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Match Preview: Republic FC v San Diego Loyal SC

By William Strome, 07/31/20, 10:30AM PDT

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The boys in Old Glory Red travel to SD for Republic FC’s first-ever clash with the league’s newest club this Saturday night at 7 p.m. PT.

At a Glance:  #SDvSAC

  • Saturday, August 1
  • 7:00 p.m. PT kickoff
  • Torero Stadium, San Diego, California
  • How to Watch: KQCA My58, Estrella TV Sacramento (Spanish), ESPN+ (Digital)

What’s the latest on the team?

Republic FC’s (1-1-2, 5 pts) match against Orange County SC on Wednesday night was postponed out of an abundance of caution after being notified prior to kickoff of a positive COVID-19 test result from a previous opponent. 

This past weekend, the Indomitable Club were defeated for the first time during regular season play following a 1-0 defeat to LA Galaxy II in Southern California on Saturday night. 

An Augustine Williams second half strike was all it took for the hosts to claim all three points despite SRFC creating more chances, 14-to-4, and outshooting the hosts, 20-to-8. Winger Sam Werner lead the Indomitable Club with four offensive chances created against the Group B club and Dariusz Formella took a team-high five shots. 

Los Dos created a few opportunities of its own, but SRFC goalkeeper Adam Grinwis made a handful of stellar stops to keep his side in the match and within striking distance of LA. Along with Grinny, the starting eleven, and substitutes bench, was unchanged from the 1-0 win over regional rivals Reno 1868 FC.

Republic FC currently sits in second place in Group A after 1868 FC triumphed over Portland Timbers 2 on Wednesday night. Sacramento has the chance to potentially reclaim the summit in the group standings with a win on Saturday in San Diego. 

Sitting on 49 career goals during league play, Cameron Iwasa is just one strike away from hitting the half century mark. The Sacramento-native has 47 career goals with the Indomitable Club and two during his time with Swope Park Rangers. If he hits 50, he’ll be only the ninth player in league history to have done so. 

What about the hosts?

San Diego Loyal SC (3-1-1, 10 pts) is only five games into its inaugural USL Championship campaign and so far, so good. 

The SoCal club – head coached by former USMNT star Landon Donovan – is fresh off a 2-1 win over Las Vegas Lights FC on Saturday night where Tumi Moshobane and Irvin Parra both found the back of the net. The win was the first-ever victory for Loyal SC at Torero Stadium and Landon Donovan’s side will be hungry to make it two in a row. 

San Diego has already racked up a handful of positive results in the early stages of the season after playing out a 1-1 against Lights FC prior to the pandemic to kick off 2020. Loyal SC was one of the few teams that played two matches before the season suspension, the second being a 2-1 win over Tacoma Defiance. The win in the Pacific Northwest was the club’s first-ever victory in league play. 

Upon the restart of the regular season, San Diego stormed out the gates and snagged a shocking victory over 2019 title-winners Real Monarchs, 1-0, in Utah. Grant Stoneman’s strike in the first half secured the surprising win before SD was handed its first loss on the season one week later – a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of LA Galaxy II. 

Head-to-Head

Saturday night’s fixture will be the first-ever meeting between the two California squads who share something unique in common, as both clubs were founded by the same visionary – Warren Smith. 

Loyal SC Head Coach Landon Donovan played alongside Republic FC General Manager Todd Dunivant while the two played together for MLS-side LA Galaxy. The two decorated American soccer legends have lifted four MLS Cup trophies together during their tenure in LA. 

One familiar face Republic FC fans should recognize is current Loyal SC defender Emrah Klimenta. The veteran center back played for the Indomitable Club from 2014-2017 and again in 2018. Klimenta was a member of the 2014 title-winning team and still holds the club record in starts during league play with 103. 

In 2019 against expansion teams, Republic FC posted a 4-4-0 record and were 2-2-0 on the road. 

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