SACRAMENTO REPUBLIC FC

Sacramento Republic Get Revenge On Switchbacks, Three-Goal First Half Seals Six-Pointer At Home

Aug 18, 2022, 7:00 AM | Updated: 10:10 am
Sacramento Republic FC...
Sacramento Republic FC

What a difference a few days at home can make.

The Sacramento Republic had one of their most complete games Wednesday night, thumping perennial Western Conference challenger, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, 3-0.

It was an onslaught from the beginning, as the Quails came out with high press that flustered the visitors early. The breakthrough they were looking for came in the 13th minute, stealing the ball in a dangerous part of the pitch as wing-back Jack Gurr whipped a ball into the box, taking a deflection off a switchback defender right to Keko inside the 18-yard box. His shot was blocked by the goalkeeper but not well enough as forward Maalique Foster punched it into the back of the net to take the lead.

The gameplay all night was to stretch the Colorado side defensively, using Foster’s speed to break the backline. Foster is now the club leader in goals with five on the season, but according to the forward, he was more of a decoy for his teammates Wednesday night.

“Yeah, so the game plan was just to stretch these guys so I was the one that was to go behind and stretch these guys and allow my two number tens to play. So I was just a decoy but I score off one so I’m happy,” Foster said post-match.

The second breakthrough of the night came from relentless pressure again by the Quails, winning the ball in the opposition’s half before finding Matt LaGrassa outside the box. Without hesitation, the Elk Grove native blasts a low-driven thunderbolt towards goal, squeaking by the Switchback backline and keeper. 2-0 to the Indomitable Club in the 32nd minute.

Sacramento Republic FC

The Republic weren’t done there, continuing to put on the pressure as Sacramento won the ball back in the midfield, finding Keko on the edge of the box, firing a curled strike into the top corner with his left boot right before the half. 3-0 to Sacramento as Heart Health Park erupted in cheer.

Head coach Mark Briggs was thrilled with his side after the match

“I thought it was a complete performance from start to finish. Everything we asked of the guys with the ball and without the ball I thought they were fantastic from start to finish,” Briggs said. “I guess if there’s one negative we could have scored more goals but I thought the performance from minute one to minute 94 was exceptional, the complete performance from us.”

And Briggs was right, the team had numerous chances throughout the second half that they could not convert, including a 61st-minute penalty miscue by captain Rodrigo López. LaGrassa didn’t mind that though, confident that his skipper can convert anything at any time.

“I mean look RoRo’s a crazy important player for us, arguably our most important player,” LaGrassa stated.  So you know we have his back through everything and anything.  The first thing I did was [said to López] ‘head up, next thing’ you know, it doesn’t matter. He’s  so so special. So so important to this group. So he could miss a penalty every night and I’d never lose faith in him.”

Sacramento Republic FC

The Switchbacks tried to fight back after the missed penalty but instead of parking the bus and only defending, the Republic continued to press and look for goals. An attribute that had been missing in previous matches and something LaGrassa said he discussed with the rest of the team prior to the match.

“I talked a lot to the boys tonight about like not skipping steps, right? I think every game you got to show up in this league and you got to prove that you’re up for the fight first, and you got to win first and second balls and we did that for a good portion of the game. We won first balls, we won second balls, we looked aggressive. And then, you know, when you start to find a rhythm and you start connecting passes you see confidence grow and you see people finding things and even me finding the back heel every once in a while,” LaGrassa explained.

In a true six-point match, the Republic is now only two points back of Colorado at 40 points in the Western Conference. And with a game in hand, Sacramento could see themselves back in the top three in the standings.

“It’s huge, we want to just keep climbing the table and we want to keep grinding out results. Tonight was a big one for us…we’re a game less than them and two points behind them. So we have an opportunity to keep climbing and we know our objectives as as a team and we want to play at home in the playoffs,” Briggs said.

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