Republic FC’s regular season is right around the corner, but before the boys in Old Glory Red kickoff the 2020 USL Championship campaign, the club will host the 2019 USL Championship titleholders for a preseason exhibition match.
This Saturday evening, the Indomitable Club will clash with Real Monarchs SLC at Papa Murphy’s Park and the contest will be the first opportunity to check out the 2020 squad in action. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. PT and tickets can be purchased at SacRepublicFC.com.
SRFC midfielder Villyan Bijev during last season's home opener against Monarchs.
Mark Briggs’ men have endured quite a successful training camp thus far, earning victories in three consecutive matches but most importantly, the roster, including Republic FC Academy players, has collected coveted minutes against quality oppositions – including two matches against quality Major League Soccer clubs.
Last week, the boys in Old Glory Red beat two Bay Area teams in just two days. On Friday, SRFC downed MLS-side San Jose Earthquakes in Silicon Valley, 3-1. The very next day, the team earned a 2-1 win over Oakland Roots SC at Cosumnes River College.
Republic FC midfielder Drew Skundrich will be entering his second season with the Indomitable Club.
Real Monarchs finished the 2019 regular season in fourth place in the Western Conference and momentum carried the club to the USL Championship final.
During the tail end of the regular season, Monarchs pulled of the colossal upset when the team traveled to Phoenix during Rising FC’s seemingly unstoppable home game winning streak and Jamison Olave’s side shocked the record-shattering club in Arizona, 2-1.
SRFC forward Cameron Iwasa is fresh off a team-best 17 goal campaign in 2019.
A confident Monarchs team visited Phoenix a few weeks later during the postseason and by the same 2-1 scoreline, escaped the southwest with a win and brought Rising FC’s remarkable 2019 campaign to a close in the Western Conference Semifinals. After Olave’s team beat El Paso Locomotive FC in the Western Conference Finals, Monarchs met Louisville City FC in the Cup Final and emerged as 3-1 victors.
Monarchs were a formidable force throughout the 2019 season. The club scored 71 goals on the year, which is tied for the sixth-most goals scored during a single USL season. Monarchs scored six past Orange County during postseason play which was the third-most goals scored by a club in a single playoff game. The 6-2 playoff win for Monarchs over OCSC was the second-most combined goals scored by both clubs (8).
SRFC midfielder Sam Werner assisted the equalizing goal during last season's 1-1 draw against Monarchs in Sacramento last season.
The defending champions have their sights set on another successful campaign and have acquired some quality talent this offseason to do so. One notable name is 21-year-old Devin Vega who plied his trade in Phoenix during the 2018 season. Vega, an attacking midfielder, earned a call-up to the Puerto Rico Men’s National Team this past November.
Another new face joining the reigning champs is goalkeeper Jimmy Slayton who joins the club from the University of Hartford where the shot-stopper set a school record for single-season shutouts and was selected to the America East All-Conference Second Team in 2019.
Saturday’s friendly will be streaming live on YouTube and fans attending the match will have the opportunity to meet the team postgame in the Market at the stadium. Republic FC open the 2020 USL Championship regular season at home next Saturday against FC Tulsa. Kickoff at Papa Murphy’s Park is set for 7:30 p.m. PT.
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