SRFC and Monarchs played out a 1-1 draw to kickoff the 2019 season.
Republic FC (13-12-6, 45 pts) already clinched their spot in the 2019 USL Championship Playoffs but still have some work to do in order to avoid a midweek play-in game on Wednesday.
Over the weekend, the boys in Old Glory Red fell to Orange County, 3-2, at Papa Murphy’s Park but this might not be the last time Sacramento goes head-to-head with the SoCal club this season. Simon Elliott’s men can finish anywhere from fifth to eighth and a postseason matchup against OCSC, or even Real Monarchs, isn’t entirely out of the question.
In order to avoid the play-in game on October 23, Republic FC must beat Real Monarchs and either El Paso has to lose or draw to LA Galaxy II or Orange County has to lose to Fresno. If all three scenarios play out, the Indomitable Club will snag the fifth seed and travel to the fourth-place side next weekend, either Oct. 26 or 27. If SRFC loses or draws to Monarchs, Sacramento is a lock to host a Wednesday night play-in match and will finish seventh or eighth, depending on Austin’s result against Tacoma.
As for the teams’ most recent result against Orange County, Republic FC struck first by way of a Cameron Iwasa goal that was set up perfectly by Thomas Enevoldsen who provided a flawless through ball to the Sacramento native in space. The visitors netted once in the first half and again in the second to take the lead before Iwasa provided a 64thminute equalizer, his 16thof the season which is currently fourth-best in the league. OCSC scored one late to escape Sacramento with all three points.
Republic FC defender Juan Barahona, who was on international duty with the El Salvador Men’s National Team and missed the FC Juarez and OCSC matches, will be available for Saturday’s match in Utah. Barahona started both matches for El Salvador against Saint Lucia and Montserrat (both resulted in shutout victories).
Sacramento’s postseason fate depends tremendously on Saturday’s result but the team currently does not have control over whether or not a win will be enough to avoid the play-in game. Once matches end on Saturday night between LA Galaxy II-El Paso, Tacoma-Austin and Orange County-Fresno, we’ll finally know exactly who Republic FC has next.
SRFC defender Dekel Keinan and company currently boasts the third-best defense in the Western Conference, allowing only 40 goals all season.
Real Monarchs SLC (15-10-8, 53 pts) have done what no team has been able to do all season, and that’s storm into Phoenix and down Rising FC. It had been 17 straight games that Rising FC won at home until a confident Monarchs team arrived in Arizona and knocked them off their perch.
Monarchs, currently in possesion of the fourth and final playoff-hosting spot, is arguably the most dangerous team in the Western Conference at this current time given their piping hot run of form. But Saturday’s match will be the third game in one week for the Utahn club so tired legs might make an appearance for the home side late in the second half.
Sandwiched between the Phoenix win and Saturday’s match against Republic FC was Monarchs most recent road trip to Texas where the Utahn club played out a 2-2 draw against playoff-bound Austin Bold FC. The visitors took the lead on two separate occasions but were unable to leave the Lone Star State with all three points.
Leading the front line for Monarchs has been Douglas Martinez whose 15 goals (in only 21 appearances) and six assists are both a team-best. Maikel Chang is hot on his trail with 13 goals and five assists but leads the team in shots (57) and scoring chances created (69).
The Indomitable Club has historically had some trouble gainst Real Monarchs, given in 12 league matches only twice has Republic FC been victorious. It was June of 2016 when Sacramento last beat Monarchs in Salt Lake City, but the boys in Old Glory Red have much more on the line this time around than just three points in the standings to play for.
The last time these two clubs clashed resulted in a 1-1 draw at Papa Murphy’s Park to kickoff the 2019 USL Championship season back in early-March. The visitors took an early lead before defender Charalampos Chantzopoulos bagged a late equalizer with midfielder Sam Werner providing the assist.
Saturday’s match will be broadcast live on KQCA My58, Estrella TV Sacramento (Spanish) and ESPN3. Updates online will also be provided via Twitter at @SacRepublicFC or by following #SLCvSAC. To see more matchday information, visit SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide
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