March 7th not only marked the start of the 2020 season, but a new era with a bright, young defender making a bold statement that he’s ready to contribute. In a season full of firsts, very few compare to the first time that Hayden Sargis pulled on an Old Glory Red kit in a league game and his impact on the club through the rest of the season.
By earning a nod in the starting eleven that night, Sargis became the first youth development player in club history to make his league debut on opening night in the starting lineup.
The SRFC Youth Academy product played in all but one regular season game for Mark Briggs’ men – a defensive unit that conceded the third fewest goals in the Western Conference prior to postseason play. He’s growing into the role of a leading, vocal centerback for the Indomitable Club, and his head coach believes Sargis has an extremely bright future.
Sargis was a member of the Indomitable Club's inaugural academy group in 2015.
“There are so many words being said about Hayden,” Head Coach Mark Briggs said about his young defender during the end of season press conference. “I think the most praise you can give him is that he is a future captain of this football club. The way he carries himself and the maturity he has on and off the field, the sky’s the limit for Hayden.”
The Athletic also noted Sargis was a top young talent to keep an eye on when play resumed in July. Over the course of the rest of the season from a statistical standpoint, Sargis proved that he’s very much a star on the rise as the imposing CB led his entire team in minutes (1,236), completed passes (772) and clearances (46).
Not only did his defensive play exceed expectations for such a young player in such a crucial position on the pitch, but he added another dimension to Republic FC’s attack as well. In his very first match as a professional, Sargis delivered a scintillating longball that found fellow defender Juan Barahona who provided the official assist to set up SRFC’s opening goal of the season.
With one Championship season already under his belt, Sargis has a golden opportunity to continue growing his game and developing into one of the league’s premier and complete defenders on both sides of the field. Next season, the league won’t be surprised by his skill. His on-field presence earned him a selection as one of three finalists for Young Player of the Year – the only player in this year’s class in his debut season.
Follow Republic FC on social media.