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Match Preview: Republic FC vs. Tulsa Roughnecks FC

By Sean Steimel, 04/27/18, 11:45AM PDT

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Republic FC look to continue their undefeated start to the 2018 USL season with a home tilt against Roughnecks FC on Saturday.

Saturday’s home match will be the first meeting between the two sides on the year. Republic FC have beaten Roughnecks FC all five times they have faced each other in USL play since Tulsa joined the USL. The match will be broadcast live on KQCA My58, Estrella TV, ESPN+, and Sports 1140 KHTK. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 pm and tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com

Republic FC enter the match following a 2-1 come-from-behind victory at home against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. After conceding an early goal from a corner kick, Sacramento drew level in the 64th minute when defender Carlos Rodriguez threaded a long through ball to Cameron Iwasa who scored the equalizer. Iwasa would also set up Villyan Bijev for the match winner in the 79th minute. Iwasa’s goal and assist make him the team-leader in both categories, with three and two, respectively. Bijev’s match-winner was his first of the year and he was awarded a spot on the USL Team of the Week by the league.

Defender Mitchell Taintor is expected to be available after being loaned to MLS side Toronto FC for their weekend match against Houston Dynamo. Taintor started at center back in his MLS debut and scored his first goal in the 52nd minute, which was TFC’s lone goal in a 5-1 loss to the Dynamo.

Tulsa Roughnecks FC (0-3-2) currently sit at the bottom of the USL Western Conference table, but are coming off an encouraging 2-2 draw in Fresno. Chicago Fire loanee Jon Bakero scored the equalizer in stoppage time to earn Roughnecks FC a point on the road. Bakero also earned USL Team of the Week honors for his performance. The match featured two red cards, one which was shown to defender Claudio Munoz who will now miss Saturday’s match against Republic FC. Tulsa is managed by David Vaudreuil who is in his second season as head coach for Roughnecks FC. Vaudreuil, an MLS player from 1996-2002, led Tulsa to the club’s first berth in the playoffs in 2017.

Tulsa features several familiar faces for Republic FC fans. Joaquin Rivas, a Republic FC winger in 2015 and 2016, currently leads Roughnecks FC in goals in 2018. Defender Enrique Montano, who has started four games for Tulsa, also spent a brief time with Republic FC. Ivan Mirkovic, who has started all five games at center midfield for Tulsa on the year, was a stalwart for Republic FC in his three years with the club and was a key cog in the 2014 USL Champion side for Sacramento. Tulsa also announced midweek the signing of Nemanja Vukovic who played alongside Mirkovic at Republic FC in the championship-winning team of the 2014 season.

Updates on the match will be provided via Twitter at @SacRepublicFC or by following the hashtag #SACvTUL. To see more matchday information, visit SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide.

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