On Thursday, both the Sacramento Republic FC U17 and U19 Academy teams valiantly competed in the semifinals of the inaugural MLS Next Playoffs in Dallas, Texas.
Republic FC was the only club to advance two teams to the semi-finals in the 17s & 19s age groups and both sides prevailed in penalty kicks to march through the Quarterfinal round.
The first of the two fixtures featured the U19 team in action against Solar SC of Dallas. After trailing by two goals, Sacramento struck back in resilient fashion. Jorge Galvan rifled a towering and perfectly weighted long-ball to JP Cortez who picked out Alex Medina on a well-placed cross. Medina nodded the header by the opposing goalkeeper to cut the deficit in half, 2-1. Republic FC was knocking on the doorstep throughout the second half, but a late game breakaway goal for Solar SC sealed the result.
The night cap matched featured the U17s squad against Orlando City SC. The Floridian club scored twice to open the match, but a resilient SRFC side pulled one back on a Rafael Jauregui sliding goal. The Sacramento attack involved some nifty passing throughout the night, creating dangerous opportunities after the first goal through the end of the match.
The Indomitable Club nearly found its equalizer in the second half as Sean Battistessa powered an effort on target that the OCSC goalkeeper managed to deflect over his own net for a corner kick. Despite its constantly efforts to push forward and level the match, the Semifinal showdown ended 2-1 and brought Sacramento’s sensational playoff run to a halt.
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