Republic FC (7-5-2, 23 pts) head into Saturday’s road game looking to keep momentum going following the club’s largest-ever margin of victory in league play, a 6-0 thrashing of Tulsa Roughnecks FC last weekend. Forwards Cameron Iwasa and Stefano Bonomo both bagged a brace a piece, earning the strikers USL Championship Team of the Week honors.
It took all of eight minutes for the boys in Old Glory Red to break the Tulsa backline when Mitchell Taintor powered home a thunderous header off a Villyan Bijev corner kick. Bijev, who made his 100th career appearance in league play across all clubs, was an absolute terror against Tulsa on the left wing. The former Liverpool FC midfielder celebrated the century mark milestone with two assists on the night, his first and second of the season, and looks to be finding his form after battling hamstring injuries for most of the season.
Iwasa doubled the Republic FC lead before the break and Bonomo added another in the 48th minute to give the home side a 3-0 advantage. Twelve minutes later, Iwasa scored his second of the game and team-high ninth of the season, bringing the Sacramento native up to a tie for fifth place in the race for the USL Golden Boot. Bonomo snagged his second of the game in the 74th minute and Sam Werner rounded out the scoring six minutes later to complete the historic triumph. The win lifted Republic FC up to seventh place as the boys in Old Glory Red continue to climb the Western Conference standings.
Reno 1868 FC (7-4-5, 26 pts) host the Indomitable Club after narrowly escaping Portland Timbers 2 on Wednesday night in Oregon, 2-1. Following a 3-0 defeat to Phoenix Rising FC last Tuesday, Reno rebounded well with the road win against a solid Timbers team that is currently second in the Western Conference. With the win, 1868 FC leaps up to fourth place in league standings with 26 points.
Republic FC’s regional rivals will be without their all-time leading goalscorer, Brian Brown, due to international duty with Jamaica for the Concacaf Gold Cup. Brown currently leads the team in both goals (8) and assists (5), but even without their star man, Reno has a handful of other attacking threats to complete a fairly lethal offensive front. Forward Corey Hertzog has seven goals and four assists, while Reno as a whole has four different players with three assists or more. The Nevada club is tied for fourth in the entire league with 32 goals and third in shots with 274.
Despite never having beaten Reno 1868 FC at home in league play, Republic FC have had success against their regional rivals in the past on the road. Last August, Simon Elliott’s men roared into Reno and secured all three points following a 2-1 win. As for the all-time matchup in league play, Republic FC is 1-4-1 against the Nevada club.
However, these teams clashed in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play back in mid-May with the Indomitable Club coming out on top, 1-0, in a torrential downpour. Sam Werner played the role of hero after keeping his composure in front of net and directed home a left-footed one-timer, supplied by fellow Stanford Cardinal alumni Drew Skundrich.
Can't make the trip to Reno? Join us at Waterman Brewing for our official watch party to cheer on the boys in Old Glory Red as they take on Reno 1868 FC this Saturday, June 29.
Location: Waterman Brewing | 9824 Dino Drive, Unit #150, Elk Grove, CA
Time: Watch party begins at 6:30 p.m. | Kickoff at 7:30 p.m.Specials: $1 off pints and $3 off pitchers to fans wearing Republic FC gear
Saturday’s match will also be broadcast live on KQCA My50, Estrella TV Sacramento and ESPN+. Updates online will also be provided via Twitter at @SacRepublicFC or by following #RNOvSAC. To see more matchday information, visit SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide.
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