spent four seasons with Nashville SC – two with the USL Championship side and two with the MLS side. He was one of Nashville’s first-ever USL signings in 2018 and would make 71 appearances, with six goals and four assists. In 2020, he was just one of four of Nashville’s USL players who joined the club for its inaugural MLS season. In two MLS campaigns, he maintained an 83% passing accuracy in 21 appearances, including a trip to the 2021 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
The midfielder returned to his hometown to play for Republic FC ahead of the historic 2022 season. In his second stint with Sacramento, the midfielder scored four goals in 55 appearances in league play between 2022 and 2023. He was also a key part of the club’s historic run to the U.S. Open Cup Final in 2022, appearing in all seven of Republic FC’s contests in the tournament – with six starts, including the Final at Orlando City SC – and netting one goal and three assists. As an ambassador for the Indomitable Club, LaGrassa joined the club’s community efforts in working with Girls Who Code, as well as various community events and appearances. His 2022 half-volley smash against San Diego earned him the team-voted Goal of the Year and helped the Indomitable Club secure a home match in the postseason.
“Since his professional debut, Matt has fully embodied what this club and community are all about,” said Republic FC President and General Manager Todd Dunivant. “After a career that took him across the country and to the top tier of American soccer, we were fortunate to have him join us for the last two seasons of his career to play in front of his family, friends, and hometown fans.”
“While I am excited for my next chapter, and eager to watch this club build on the winning culture we cultivated over the last two seasons, I will miss the time spent with countless lifelong friends and connections made along the way,” continued LaGrassa. “Those relationships are what made every beep test, early morning film session, and lengthy road trip worth it. My family has been amazing in supporting this crazy dream for as long as I can remember. But whether you are family, friend, teammate, support staff, coach, fan, or something in between, please know that I will forever cherish your support and encouragement through all of the highs and lows. I am in debt to all of you. Thank you for making this journey worth it, it’s been everything I could have asked for and more.”
Across all of his clubs, LaGrassa closes out his career with 219 appearances, 13,941 minutes played, 13 goals, and 12 assists.
LaGrassa is a graduate of Pleasant Grove High School in Elk Grove, where he earned All-Metro League honors after posting 26 goals and 10 assists in his senior season. At the collegiate level, he played for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he scored 18 goals in 77 appearances with both marks still ranking the Mustangs’ all-time top 10.