Republic FC remained unbeaten through three matches of the 2020 USL Championship regular season and Sunday’s 1-0 win over Reno 1868 FC was the first time this campaign Mark Briggs’ men claimed all three points in the Group A standings.
Cameron Iwasa came off the bench and bagged the game-winner deep into extra time after an offensive onslaught that saw Sacramento tallied 22 total shots.
There were plenty of positives to reflect on following the clean sheet against the Indomitable Club’s regional rival, but here are three of the most notable newsworthy storylines following the first win on the year.
In the all-time regular season series against 1868 FC heading into the weekend fixture, Republic FC had never beat Reno in Sacramento during a USL Championship league match. That was until Sunday night’s 1-0 win which allowed SRFC to leapfrog Reno in the Group A standings and take control of the top spot.
When it comes to single-elimination knockout contests, Republic FC is a flawless 4-0 against Reno – 3-0 in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play and 1-0 in the Western Conference playoffs last season – but was 0-3-0 at home in regular season league action prior to the victory to open the week.
The clean sheet was also a first-ever shutout for goalkeeper Adam Grinwis in an Old Glory Red kit. His second half save preserved the win and all three points for the current group leaders.
At only the age of 15-years-old, Rafael Jauregui became the youngest player in Republic FC history to appear in a USL Championship match.
In the 89th minute, Jauregui – a Sacramento-native – entered the match when the game was tied 0-0 for Dariusz Formella who scored two goals the previous game against Tacoma Defiance, earning him Team of the Week honors. Jauregui had two touches and finished the match with a passing accuracy of 100%.
“Today’s game was a great experience,” Jauregui said following the match. “It made me really happy and just to know that my family was also here on the trail to watch me felt really good. All their cheering they did throughout the game reassured me that I’m here for a reason, I’ve been doing well with the team and of course, the result topped it off and made it even better.”
Former SRFC players Quincey Butler and Roberto Hategan were both 16 years of age when they were first available in a league match as a substitute and made their first career appearances with the first team during Championship play a few months later, still 16.
Cameron Iwasa has scored some of Republic FC’s most memorable goals and Sunday’s game-winner in Reno brought the Sacramento-native one step closer towards reaching the half century mark in USL Championship action.
After the referee pointed to the penalty spot following a Reno handball in its own box, Iwasa stepped up to the spot and steered his shot by visiting goalkeeper to guarantee all three points were headed to the Indomitable Club. The penalty kick goal on Sunday night was Iwasa’s fifth from the spot since the start of the 2019 season.
The goal was his 47th career strike with the boys in Old Glory Red and 49th of his USL Championship career, having scored twice while playing with Swope Park Rangers – recently rebranded to Sporting Kansas City II – in 2017.
If Iwasa scores this weekend against LA Galaxy II – a club he’s surprisingly never netted a goal against – he’ll be the ninth player in league history to hit 50 career goals in the Championship.
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