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Match Preview: Sacramento Republic FC vs Portland Timbers 2

By Sacramento Republic FC, 04/16/16, 5:15PM PDT

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April 17, 2016; 2:00 p.m. PDT Kickoff

Sacramento Republic FC (2-0-1, 7 pts) travel north to face Portland Timbers 2 (0-3-0, 0 pts) on Sunday, Apr. 17. Kickoff is 2 p.m. PDT at University of Portland’s Merlo Field.

This is the fourth meeting between the clubs, with Republic FC owning a 2-1-0 record against T2. Republic FC dropped the the first match of the series 1-2 on Apr. 2, 2015, but bounced back to win the second two matches in dominating fashion with 3-0 wins on Apr. 18 and Sept. 12, 2015.

Republic FC continued their best start in franchise history with a scoreless draw against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 on Sunday, Apr. 10. Republic FC has earned seven points in their first three matches, the most points to start a season in franchise history.

Republic FC’s defense has been dominant in their first three matches, allowing no goals in their first three matches. The defense has now recorded six straight USL regular season shutouts and are on a 564 minute shutout streak dating back to Sept. 6, 2015.

Republic FC will be coached this week by Assistant Head Coach Adam Smith while Head Coach and Technical Paul Buckle, is in Connecticut with his wife Rebecca Lowe in anticipation of the birth of their son.

Goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek has been in goal for all six of the matches during Republic FC’s current shutout streak. He has a 3-0-3 record in the span and has recorded 12 saves. Jakubek has allowed just one goal in his last seven USL regular season matches.

T2 enter the match winless in the 2016 USL season after finishing in eighth place in the Western Conference last season. This will be the first match for T2 against a non-MLS owned or operated club this season. Their first three matches were against Swope Park Rangers KC (Sporting KC), Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 (Vancouver Whitecaps FC) and Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (Houston Dynamo).

Midfielder Nick Besler leads T2 after making 25 appearances for the club as a rookie last season. He has appeared in every minute of T2’s season thus far, scoring a goal. Besler was selected 5th overall by the Timbers in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft and is the younger brother of Matt Besler, a defender on the U.S. Men’s National Team and Sporting KC.

New-comer Dylan Damraoui, an 18-year old midfielder from Brussels, also has a goal for T2 this season. Damraoui previously played with Club Brugge KV’s U21 side. Club Brugge is currently in first place in the Belgian Pro League, the highest league in Belgium. Damraoui has also represented Belgium at the U-16, U-17, U-18 and U-19 levels.

Republic FC will be hosting a watch party at de Vere’s Irish Pub in downtown Sacramento. The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday. Updates of the match will be provided via Twitter @SacRepublicFC or using #PORvSAC.