Sacramento Republic FC v. Phoenix Rising FC Preview

Sep 28, 2022, 9:00 AM
Sacramento Republic FC plays San Antonio FC during a USL Championship soccer match, Tuesday, Sept. ...
Sacramento Republic FC plays San Antonio FC during a USL Championship soccer match, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, at Toyota Field in San Antonio, Texas. (Darren Abate/USL Championship)
(Darren Abate/USL Championship)

With four games left to play in the regular season, Sacramento Republic FC are once again looking to cement their place at the top of the food chain in the USL Western Conference.

The Republic is hosting a familiar foe in Phoenix Rising FC Wednesday night, a match that will surely have some fireworks before the final whistle.

The two sides last played at the end of July, resulting in a 0-0 contest that saw both teams have a number of chances to take all three points. Head coach Mark Briggs and the boys know the difficulty that comes with playing Phoenix, but is confident they can get the job done Wednesday.

“Yeah, Phoenix are a great team, they’re gonna be coming in confident. The new coach has started to implement new ideas, give the players a little more confidence. So it’s gonna be a really difficult, difficult game for us Wednesday, but one we’re looking forward to,” Briggs said Monday after training.

The Quails are looking to get back to winning ways after losing to top of the table San Antonio FC over the weekend, 1-0.

After conceding in the first half, Sacramento went on to hold nearly 60% of the possession in the second half but could not find the back of the net. Goalkeeper Danny Vitello also added four saves to his impressive 2022 resumé Saturday night.

Currently in fourth place in the standings, the Quails are in good shape with two games in hands over third place Colorado Springs, looking to capitalize on that this weekend with a win.

“Yeah, I think the message is the way it has been all year, [the team’s] got nothing to worry about,” Briggs stated. “We’ve lost one game, we’re in a good position. We’ve got two games in hand to move into third place. We’ve got to continue our home performances, continuing the momentum we’ve had all this all season long.”

Home field advantage has been a dominant storyline for the Republic’s 2022 season, crushing the competition with nine wins, four draws and only one loss when playing at Cal Expo.

With only a few matches remaining before the playoffs, the team is relatively confident against any opponent they’ll face, just focused on the three points after each 90 minutes.

“I think we have the advantage because we played like knockout football this season already so far,” wing-back Jack Gurr said Monday. “So we don’t really care who we’re playing against. Just looking to win the remaining games and see where we stand and then go from there.”

Kickoff from Heart Health Park is set for 7:00 p.m local time. Tickets are still available on the team’s website, and Republic fans can watch the match live on FOX40, and streaming live on ESPN+.


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