Sacramento Republic FC v. Rio Grande Valley FC

Aug 6, 2022, 7:00 AM
New Mexico United...
New Mexico United

What a difference a few weeks can be for the Quails.

After only getting two points in four matches to kick off the month of July, Sacramento Republic FC have gone on a three-match win streak over the past week, now heading back to Health Heart Park for their match against Rio Grande Valley FC Saturday night.

Coming off another comeback win against New Mexico United Wednesday, the Indomitable Club have put themselves in a great position entering the weekend. A win over the fourth seed allows fifth seed Sacramento to potentially overtake the Black & Yellow with a victory and a game in hand.

Wednesday’s match was not an easy one, conceding the first goal in the 54th minute after a miscued clearance by the Republic defense slid to forward Tabort Etaka Preston for an easy goal under keeper Danny Vitiello. But just like in the Charleston game, Sacramento rose to the challenge.

Within three minutes the sides had leveled, after Keko slotted a Rodrigo López cross into the bottom right corner. Four minutes later, the Republic took the lead thanks to another assist by their captain, this time setting up Douglas Martínez for a low-driven strike past goalie Alexandros Tambakis to make it 2-1 in the 61st minute.

Sacramento defended confidently after that, holding onto the lead to earn a tough three points on the road, beating New Mexico, 1-2.

Sacramento Republic FC

“Tonight we showed the togetherness, the culture and the mentality within our group. We were solid. We dug in and did the ugly side of the game extremely well, and then we looked very threatening in transition. They stuck to the game plan and did it to a tee. Absolutely proud of every single one of the players that stepped on the field,” head coach Mark Briggs said post-match Wednesday.

The win also served as a milestone moment for the club as López became the all-time assist leader in Sacramento history Wednesday night, an accolade that reminds him off his connection with the city of trees.

“For me, it means a lot. I’ve never been a player that cares too much about individual awards or individual accomplishments,” López stated. It’s just a reminder of all the hard work in the last few years.

“Since I’ve been back in Sacramento, it’s been my best year that I’ve played , the most fun I’ve had so it’s just a little reminder for me, and everyone around me that’s always helped me and pushed me.”

On the flip side, Rio Grande are on a bit of a skid at the moment, winless in their last six matches. The Toros are currently sitting eleventh in the western conference standings, most recently drawing with Hartford Athletic, 0-0.

Nevertheless, the Republic will need to be wary of the “trap game” they’re presented with this Saturday, especially considering this is their fifth match in 14 days.

“It’s a massive game for us,” Briggs acknowledged Friday before training. “It’s been a grueling two weeks with a lot of games in a short amount of time. We gotta be as fresh as we can be for the game tomorrow and make sure that the players that step on the field understand the importance of what we’re trying to do and win.”

Saturday’s match will be the first time the Indomitable Club are back home since their thrilling victory over Sporting Kansas City in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals. The boys will most certainly be looking to push their current unbeaten streak to four in front of the home fans.

Sacramento Republic FC

“We’re excited to be back home for obvious reasons,” centre-back Conor Donovan said Friday. “The fans here are incredible and they help us pull out energy into the game and the crowd. Now we’re excited to be back, especially in league play it’s been a while. RGV [Toros] is a tough game and we’re coming off a couple of road games so we’re excited to be home and look for three points.”

Kickoff from Heart Health Park is set for 8 p.m. PST as the match will be broadcast on FOX40, Antenna TV 40.2, the FOX40 News mobile app and, as well as ESPN+.






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