Last week, Republic FC – representing the Mexican National Team – advanced to the inaugural USL eCup FIFA20 Edition play-in bracket’s Round of 16 and the team’s performances solidified a spot in Division B for this week’s contests.
The Indomitable Club was handed the 3-seed in the second tier, earning SRFC a first-round bye which eliminates any chance of relegation this week. The three-division competition sees each division endure a week-long promotion/relegation-style bracket that guarantees the top four teams earn promotion to the higher league while the bottom four are relegated down one tier.
Republic FC will play the winner of Tuesday’s Division B matchup at 4 p.m. PT between Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – playing as Paraguay – and Tampa Bay Rowdies – competing as Colombia. Wednesday’s Quarterfinal contest is set for 4 p.m. PT and the winner of the inaugural SRFCxFIFA20 Tournament – Justin Sterk – will be making his debut to represent the boys in Old Glory Red.
Sterk, a Folsom High School graduate currently attending San Diego State University where he’s playing goalkeeper for the club team, has been heavily involved in the competitive soccer scene in Sacramento for years after previously played for San Juan Soccer Club and Folsom Soccer Club. Sterk has also been supporting Republic FC since the very beginning, having attended the inaugural SRFC game and Sterk was a season ticket holder from 2015-2017 before leaving town for school.
“I went to the first-ever match at Hughes Stadium,” Sterk said. “Most of the time I go with my Dad, we’ll pull up to the tailgate in time to march in with the Battalion. But when it comes to how many Republic games I’ve been to, oh man, I can’t even count, at least 40!”
On top of winning four VIP tickets to an upcoming Republic FC match, Sterk’s prize for reaching the summit of the SRFCxFIFA20 competition was an opportunity to play fellow goalkeeper, Rafa Diaz. Sterk chose his favorite club – Liverpool FC – and downed Diaz’s Chelsea FC-side, 3-1. After his impressive run of form, Sterk has been selected to join current Republic FC players Ashkanov Apollon, Juan Barahona and Diaz in the inaugural eCup and is expected to have the controller in-hand for Wednesday’s game.
The match will be streamed live on the club’s Twitch stream, twitch.tv/SacramentoRepublicFC/. If Sterk’s Mexican-side advance, he’ll likely be handing the controller over to Republic FC defender Juan Barahona for Thursday’s Semifinal fixture set for 5 p.m. PT. which will also be available for fans to watch on the club’s Twitch stream.
After collecting a 1-1 record last week, the league took notice of Sacramento’s offensive prowess and moved SRFC up seven spots from #22 to #15 in this week’s eCup Power Rankings. Republic FC’s debut with Mexico in the tournament began with a 3-1 triumph over Memphis 901 FC’s Austria as goalkeeper Rafa Diaz manned the Playstation 4 controller. In the following round, El Tri fell to OKC Energy FC’s powerful Portugal team, 4-1, where defender Ashkanov Apollon had the sticks in-hand for SRFC.
Forward Raul Jimenez and midfielder Hector Herrera both lead El Tri in goals during the early stages of the tournament with a pair of scores a piece.
Over the course of the competition, fans tuning into Republic FC’s matches have the opportunity to donate to Indomitable Club Partners Raley’s Food for Families, the charity the club will be representing throughout the entirety of the virtual tournament.
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