Republic FC midfielder Sam Werner's 212 crosses is currently fourth-best in the entire USL.
Republic FC (14-12-6, 48 pts) continue their push for a home playoff game this Saturday when Orange County pay a visit to Papa Murphy’s Park for the final home match of the regular season.
The boys in Old Glory Red recently fell 4-3 to FC Juarez in an international friendly this past Wednesday night at Papa Murphy’s Park. Lead mostly by Republic FC Academy players, Sacramento fell behind on three separate occasions before responding all three times to level the score against a club from Mexico’s premier division of professional soccer. Forward Stefano Bonomo bagged a brace and academy striker Nate Carrasco beat the Juarez goalkeeper for his first career goal with the senior side. At the death, Juarez netted a last-gasp goal off a free kick to escape Sacramento with the exhibition match win.
As for league play, the Indomitable Club’s last USL match was a 3-2 win over Tulsa Roughnecks FC in the Sooner State last Saturday. The visitors took an early lead when winger Villyan Bijev snagged his first goal of the season. Just over five minutes later, Thomas Enevoldsen scored his eighth goal with the club since joining in August and his third in three straight matches. Enevoldsen’s goal and assist on the contest earned the Danish striker Team of the Week honors for the third time in his SRFC career. Tulsa netted twice to level the score before the halftime whistle but a resilient Republic FC side found a third through captain Cameron Iwasa. The score was the Sacramento native’s 14th goal of the season, tying him for ninth-best in the entire USL, to guarantee all three points were headed to SRFC.
If Republic FC wins out, it is impossible for Orange County, El Paso, and Austin to catch them in the Western Conference standings. In order to secure fourth, the Indomitable Club still needs Real Monarchs to lose or draw to Austin and/or Phoenix prior to the SRFC season finale at Monarchs next Saturday. If Monarchs wins their next two matches prior to playing Republic FC, the Utahn club will lock down the fourth and final playoff-hosting seed regardless of the outcome against SRFC.
Orange County SC (13-10-9, 48 pts) fell to Real Monarchs on Wednesday, 2-0, in Utah and surrendered both scores within the last 20 minutes of play. This was the second time in three games that the Southern Californian club has been shut out by the exact scoreline of 2-0.
SRFC defender Juan Barahona is currently on international duty with the El Salvador Men's National Team and will be unavailable for Saturday's match.
Typically OCSC is on the other end of these clean sheet statistics, given the team has shut out their opposition four times over their last seven matches. Orange County has blanked their opponents 10 times this season, good enough for fourth-best in the Western Conference.
Defense is definitely the strength of OCSC but the SoCal club has plenty of goal scoring prowess. Leading the frontline for Orange County is Michael Seaton with 12 goals on the season and hot on his tail is Darwin Jones with 11. The team-leader in assists is Harry Forrester with six while Aodhan Quinn, Jones and Seaton all follow his lead with five a piece.
The Indomitable Club has not lost to Orange County in Sacramento since April of 2016. Republic FC has won the last three straight at Papa Murphy’s Park and outscored OCSC 7-1. In fact, it’s been exactly 225 minutes since OCSC last scored a goal in the California capital in league play.
The last time these two teams from the Golden State squared off ended in a goalless draw at Championship Soccer Stadium in Irvine in late-July. The visitors had the better scoring chances over the course of the stalemate and outshot OCSC 13 to 6 but simply couldn’t find a breakthrough.
Republic FC general manager Todd Dunivant played alongside current Orange County defender Leonardo at LA Galaxy from 2010-2015. Dunivant, a former left back, and Leonardo, a traditional center back, won three MLS Cups (2011, 2012, 2014) together and a pair of Supporters Shields (2010, 2011).
Saturday’s match will be broadcast live on KQCA My58, Estrella TV Sacramento (Spanish) and ESPN+ (online). Updates online will also be provided via Twitter at @SacRepublicFC or by following #SACvOC. To see more matchday information, visit SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide
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