Republic FC defender Ashkanov Apollon recently spoke with The Sacramento Bee’s Cameron Salerno about his fascinating story from first picking up the game at the age of 17 to featuring regularly after impressing at an open tryout.
Ash joined the Indomitable Club prior to the 2020 USL Championship regular season and he did it the hard way. Surrounded by hundreds of other hopeful future professionals, Apollon impressed Head Coach Mark Briggs and General Manager Todd Dunivant during January’s open tryout enough to earn a spot on the preseason roster as a trialist.
“(Open tryouts) are a real opportunity and we take it very seriously,” Republic FC’s general manager Todd Dunivant told The Bee’s Salerno. “Mark (Briggs) and our whole staff were there. We identified Ash pretty quickly. He stood out right away. He earned his spot. We signed him pretty quickly knowing that he was able to help us.
“It’s very satisfying (when you sign a player at tryouts). For us, it shows that we always have an open mind to good players. It doesn’t matter their background or where they’re coming from, if they fit our profile and can help our team, we’re gonna take a chance on them. Ash was somebody that came in and obviously with the injury to Juan (Barahona) a door opened even further for him. It shows when you take a chance, you never know what can happen.”
Since the open tryout, Ash has thrived along the left flank this season and on the year has put together a string of positive performances that have earned the defender nine appearances – eight of which were starts – including most recently logging a full 90 minutes during each of the club’s last four consecutive victories.
On the 2020 campaign, Apollon leads the team in tackles (24), tackles won (17), duels (94) and duels won (55). His nine scoring chances created are the most on the squad by a defender.
Check out the full interview with Ash to learn more about his Haitian past, European and Asian soccer excursions and more.
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