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eCup Preview: Republic FC, Mexico vs Tampa Bay Rowdies, Colombia

By William Strome, 05/13/20, 9:00AM PDT

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The Indomitable Club is set for a Division B Quarterfinal showdown today at 4 p.m. PT against South American powerhouse.

The boys in Old Glory Red – playing as the Mexican National Team – embark on their quest for promotion to the top-flight of the inaugural USL eCup FIFA20 Edition competition and a win on Wednesday secures a spot in Division A. 

Victory from the midweek match against Tampa Bay Rowdies - competing as Colombia - guarantees not only promotion to Div-A but the win also solidifies a Semifinal fixture on Thursday afternoon against the winner of Phoenix Rising FC - representing the Netherlands - and Charleston Battery - who were handed Greece following the live draw. 

Making his debut for the Indomitable Club in the competition is longtime Republic FC supporter Justin Sterk, winner of the inaugural SRFCxFIFA20 Tournament. Sterk, a Folsom High School graduate currently attending San Diego State University where he plays goalkeeper for the club team, has been heavily involved in the Sacramento soccer scene for years after previously playing for San Juan Soccer Club and Folsom Soccer Club.

One of Sterk’s prizes 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. Having impressed, he’s been chosen to represent the Indomitable Club in the inaugural eCup alongside Diaz and defenders Juan Barahona and Ashkanov Apollon. 

Colombia, an extremely talented attacking team that’s earned a four-and-a-half-star rating in FIFA20, cruised to a 3-1 win over Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC’s Paraguay-side. Rowdies eSports player and fan Carlos Rueda – who is expected to be TB’s representative against SRFC – manned the controls for the Eastern Conference club and lifted his side to a one-goal advantage by way of Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez before Paraguay’s Matias Rojas managed to net an equalizer. 

But just before the break, Colombia broke through once again as forward Duvan Zapata powered home a header from a corner kick that Juan Cuadrado whipped into the box to perfection. Zapata – a 6-foot-two striker not known for his passing – delicately played a flawless backheel to forward Luis Muriel who buried his shot from close range to gift Colombia a 3-1 lead that would ultimately be the final score. 


El Tri's Jimenez buries shot against Austria last week.

Against Paraguay, Colombia outshot (9-to-7) and out possessed (52-to-48%) the opposition and will look to keep the momentum going against the boys in Old Glory Red’s Mexico on Wednesday. Each of the three goal scorers on Tuesday – Rodriguez, Zapata, Muriel, and even Cuadrado who provided an assist – all play for top European clubs competing in the Champions League and are absolutely lethal inside the box. Don’t forget, forward Falcao can strike at any second as well. 

Supporters following Republic FC’s eCup matches have the opportunity to donate to SRFC partner Raley’s Food for Families, the charity the club will be representing throughout the tournament. Additional information about the eCup competition can be found on the official USL eCup: FIFA20 Edition page and the full schedule can be found on the eCup Schedule page. 

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