Friday marks the first match of Republic FC’s 2021 USL Championship regular season as Mark Briggs’ men begin their quest for silverware in southern California against LA Galaxy II. The boys in Old Glory Red closed out a rigorous preseason with a 2-0 win, but now the squad’s attention is fully turned to a full 32-game season ahead. First up: a business trip to Los Angeles.
Republic FC had a total of five scrimmages but the final friendly was against Real Monarchs in front of 2,300 fans in Papa Murphy’s Park.
Mark Briggs’ men looked strong and aggressive right from the get-go en route to a 2-0 win over the 2019 league-title winners. Cameron Iwasa found the back of the net twice, with assists from Duke Lacroix and Dariusz Formella.
Duke was one of a handful of fresh new faces in the starting eleven last weekend, including the return of Mitchell Taintor who spent the 2020 season in the heart of San Antonio FC’s central defense, Dan Casey who joins SRFC from the top tier of the beautiful game in Ireland, midfielder and 2020 MLS Cup winner Fatai Alashe, experienced Finnish midfield veteran Pete Pennanen, and former San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Felipe Luis made a second half appearance.
The preseason campaign kicked off with a 2-1 loss for Los Dos in Arizona against FC Tucson on March 31. About one week later on April 7, LAG II lost 2-1 to MLS-side New England Revolution. On April 17 in Irvine, CA, Los Dos earned a 3-1 win over local SoCal rival Orange County SC to close out the preseason.
Los Dos made a number of moves to bolster its squad heading into 2021, including former product of Manchester City and Barcelona’s youth system – Alex Alcala. LA also added midfielder Axel Picazo who logged minutes with Philadelphia Union II, last season midfielder and northern California native Miguel Avalos who previously signed with Pachuca in 2018, forward Preston Judd who was a second round selection in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft by LA Galaxy and defender Josh Drack who was a first round selection in the SuperDraft by LA.
The SoCal club is looking to make its way into the USL postseason for a third consecutive time after missing out on playoff soccer in 2017 and 2018.
In 2020, LA secured second behind the eventual Western Conference champions – Phoenix Rising FC – before falling in the first round to Reno 1868 FC in Nevada, 4-1. Heading into the postseason, LAG II’s 30 goals scored was tied for the third-most in the west.
In 20 all-time league contests between the two California clubs, Sacramento has tasted victory in ten.
When visiting Los Dos, Republic FC has won six of nine meetings and outscored LA in southern California 15-to-8. Sacramento started out the all-time series against LAG II in Carson with four straight road wins.
The last time Sacramento stormed into Carson, CA and departed with all three points was an October 2018 fixture where Keven Aleman’s first half brace lifted Republic FC to a 2-1 win.
Overall (USL regular season and playoffs): 10-6-4
Home: 4-4-3 (GF: 17, GA: 21)
Away: 6-2-1 (GF: 15, GA: 8)
Republic FC watch parties officially kickoff on Friday at a number of locations around town for supporters to get together and watch the boys in Old Glory Red.
Reservations are strongly recommended and select locations will be offering specials to supporters wearing their Republic FC gear. All four Zocalo locations will be offering free appetizers to fans wearing their SRFC gear.
Viewing locations include all Zocalo locations (Midtown, UV, Fountains, Folsom), University of Beer, Capitol Beer and Taproom, Capitol Hop Shop, The Hop Gardens and Public House.
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