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In Their Own Words: ‘We owe it to the club and the city to give 110% every time we step onto the pitch’

By Republic FC Communications, 04/30/21, 11:00AM PDT

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See what the gaffer, Pennanen and Gomez had to say prior to the first game of the 2021 season

On Friday night, the boys in Old Glory Red officially kickoff the 2021 USL Championship regular season on the road against LA Galaxy II. 

The preseason came to a close last Saturday when Mark Briggs’ men downed Real Monarchs 2-0 in Sacramento with Cameron Iwasa bagging a brace against the 2019 league title-winners. 

Now, attention has turned to the Championship campaign ahead and the squad can’t wait for competitive play to begin. But before Republic FC pays a visit to Los Dos, it’s time to see what the Indomitable Club had to say prior to the start of the new season. 

Head Coach Mark Briggs

On how ready the team is for the 2021 season…
“I think we’re in a good spot. You’re never where you want to be, that’s just a given, but the boys have been doing well through preseason and they’ve put in the work – both physically and mentally. I think we’re in a good spot from a physical standpoint, we’re very fit – or as fit as we could be at this stage – and we’re prepared for what we feel the Galaxy will throw at us. We’re in a good spot, we’re ready to go, there’s an excitement and a buzz in the group. Obviously, there’s three points on the table now so it’s real, that’s what we’ve all been waiting for.”

On the captain for the 2021 season…
“Pete will be the captain for this group. He’s got a lot of experience, he’s played in the top level in Europe, he’s played at the top-level Asia, he’s won at the top level in Asia and he’s won at the top level in Europe, that’s extremely important. He’s an extension of me on the field, somebody I’ve got a lot of respect for. He’ll be the captain as we move through the season and Fatai Alashe will be the vice-captain.”

Shannon Gomez

On how the team feels heading into the season opener…
“We feel great, we feel confident. After a long preseason, this is the real one for three points. We’re excited, we’ve been working hard and trying to put the pieces together. I feel like we’ve really tuned in on the things we needed to do and change as a team. It’s a big weekend for us, opening weekend, we need three points off the bat and we’re going down there confident.”

On the expectations for this season…
“I think as professionals, there’s always expectations of you. We owe it to the club and the city to give 110% every time we step onto the pitch. These expectations that things that we have to and it’s non-negotiable. Every time we step onto the pitch, we expect to get a result, expect to get a win, expect to get something out of it that’s positive. This group has taken that challenge on every single day and we’ve been out here working hard trying to get to the next level of our game collectively to achieve our goal.”

Pete Pennanen

On how it feels to be handed the captain’s armband…
“It’s a huge honor. To be honest, I didn’t think about it during the preseason because I’m new here and it was [focusing] a lot on the adaptation and stuff like that when you come to a new country and new league. I’ve been trying to be myself since day one and of course it’s a huge honor and I respect the choice that they made. I already told it to guys, it’s not about me, everybody is still giving their voice.”

On his overall thoughts on the season ahead…
“We should have a great group of players and the last six weeks have been hard work and we’ve been all focusing on this moment that we get going and start the season. I feel confident for the season. I think the team spirit has been getting better every day.”

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