Round 2 of USL Playoffs: Sacramento Republic FC vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC Preview
One down, three to go for the Quails.
On the heels of a first round victory over New Mexico United, Sacramento Republic FC now travel to the Rockies to face Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC.
Starting the playoffs at home last week, the Republic wanted to make a statement for the rest of the league. And that they did, defeating New Mexico, 2-0, to advance to the Western Conference Semifinals.
Coming out of the gates a bit nervy, head coach Mark Briggs had to settle his squad down at halftime. That did the trick as the Quails roared out of the break in a big way, getting their first goal in the 47th minute thanks forward Maalique Foster. Going on the counterattack with pace, Foster received the ball with only one defender and the goalie to beat, slotting it past the opposition to break the deadlock.
Now with momentum, the Quails worked tirelessly until they finally got another in the 74th minute. Captain Rodrigo López rolls the ball to midfielder Kéko, powering a shot from way outside the box. It takes a deflection that loops the ball past the outstretched arms of the goalie, 2-0 Republic and Heart Health Park roars in triumph.
— x – Republic FC (@SacRepublicFC) October 26, 2022
“Credit to every player that stepped on the field tonight. And I thought the fans were amazing tonight, I thought they roared us home,” Briggs said post-match.
Now on the road in a tough environment, the Republic got manhandled in their lone trip to Colorado, losing 3-0 back in July. Sacramento got even with the Switchbacks in the second meeting this season, downing Colorado 3-0 at home in August. With both teams possessing elevate scoring prowess, Saturday could be one of the matches of the playoffs this season.
“We’re up against the team that finished the place above us. Very good team, a lot of attacking weapons. But it’s a playoff game, I think form goes out of the window from the season that we’ve just had, and it’s about who turns up on Saturday night,” Briggs stated earlier in the week.
The Switchbacks are also coming off a dominate victory to open the playoffs, producing a clean sheet against Rio Grande Valley Toros, 3-0.
Obviously a challenge in front of them, the Republic have overcome the odds in the past, hoping that this time they can reach the top of the mountain peak.
“Yeah, I think everyone’s in a great headspace,” midfielder Matt LaGrassa added. “We’ve been training well, the vibes are good around around the locker room and all that. So, we feel good about where we’re at. We obviously know there’s a lot of work to do, but we feel as confident as anyone that we can we can keep this roll rolling.”
Kickoff from Weidner Field in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Saturday, Oct. 29th, is set for 5:00 p.m. PST. The match will be available on FOX40.com, as well as streaming on ESPN+.