Sacramento Republic FC v. LA Galaxy II Preview
Off the heels of another impressive clean sheet, the Sacramento Republic now face one of their toughest challenges of the season: playing the same team twice in three days. Well sort of.
The Republic have three matches scheduled between this Saturday and next, facing off against the LA Galaxy organization in the first two. Sacramento will take on the USL side, LA Galaxy II, this Saturday before heading down to Carson to take on the MLS side in the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday.
One contest at a time, let’s talk about Los Dos first.
A match between the sixth and seventh ranked sides in the Western Conference, Galaxy II are coming off a dramatic win against Monterey Bay Wednesday, 3-2, vaulting them to seventh in the standings. A 53rd minute hat-trick by Preston Judd saw them seal off a win, despite two second half goals by the opposition. Judd’s hat-trick also leapfrogged him into the top three for most goals on the season, tied with two others at seven. But even in his good run of form, Sacramento is focused on all of Galaxy II’s attacking players, no just their number nine.
“He’s obviously their danger-man yeah, but they’ve got a lot of good players,” midfielder Nick Ross said. “They’ve always been good, young players that want to play [the] game the right way. So he’s obviously the danger-man scoring a lot of goals but if we focus too much on him, then someone else is going to pop up with a goal.”
“We’ve got to be on our toes for them going forward, because they have some, although young, they have some high level quality players,” head coach Mark Briggs said. “So we got to make sure that we’re defensively sound like we’re happy [with].”
Defense has been the story lately for Republic FC, putting together two clean sheets in a row while only conceding two goals in the last eight matches, the club is flying high thanks to goalkeeper Danny Vitiello and his backline.
Yeah, he’s been excellent,” centre-back Lee Desmond stated. “The defense and Danny has been getting a lot of credit, but it’s in midfield too and it’s a bit of a cliche, but we really are defending as 11.”
“We’ve been seeing glimpses of what we produced the last two weeks, throughout the course of the season. We haven’t got the results in some of the performances, but from a coaching standpoint, you can start to see the pieces coming together. And with the quality we have I always knew it would click at some point. It’s starting to click so we’ve got to keep that momentum and keep pushing forward,” Briggs said.
It’s easier said than done but the Republic seem confident heading into the weekend despite only having three days in-between matches to recover, focusing on one match at a time.
“We have to make sure we’re fresh, we have to make sure the players understand what we need to do tactically and we have to manage the game in different periods. We can’t go all out and press for 90 minutes, you know, we’ve got to be smart about what we do and when we do it. But we’ve got to ultimately go out and win a game Saturday, and then reassess where we’re at from a fitness standpoint,” Briggs said.
“It’s not a big deal,” Ross said. “These are the games you want to play. You’re not going to make an excuse and say ‘I’m tired, I don’t want to play Saturday or Tuesday’. It’s our job and that’s what we do.”
Saturday also marks the first time the Republic will wear their 2022 alternate kits this season, announced Tuesday by the club. The sleek black and green kit pays homage to “The City of Trees” slogan that graces the Freeport water tower on Interstate 5, along with the city’s map coordinates displayed across the back.
Sacramento Republic FC will take on Los Dos from Heart Health Park at 8:00 p.m. PST. The match will be broadcast on FOX40 and Antenna TV 40.2 in English and Spanish, as well as online at FOX40.com, the FOX40 News mobile app and streaming on ESPN+.