When Republic FC acquired Emil Cuello in August, they did so with the intent of adding a potent attacking presence, one that could help the squad improve their troubles converting in the attacking third and require the attention of opposing defenders in front of goal.
The 2019 SuperDraft’s 13th overall pick met expectations, leading Sacramento in chances created after his acquisition and ending the season as one of just three players to amass five shots in a match. His well placed crosses put opposing defenders in conflict week after week, and he proved one of the most creative on the offensive end for a Sacramento side in need of a spark.
The midfielder showed off his abilities immediately. Just 20 minutes into his Sacramento debut, Cuello came close to pulling Sacramento within one. After taking a pass from Jaime Villarreal, he put a move on a defender and carried the ball towards the middle before firing a shot just wide of the right post.
Cuello opened his 2021 scoring account with Sacramento on October 2, netting the eventual game-winner in the 66th minute after beating a defender to a Maalique Foster through ball in transition. That same night, he tallied his first assist with Sacramento, and was responsible for a third of the club’s scoring chances. Ten days later, he manufactured another great chance, hooking in a shot from the right flank that bounced off the crossbar to Darek Formella, who put it in for an 87th minute equalizer against Los Dos.
Entering 2022, Sacramento will turn to Cuello to maintain his form on the offensive end. With a number of new faces likely to join the squad in the coming weeks, Mark Briggs and Co. will need him to set the tone, and help lead the Indomitable Club to their goals for the future.