Republic FC goalkeeper Rafael Diaz and forward Dariusz Formella have been selected for the USL Championship Team of the Week starting eleven after a pair of tremendous performances that lead to their sides’ 4-0 win over Portland Timbers 2 on Saturday.
Diaz dazzled in net with an eight-save outing against T2 that preserved the Indomitable Club’s fifth shutout this season – the fourth clean sheet for Rafa over the course of the 2020 campaign. Not only did Diaz make a handful of diving stops, but none of his saves on the night were more impressive than his double-stop in the first half. After making a powerful stop that deflected back his way, from his knees the Sacramento shot stopper swatted the ball to safety after it appeared destined for the back of the net.
The TOTW selection for Formella is his third this season after earning the weekly honor for his multigoal games against Tacoma Defiance in both Week 4 and again in Week 8. Saturday’s two-goal game was his third brace this season – elevating his tally on the 2020 season up to eight which is tied for 10thbest in the entire USL Championship.
Dariusz Formella has eight goals in 13 starts with SRFC this season.
Formella set a new club record over the weekend as the Polish playmaker now has claim to the fastest brace scored in club history after finding the back of the net in just the 2nd minute and again in the 4th minute. His first was set up by Villyan Bijev who after putting pressure on the visiting goalkeeper attempting a clearance, the Bulgarian-born winger spotted Formella who with his first touch steered his low shot into goal to lift SRFC to a 1-0 lead. Formella doubled his sides’ advantage when Rodrigo Lopez spotted Formella on the left who rifled his right-footed curling effort on target that the T2 GK had little chance of stopping.
Diaz and Formella are the 11th and 12th Team of the Week selections for Republic FC players over the course of the 2020 campaign – elevating the season-long tally for selections to the starting eleven up to eight after Dekel Keinan was selected to the TOTW’s starting lineup for Week 14, Matt Mahoney earned the award in Week 10, Ashkanov Apollon was named to his first career selection for Week 8, Jordan McCrary earned a spot for his Week 9 performance and Formella earned his third this season. Four SRFC players have been named to the TOTW bench including Juan Barahona for Week 1, Hayden Sargis for Week 7, Cam Iwasa for Week 8 and Kharlton Belmar for Week 12.
Diaz's 28 saves this season are T-11th most in the Western Conference.
Republic FC hit the road for a Western Conference Quarterfinal clash with Phoenix Rising FC this Saturday night in Arizona. The match will be broadcast locally on KQCA My58 and Estrella TV Sacramento, as well as streamed on ESPN+ with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. PT.
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