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June 22 – This Day in SRFC History

By William Strome, 06/20/20, 8:30AM PDT

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2019’s Pride Night was a special celebration for so many different reasons. It was an evening headlined by goals galore, a first-time debut for a fan favorite and most importantly, Sacramento coming together to support the LGBTQ+ community.

The boys in Old Glory Red have produced plenty of memorable moments at Papa Murphy’s Park over the years but June 22, 2019 was one no fan in attendance will soon forget. 

It was Pride Night, and thousands of Republic FC supporters began gathering outside the venue long before kickoff wearing their crisp, new Pride gear from the club’s merchandise line. It was also a warm night, but the action on the pitch would only continue to heat up over the course of the monumental match. 

Heading into the USL Championship regular season match against Tulsa Roughnecks FC – recently rebranded to FC Tulsa – the Indomitable Club was looking to bounce back from a 4-3 loss in the U.S. Open Cup against MLS-side San Jose Earthquakes that saw SRFC’s three-game win streak come to a close.

Despite the final result, Republic FC had the lead early against the Bay Area squad from the top tier of domestic soccer on two separate occasions. The boys in Old Glory Red didn’t advance in the nation’s oldest knockout competition, but they didn’t back down against a heavily favored opponent either. 

A fearless SRFC side returned to the California Capital hungry for a favorable result in the next home match which just so happened to be Roughnecks FC. 

The team was focused, and it showed early on. Against Tulsa, it took all of eight minutes for Sacramento to seize the lead and from there, the Indomitable Club did everything but look back. 

By the break, SRFC was in cruise control and halftime presented the perfect opportunity to celebrate another accomplishment. At the half, Raven Armour – a current freshman at Sacramento State studying Global Studies – received the first annual Pride Scholarship awarded to a local LGBTQ+ college-bound leader in the community.

This year, the club will announce the 2020 Pride Scholarship winner live at the break during Saturday’s episode of Republic Rewind. 

After the half when both teams returned to the pitch, the celebration continued as it appeared Republic FC would simply never stop scoring. As entertaining as each of the second half strikes were, perhaps the moment of the match that drew the loudest ovation was the entrance of defender Juan Barahona making his first-career appearance with the Indomitable Club. 

When the final whistle blew, there were nothing but smiles, laughter and joy in the stands. It was a special night with so many storylines.

It was the night where two strikers put forth a pair of performances that earned them both Team of the Week honors. It was the night where Villyan Bijev dished out two assists and proved he was back in peak form after having battled a hamstring injury earlier in the year. But most importantly, it was the night all of Sacramento came together to enjoy a soccer match while supporting equality, inclusion, and love for our fellow neighbor. 

Fortunately for Republic FC supporters, this Saturday fans can relive the famous fixture against the midwestern club during another episode of Republic Rewind at 2 p.m. PT. This weekend, Rob McAllister will breakdown all the action with Sam Werner who was an active participant in Playing for Pride both this year and last. 

In 2019, Werner – alongside current teammate Dekel Keinan – donned custom boots as both players will be participating in Playing for Pride, the nationwide fundraiser for Athlete Ally during Pride Month in June. This is third straight season the Indomitable Club has supported Playing for Pride for Athlete Ally which is a nonprofit that raises funds to level the playing field for the LGBTQI+ community with a mission focused on making sports inclusive for all. 

The Indomitable Club's Werner and Keinan will once again be actively pushing for donations on their social media channels and fans can donate by doing so visiting here. Werner will also be donating $1 for every 1km he runs at training during the month of June. Additional information on Pride Month for this year can be found by visiting SacRepublicFC.com/Pride. 

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