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In Their Own Words: “I feel the group are confident that we can go and do what we need to do.”

By Republic FC Communications, 09/25/20, 2:30PM PDT


Before the boys in Old Glory Red hit the road for Reno, see what Head Coach Mark Briggs and midfielder Drew Skundrich had to say prior to Saturday night’s match

Republic FC visit Greater Nevada Field this weekend for a seismic showdown against Reno with a chance to cut 1868 FC’s lead at the top of Group A down to two points. 

The Indomitable Club currently trail first place Reno by five points with three fixtures remaining, so a win keeps the squad very much in the hunt for the top spot while a draw doesn’t completely eliminate the chances of reaching the summit of the standings. If Saturday night’s match ends in a stalemate, however, 1868 FC will need just one point in either of its last two games to solidify first. 

With major playoff implications on the line, this upcoming chapter of the Donner Pass Derby will surely be one both sides of fans are anxiously awaiting to enjoy. But before the Western Conference clubs clash for a fourth and final time during the regular season, it’s time to take a look at what the boss and the captain had on their minds heading into the crucial contest this weekend.

Mark Briggs' men are currently on a nine-game unbeaten run.

Head Coach Mark Briggs

On playing well against top tier opponents…  
“I think if you look at our performances over the course of the season, the group has always stepped up in big games. They’ve always stepped up against what you class as the bigger opponent, the better opponent, they’ve always stepped up in those games. I’m quietly confident that the group is ready to step up against Reno, ready to step up against whoever we have to when we go to the next phase, whether that be Phoenix, Orange County, LA Galaxy, or even San Diego. Whoever we play, I feel the group are confident that we can go and do what we need to do.”

On keeping spirits high at practice this week… 
“[I wanted to] Get them feeling good, get them feeling good about themselves, keep the spirits high. I think it’s gone a little bit down lately; we’re focused on a lot of the negative aspects when really, we’ve lost one game in 13 games. If you would have asked me that at the beginning of the season, I would have taken it. We’re in a good spot, we’re in a good mindset and just looking forward to the weekend.”

On the importance of Saturday’s match...
“It’s like any game, it’s a must-win, it’s a little bit bigger with first and second place at stake but we go there with confidence. We go there knowing that we can beat them, knowing we get three points and now we just have to show what we can do.”

On being the only team to beat Reno this season…  
“It goes to show the ability that’s within this group. In America, it’s all about hitting form at the right time. It’s all about the playoffs. The rest of the world if you finish first you win everything but in American it’s all about the playoffs. So, it’s great that we’ve beat Reno however many times we have so far, and we just have to prepare for Saturday, and we have to prepare for the bigger picture. We have to prepare for what’s next.”

Drew Skundrich has two goals on the season including the club's opening goal of the 2020 regular season against FC Tulsa on March 7.

Drew Skundrich

On the match against Reno this weekend…
“It’s definitely the biggest game of the year thus far. It has a lot of implications for where we land in the playoffs, whether we can potentially overtake Reno and get that first spot in our group or if we end up in second. It’s a huge game, we want to win the group so we’re looking forward to it.”

On the recent success the team has had against Reno...
“I think we match up well against their system. I think man for man, we have the ability to overtake them and we know how they play, we’re very familiar with them. I think we match up well with them and plus the added rivalry with them being the closest team to us adds a little bit of that x-factor that kind of inspires us.”  

On Republic FC’s offensive success…
“It’s great, it shows our confidence is growing. It shows that our ability as a team, our chemistry, it’s all growing which is great. But on the other side of that, we’re also giving up more goals which is not what we want. So, we just have to reinforce our foundation with defend-first and then we can attack. We just need to get that defensive side down again and reinforce those foundations and then let the forward momentum keep going. 


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