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In Their Own Words: "Adapt. Prepare. Focus."

By Republic FC Communications, 07/24/20, 3:00PM PDT

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See what the boys in Old Glory Red have to say before they hit the road for the first time in 2020

For the first time this season, Republic FC will be on the road as the team travels south to clash with LA Galaxy II on Saturday night at 7 p.m. PT. 

The rivalry against Los Dos dates back to the inaugural season and the all-time series is ripe with memorable moments and unforgettable goals. But this particular matchup will be the first and only meeting between the two California clubs during the 2020 USL Championship regular season. 

Before both sides square up in Carson on Saturday night, let’s see what the boss and the boys in Old Glory Red had on their minds heading into this weekend’s Western Conference heavyweight bout. 

Head Coach Mark Briggs

On how to prepare for matches without fans in the stands…
“We have to adapt, we have to make sure we’re focused, we have to make sure we’re prepared, but it’s a little different. Each person has to find their inner-most motivation and I think it’s about individually turning up now. We’ve had two games now so that excuse is gone. It’s about understanding what we’re here to do, understanding the preparation, and understanding now that when we show up, we have to win games. We have to get points.”

“You’ve got to find what gets you going, what gets you prepare and what gets the best out of yourself.”

On what kind of team Republic FC will be up against this weekend...
“They have a number of good players that can hurt us. I won’t say one or two players because they probably have five players that can do damage if we’re not on our game. They play an attacking formation, they play an attacking brand of football, they have speed in the right areas, so we have to be on our game. We have to be prepared and we have to be ready to go.”

On if there’s been a particular player who has impressed the boss the most this season…
“I’m happy with the group as a whole. I’m happy with how we’re cohesively coming together, I’m happy with how they're taking the tactics and understanding my expectations and understanding what I want from them in possession of the ball and without possession of the ball. So, I think as a group, we’re collectively going in the right direction. Now, there are a lot of good individual performances within the group, but right now I think it’s about the group heading in the right direction.”

Villyan Bijev

On his overall thoughts on the win against Reno…
“It was a great win on the weekend, a really good result for us moving forward. I think we’re still trying to get in our full stride, normally you have one to two months of preseason before preparing for games. With our current situation, we weren’t able to do that, so we’re making the most out of our situation and I think with each week we’re making strides closer and closer to putting together more and more complete performances which is really exciting for us, that’s what we want to do. So that result we had on the weekend, to show that grit and heart and determination to not give up goals from our whole team – to our backline and our goalkeeper having the shutout was huge. We don’t want teams to come here and get goals.”

On if having played a match against Tacoma was an advantage, given Sunday was Reno’s first since returning to play…
“I think the more practice you have in anything helps you so from that aspect, I think it did, but also, I think we came out with a fire and a grit and a desire to win. We know there’s no fans in the stands, but there were a few fans out on the levee and we know all of our fans are watching at home so for us to be able to get a win against a rival was huge and that kind of pushed us to try a little harder, to work a little harder, give all 100% we could. We had to make subs early because guys aren’t as 100% game fit how we’d like to be but everyone who subbed in made an impact and helped us win the game.”

Jaime Villarreal 

On the weekend win over Reno…
“On Sunday I thought we had a really good game as a team as a whole, I thought our attack was on point. We need to be a little bit better at finishing, but I thought we had some good opportunities. And to prepare for this match, I think it’s going to be a difficult match because they’re coming off a good result against San Diego, so we need to be prepared for that. These young kids are going to be flying and eager to play us and trying to a point to the first team that they’re ready for that next step, so we have to be careful and come out with urgency like Sunday. 

On the midfield depth SRFC has…
“I think this is probably the best midfield that I’ve been a part of. It’s so competitive, anybody could play at any point. I didn’t start last game and just being able to rotate everybody, that just shows how good the midfield is."

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