skip navigation

In Their Own Words: “We’ve got to play like our lives depend on it, because they do.”

By Republic FC Communications, 10/04/20, 11:00AM PDT


See what the boys in Old Glory Red had to say following Saturday’s 4-0 win over Portland Timbers 2

The last game of the 2020 USL Championship regular season for the Indomitable Club sure was a good one. 

Republic FC slammed four scores by the visiting Portland Timbers 2 goalkeeper in the opening 25 minutes to cruise to a 4-0 win on Saturday night at Papa Murphy’s Park. Dariusz Formella bagged a brace four minutes into the match and assisted his sides’ third goal – a perfectly placed header by Jaime Villarreal – before Villyan Bijev netted a stunning curler to lift his side to a 4-0 advantage. 

Goalkeeper Rafael Diaz made eight saves on the night to preserve the shutout, Republic FC’s fifth this season and fourth with Rafa in net. It was an all-around complete performance from every one of Mark Briggs’ men to close out the regular season campaign and before the boys in Old Glory Red start to look ahead to its opening round playoff opponent – Phoenix Rising FC – it’s time to see what the squad had to say following the resounding win over the weekend. 

Head Coach guided SRFC to the USL Championship playoffs for the club's seventh consecutive trip to the postseason.

Head Coach Mark Briggs

On the result against T2…
“It's pleasing, a four-nil result. I was happy with the intensity showed in the first half, especially the first 30 minutes where we moved the ball quickly. We scored four goals and we put the game to bed. The other pleasing thing was we didn't concede, didn't concede inside the first few minutes. We actually scored, and we didn't concede the whole game over 90 minutes so, it puts the guys in a confident mood. It puts everybody in a good frame of mine going into a massive game next weekend against Phoenix.”

On how pleasing Saturday night’s performance was…
“I think now it's been pleasing. I think the last few games we haven't conceded early goals and we changed a few things up and we spoke as a group and we decided to do things slightly different in those first few minutes and I think it's paying dividends for us. We just have to keep doing what we have been doing over the past few games. But to score in the first few minutes was nice. It was refreshing and it's pleasing because it's what this group is capable of and I'm thankful that it came. It's a good moment to hopefully give us good momentum and a good frame of mind going into Phoenix next week.”

On focusing on T2 and not looking ahead to the playoffs…
“You start to look at the bigger picture and for this group, I didn't want them to take the foot off the gas. I didn't want them to start to take it easy, so to speak. The mindset has to stay the same, and we have to keep the same intensity and the same speed of play with the ball and continue to break lines whenever the opportunity presents itself. So, I didn't want us to lose that momentum. I didn't want us to take our foot off the gas, because next week's going to be a game that's foot on the gas for 90 minutes, 95 minutes. We've got to play like our lives depend on it, because they do.”

On Rafael Diaz’s fantastic form this season…
“Rafa as you said has been fantastic. I think he's been one of our most consistent performers, which is credit to him. And as a goalkeeper you have to stay focused, you have to stay engaged, and Rafa does that and he's made big saves in big moments. So, for us going into a playoff game, knowing that we have a keeper of Rafa's caliber behind us who's going to turn up and make big saves when we need him to make big saves, it only gives everyone confidence as we move forward.”

Dariusz Formella has netted three braces over the course of the 2020 USL Championship campaign.

Dariusz Formella

On the team’s performance against T2…
“I think the first seven or ten minutes was great. We scored three goals and these three goals made this this game easier for us. In the second half, we knew that we have a good result, it was four nil, and we didn't play our best football but the most important thing was to keep a clean sheet and we did it so we are happy.”

On how pleasing it was for the team to score four goals…
“It’s always good to score four goals. We didn't score [four] this season and it's good that happened in the last game because we’re going into the most important games right now. So, we are happy that these four goals came today and not three or four weeks ago because the most important games are coming. So, we are happy in that we scored four today.”

Rodrigo Lopez notched two assists Saturday night against Portland.

Rodrigo Lopez

On his overall impression of the match…
I think the team came out how we should come out every game. We made a commitment before the game to go out and just leave it all out on the field and to put them under pressure the first few minutes. I think we're a really fit team, we have the players to do so, and it showed. We definitely needed to go up in the game, early and then from there, try to control the game.”

On his attacking role against T2…
One thing about Mark [Briggs], about our coaching staff, is that they give us freedom, especially in the attack. I'm playing somewhat a different role in that I haven't played it in a long time, playing higher up the field, and it's different for me but it's something that I need to do for my team. If that's where a coach wants me to play, that's where I play. All the attacking players, we have that freedom to switch up the roles and as long as we're defensively in good shapes, we should be fine.”

Rafael Diaz recorded this fourth clean sheet this season following Saturday night's 4-0 win over T2.

Rafael Diaz

On Republic FC’s overall performance…
That was a good performance from the guys who came up pretty strong. It was great to get those three goals early in the first 10 minutes, it gave us a lot of confidence and the [offense] gave us a lot of confidence. We were talking about coming out strong and we were able to do that. We also talked about getting a clean sheet and we were able to do that so we're really happy with that performance going into the playoffs, to give us a lot of confidence going down in Phoenix and hopefully we can replicate that performance down there.”

On three early goals from the Republic FC offense…
It's a great confidence boost, but it also makes me lock in a little bit more [to the match] because I'm like, ‘Listen, now it's my turn, it's my turn to make sure the guys in front of me are organized’ and now, defensively, it's our job to kind of lock things down so we can secure the win and tonight we're able to do that. So, credit to those guys, they've really put in the work in training but we’ve been doing a lot of finishing and a lot of pattern play and it's great that these guys now can get the recognition and a few goals going into the playoffs and hopefully they have a lot of confidence. When that happens, the defense just turns on and we need to turn on a little bit more because they did their job now it's our time to do ours.”


Follow Republic FC on social media. 

Latest News

  • Stellar Strikes: Mitchell Taintor

  • By William Strome 01/04/2021, 6:00pm PST
  • A defender who adds to the offensive attack is an invaluable weapon to have and Taintor returns to SRFC just as much a threat on the ball as he is trying to take it away
  • Read More