SACRAMENTO REPUBLIC FC
Sacramento Republic FC v. Detroit City FC Preview
Jun 10, 2022, 5:38 PM | Updated: 5:38 pm
Off the heels of an impressive win against former Western Conference leaders San Antonio FC, the Sacramento Republic will look to replicate that form again as they travel to Michigan this weekend to take on USL newcomers, Detroit City FC. Saturday marks the first time the Republic have faced Detroit City in club history as the Indomitable Club are currently riding a three-match unbeaten streak heading into the Motor City showdown.
The latest triumph for Sacramento saw them defeat San Antonio,1-0, in a highly intense contest and one of the most complete games of the season for the team. Head coach Mark Briggs recapped what the victory meant Wednesday after training and where their heads are at going into Saturday’s match.
“It’s been a good week,” Briggs said. “When you come off a result like we did on Saturday, gives momentum, gives confidence, so the boys are in a good frame of mind.”
And they’ll need to be, facing the third-best side in the Eastern Conference in Detroit City, claiming a tough point on the road against Pittsburgh last weekend. Even thought it’s their first season in the USL, Briggs and the players aren’t taking the opposition for granted, mostly concentrating on breaking the press this weekend.
“They press extremely well, they press with a number of bodies high up the field, we’ve got to be competent when we’re building out the back and understand what our outlets are,” Briggs stated.
“They press really well,” Rodrigo López said Wednesday. “Once they press they win the ball high up and obviously get opportunities especially at their home…we have to be careful with that we need to be prepared like I said, and we have the players to, even with their press, we have players to play through it and if we need to change it up a little bit we could. I think that’s what’s special about this team.”
Detroit also boasts one of the best attacks in the game, spearheaded by Antoine Hoppenot who leads the team in both goals and assists with nine combined on the season. Stopping him with be paramount for Republic to come away with points Saturday night.
“He’s had a good career, he’s been in MLS, he’s been in USL for a number of years. I know Antoine quite well, he works hard and he’s a threat for whatever team he’s on. So we’ve got to make sure we’re aware of him and his movements snd we’ve got to make sure we’re aware of other players around him,” Briggs said.
That’s easier said than done as Detroit have more of the best home crowds in the USL, making it a challenge for any team coming in to their stadium, something that the players and personnel of the Republic are aware of this weekend.
They’re very good on their home field,” Briggs said. “They’ve made it a fortress for themselves this year. So we’ve got to go in there and get a result to come back with something from the game.”
“They’re very good size, we’ve got a great atmosphere at home as well. So it’s gonna be a tough challenge for us,” Dan Casey stated Wednesday. “They play in front of a big crowd every week, the atmosphere has been on top of you …so we’re just going to calm our game down and try and stick to it as best we can and just go from there.”
But even with a daunting task ahead, Casey and the boys won’t be rattled by the home crowd Saturday night, relishing on the fact that they’re the underdogs in the fight.
“You relish these occasions. Being the underdog, obviously because they got all the fans. So yeah, it’s gonna be tough. We’ve been able to use it to our advantage at home when we have our fans, so now we have to sort of use it as motivation,” Casey said.
The key to the Republic’s success the last month has been consistency for Briggs and his coaching staff, reflecting on the draw against Oakland as a reason to assert their dominance early in the upcoming match.
“Yeah, I think when you when you go away from home, it’s always important to start on the front foot,” Briggs said. “I thought we were excellent with our start out down in Oakland and we should have scored a couple more goals to finish the game off. So for me that’s the challenge. When in critical moments, we’ve got to be ruthless and make sure we’re putting the chances away that we create to give ourselves a greater opportunity of bringing back three points.”
“We want to score first, we want to dictate the game, that’s what we do and not just at home but everywhere we play,” López added. “We’ve let go of a lot of points away, either tying the game in the last minute or losing the game in the last minute so we just have to be prepared mentally and physically and and be ready for battle out there.”
The battle in Detroit kickoffs from Keyworth Stadium at 4:30 p.m. PST. The match will be broadcast live on Antenna TV 40.2, FOX40.com, the FOX40 App and streaming on ESPN+.