Courtesy Fresno FC
Undefeated in three straight games, Sacramento Republic FC faces a quick turnaround as they set their sights on this week’s match with Fresno FC.
Ahead of Wednesday night’s game, reacquaint yourself with Fresno FC.
The expansion team has played to a respectable 3-4-7 line this season, picking up points in 10 of 14 games despite an even goal differential. With a win on Wednesday, the Foxes could elevate themselves out of their current 11th place standing and just outside the top eight in the Western Conference. After suffering a 2-3 loss to Las Vegas lights in their opening game of the season, Fresno went on a seven-game unbeaten streak through May 5. San Antonio FC bucked the streak with a 2-1 win handing FFC just their second loss in nine games. However, despite their undefeated streak, Fresno had started to rack up a winless streak as well. Not since March 31 against Sounders 2 had the expansion team earned three points in a contest, a trend that continued until their next meeting with Seattle on June 2. In their best performance of the season, the Foxes picked up a 4-0 final led by a second-half brace from Jemal Johnson. Fresno’s most recent match ended in a 1-1 draw as they took on Reno 1868 on the road.
Fresno FC has fared better at home this season, earning points in six of seven games played at Chukchansi Park (2-1-4). While the majority of FFC’s losses have come on the road they’ve still managed a 1-3-3 record away, earning points in four of five matches.
The 33-year-old English-American footballer, Jemal Johnson has provided the attacking spark for Fresno FC this season, leading his club in goals scored and sitting just two conversions back of league-leader Kharlton Belmar. The three-season veteran—and all-time appearance leader—of the NASL’s Jacksonville Armada, Johnson was selected to USL’s Team of the Week for his 30-yard golazo, and subsequent brace in Week 12 action against Seattle Sounders 2. Johnson has proven himself dangerous and will put shots on goal without hesitation.
26-year-old Canadian defender, Zach Ellis-Hayden has proved a playmaker from the back-line this season. After spending the past two years making 45 appearances for Orlando City B, Ellis-Hayden joined Fresno FC in December of 2017. The 5-foot-8 full back has not disappointed as he has proved the Coyotes’ most accurate passer, knocking off balls to his teammates at an 82 percent success rate. His two assists rank second on the squad, and has proved pinpoint precision in his own half with his passes meeting their target 91.9 percent of the time.
There will also be a few familiar faces for Republic FC fans on the Foxes' roster, with Danny Barrera, Agustin Cazarez, Mickey Daly and Christian Chaney all former Republic FC players. Barrera has been the most active of the group with the Foxes, starting 12 matches and making 14 appearances in USL play, but the midfielder has yet to find the back of the net or record an assist. Daly has started in all of his 12 appearances, while Cazarez has made 12 appearances, with eight of those starts. Chaney has one goal to his name this season with Fresno FC.
In their first-ever match with Fresno in early March, Republic FC drew their opponent at Warriors Stadium in Turlock in a preseason exhibition game. Sacramento broke through in the 36th minute off a Cameron Iwasa chip to put his squad up 1-0. However, Fresno returned in the second half and tied up the match with an equalizer in the 65th minute. Full back Alex Cooper surged down the left wing before looping a cross into the box where Juan Pablo Caffa headed it into the net.
Wednesday’s match between Republic FC and Fresno FC will mark the teams’ first meeting at Chukchansi Park and first USL face-off. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Updates will be provided via Twitter at @SacRepublicFC or using #FRSvSAC.
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