The recap continues in remembrance of Republic FC's playoff-bound season and after reliving moments #10 through 7 yesterday, it's time to see which ones snagged the 6 through 4 spots.
Mark Briggs’ men came out the gates with a blistering start against Portland Timbers 2 slamming home four goals in just 25 minutes to open the October 3 regular season finale at Papa Murphy’s Park.
The Indomitable Club couldn’t have ended the 2020 regular season on a higher note after blanking T2 at home and breezing by the Pacific Northwest club with a slew of early strikes including two before the clock hit five minutes. Dariusz Formella found the back of the net in the second and fourth minute – making the Polish playmaker the fastest to score a brace in club history. His multi-goal game earned Formella his third USL Championship Team of the Week selection on the season.
Dariusz Formella and Rodrigo Lopez celebrate with the rest of the boys in Old Glory Red during the 4-0 regular season finale triumph over T2.
Five minutes later, a Jaime Villarreal header that Formella assisted lifted Republic FC to a 3-0 lead before Villyan Bijev bagged the best of the bunch with a stunning left-footed curler into the top corner to gift SRFC a four-goal first half advantage. Bijev’s strike was nominated for the Week 15 Fans’ Choice USL Championship Save of the Week and following the conclusion of the campaign, the winger’s strike was voted by fans as Republic FC’s Goal of the Year.
It was a breakout 2020 USL Championship campaign for Dariusz Formella.
In his second season with the Indomitable Club, Darek netted a team-best eight goals – good enough for a spot on the league’s Top 10 regular-season list. He even closed out the regular season by scoring twice in the opening four minutes against T2 – the fastest brace scored in club history – his third multigoal game this season. The performance earned the Polish playmaker a selection to the USL Championship Team of the Week for Week 15.
Formella had a field day against Tacoma Defiance when playing in Sacramento where he scored four goals in just two games at Papa Murphy's Park.
But the weekly accolade wasn’t the first for Formella this year. Darek netted his first career brace with SRFC against Tacoma Defiance on July 13 in the club’s first game back in action since the pandemic which found him a spot on the Week 4 TOTW. His first goal against Defiance was from the penalty spot – this first PK of his SRFC career. He earned his Week 8 TOTW selection after bagging another brace against Tacoma on August 15.
Being down a man and down a goal simply wasn’t going to deter a resilient Republic FC side from overcoming a one-goal deficit to storm back and steal a 2-1 win at home over Orange County SC on September 9.
After Rodrigo Lopez saw a straight red card and with SRFC trailing 1-0, the boys in Old Glory Red displayed true grit and genuine belief as they bonded together and managed to find an equalizer in the 79th minute after a Dariusz Formella backheel guided Kharlton Belmar’s effort by the visiting goalkeeper. But Mark Briggs’ men were far from finished and in the 87th minute Jaime Villarreal spotted Villyan Bijev who bagged the late winner to ensure all three points were headed to Sacramento.
Bijev completed the comeback for SRFC with a late second half strike to ensure all three points were headed to SRFC.
After the match, Head Coach Mark Briggs mentioned on a number of occasions how extremely proud he was of his squad.
“We’re the Indomitable Club, right? We’re the Indomitable City and I thought the players showed that indomitable spirit, that never say die attitude and ultimately that's what ended up getting us three points,” Coach Briggs said in the postmatch press conference. “I’m extremely proud of the players, extremely proud of everyone associated with the club to be quite honest. That was a great result for everyone.”
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