Sacramento Republic FC v. Louisville City FC Preview
Off the heels of a big win against NorCal rival Oakland Roots last Saturday, Sacramento Republic FC now look to one of their biggest away tests of the season, top-ranked Louisville City FC.
The Quails finally got the better of The Town Saturday, winning the third contest, 1-0, to push Sacramento into the fourth place in the western conference standings. The Indomitable Club had previously drawn with Oakland in two matches, making Conor Donovan’s 21st minute header all that more sweet. The boys held on the rest of the match and secured the three points at home.
“I thought we got off to a good start,” Donovan said post-match Saturday. “We got the goal on a set piece off a great ball from RoRo and we just saw it out. We had a couple of chances to put the game away and we didn’t, so that’s something we’ve got to grow on. But three points in front of our home fans in the playoff race is massive.”
The Republic will need to convert those chances this weekend, facing the best team in the east, Louisville City.
Los Morados had been on an absolute tear over the summer, going ten matches unbeaten before losing to Miami FC, 0-1, last Saturday.
Louisville have scoring threats all over the pitch with their forward Wilson Harris leading the way at ten goals in 22 matches played this season. The Republic will need to be wary of their opponent’s ability to score from all areas, if they want to come away with the victory in Kentucky.
“They’ve got a fantastic history, they got a winning culture, they’ve got fantastic players, and they’ve got a fantastic coach. So it’s gonna be an extremely difficult game for us going in there,” head coach Mark Briggs said after training Wednesday.
However the time might be now to play this side, losing their second match in five days to Indy Eleven Wednesday, 2-1. But despite their recent run of play, Briggs knows not to take this side likely, able to break open the tie in a moments notice.
“We’ve got to go there with the right mindset and the right attitude. And then we’ve got to have the courage to play in that facility, play our game and do what we want to do within that game,” Briggs said.
Sacramento has been a bit of giant killer this season, taking down western conference leaders San Antonio FC in June, 1-0, in front of the home crowd at Health Heart Park. Now tasked with a road match against another top side, Sacramento knows this is what separates the contenders, from the pretenders in the USL Championship playoff race.
“It’s gonna take every man that steps on the field to give everything he has for the badge while also possessing the quality and critical moments to score goals or make that final pass and make plays,” Briggs stated. “We’re going up against an opponent that’s very good, but we’re also very good. So we’ve just got to make sure we turn up and we’re prepared to work our socks off and give everything for the badge.”
Kickoff from Kentucky is set for 4:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcast live on FOX40, as well as streaming on ESPN+.