Despite joining Republic FC late in the 2021 season, goalkeeper Carlos Saldaña made an immediate impact. Before the Vallejo native is back between the posts in 2022, let’s take a look at some of his top saves from last season.
With the Boys in Old Glory Red up 1-0 at Phoenix Rising FC, Carlos kept the reigning Western Conference Champions off the board with a fantastic diving save. A well-played free kick from the hosts found the head of Kevon Lambert, who directed the ball to top corner – it looked like a sure goal, until Saldaña used every bit of his 6’2” frame to punch the ball away on a highlight-worthy dive.
Saldaña came up big for the Indomitable Club in the closing moments of a close match against Tacoma Defiance. In the final minutes of regulation, the visitors nearly found a game-winning opportunity, but a surging Saldaña was in the perfect position to defend a close-range shot at the near post.
A well-taken free kick at close range can be a nightmare for any keeper, but Saldaña’s speed and but Saldaña’s speed and skill came into play when he made this save against LA Galaxy II as the visitors looked to steal an extra time win at Heart Health Park. A free kick from Jorge Hernandez quickly dipped over Republic FC’s five-man wall, but a diving Carlos tracked it the entire way, punching the ball away, much to the shock and dismay of the Los Dos players.