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In Their Own Words: It’s about turning up with an enthusiasm to play

By Alex Crook, 08/27/21, 3:15PM PDT

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Indomitable Club Looks to Continue Run of Form, Build on Defense on Saturday

Sacramento Republic FC earned a point at Phoenix Rising FC last weekend and snapped a 32-game scoring streak from one of the league’s hottest offenses in the process. Now, Republic FC wraps up an August that has seen an extension of one of the club’s longest point streaks in history. Check out what the Boys in Old Glory Red had to say ahead of a renewed divisional fixture with San Diego Loyal SC.

Republic FC Head Coach Mark Briggs

On the club’s defense after Phoenix being a focal point going into Saturday’s match…

“It gives us a platform to go forward and build on. I thought last week we defended really well and shut down the best team in the league, which is what we’re capable of doing. We just have to continue keeping that focus from the defensive side and continue to do the things we did with the ball last week. I thought we moved the ball quickly. The speed of play was very quick. We got behind them and we created opportunities. Now it’s that final detail of finishing those opportunities.”

On what Emil Cuello brings to the club…

“He’s got a quality on the ball with his left foot. He sees passes, has great vision and has a great strike. We’re hoping he can add and create opportunities and score some goals as well.”

On approaching Saturday’s matchup in the context of the Pacific Division table…

“We know it’s a big game. The approach has been the same – just making sure we’re focused, making sure we understand San Diego’s strengths, weaknesses and how to exploit them. It’s about us. It’s about turning up with the right mentality, the right attitude. It’s about turning up with an enthusiasm to play – an enthusiasm that will get the fans behind us and get the stadium rocking. 

Republic FC Shannon Gomez

On the mindset heading into the weekend…

“Three points is of the essence – we need to pick up three points this weekend. We’re home, so we need to give the fans something to clap and smile about. For us, three points would put us in a great position for the playoffs and give us a foot in the right direction to pick up the rest of the points. We’ve been working hard trying to execute tactics we’re trying to put into play this weekend.”

On the defense and midfield’s gelling after last week’s performance in Phoenix…

“As I say every game, you have to have this mentality where if you can’t score, they can’t score. If they make it tough for us, we make it tough for them. I believe in our attacking corps and I believe that with the opportunities we’ve been creating, we’re going to start hitting the back of the net at a higher rate. Looking at last game, we had a lot of shots on target and we’ve been able to keep shots from going onto our target. Collectively, we’re trying to do a better job on both ends of the field and put together a strong 90-minute performance.”

On the experience training at Folsom Prison…

“That was my second time being there and I was excited to go back. It kind of gelled, bringing that touch of humanity back into prisons and the relationship that Sacramento Republic has with Folsom Prison. I think it’s something that leaves a smile on both of our faces. Sometimes, you never know what people are going through – maybe just a little round ball can bring happiness to all of this. Football is just this unspoken language that brings people from all walks of life together. As much as we can bring smiles to peoples’ faces, no matter where they’re from or what they’ve been through, I think using our platform for things like that is very eye-opening. It makes you see the world in a different way.” 

Republic FC Darek Formella

On building on last week’s momentum heading into Saturday’s match…

“It was a good point to go higher in the division table. We’ve got our next game Saturday and that’s what we’re focused on this week. We had a lot of finishing, a lot of small-side games in training.”

On training heading into the San Diego matchup…

“It’s been how we normally prepare every week for every opponent. We know where they make mistakes and where they’re strong, so we know what to do and we’ll try to do that for this game.”

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