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Sacramento Republic Look To Continue Red-Hot Form Against Cali Rivals Monterey Bay

Jun 25, 2022, 5:30 AM | Updated: Jun 27, 2022, 8:34 am

Sacramento Republic...

Jenny Chuang/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Coming off the biggest win in club history Tuesday, Sacramento Republic FC will look to continue their hot run of form this Saturday when they travel down to Monterey to take on Monterey Bay FC.

The Republic are coming off a historic run of form as the USL side has taken down the LA Galaxy organization not once, but twice in the past week. First Los Dos on the 18th, 2-0, then three days later in Los Angeles, defeating MLS side LA galaxy, 2-1, to advance into the semifinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

Emotions were still at an all-time high for the Indomitable Club at Thursday’s training session, some calling it the biggest highlight of the season far.

“Definitely,” goalkeeper Danny Vitiello exclaimed. “I mean, anytime you can beat an MLS team in their stadium, I think it’s a great thing. And we just got to keep pushing to put out great performances and keep winning games.”

The Republic will need to corral those emotions now as they look to finish out the three-match week with another win in Monterey. Head coach Mark Briggs indicated that this could be a squad match on Saturday, and that the key for any team making a deep run in a domestic cup, is to keep that consistency in league play as well.

“We just spoke to the group about keeping momentum,” Briggs said. “Usually teams that go on good cup runs, their league form suffers. We don’t want to be one of those one of those teams, we want to make sure that we keep our standards and we turn up every day and make sure that the levels are maintained and not dropped.”

The Indomitable Club is sporting a few tired legs after the match-heavy week, possibly being without Rodrigo López and Keko Gontán who picked up injuries in the Tuesday’s win over the Galaxy. Sources confirmed that López has a bruised foot that is causing him some discomfort, while Keko sustained a minor hamstring pull. Both injuries aren’t seen as serious by the medical staff but both players’ status for Saturday is undetermined at this point.

But even with the injuries and tired legs, the Republic are eager to go out there and get three points, focusing on one match at a time with a “next man up” mentality.

“I think coach and the technical staff have been harping on it all year long that we have the depth to do something special this year and then we believe that down to [every] man,” Duke Lacroix said Thursday. “We took the [match] mid-week, we took the one before that, we’re going to take each game in stride and it’s no different going into Monterrey this weekend.”

Saturday’s matchup with fellow Californians, Monterey Bay FC, will be a tricky one as they are currently in last place in the Western Conference standings. Don’t let the standings fool you though, as the Union boast a potent strike force and a sturdy backline that could spell trouble for the Republic in a trap game, if you will.

“They’ve got a hard field, it’s a slow field, it’s a turf field. They’ve got dangerous players in the wide areas that we’ve got to make sure that we look after, especially [Chase] Boone, [Christian] Volesky, and [Chris] Cortez up top…So they’ve got threats all over the field, we’ve just got to maintain our levels, understand their strengths and how we can exploit their weaknesses,” Briggs said.

“They’re very good defensively, they got they have some some big threat in the center backs. They’re good on set pieces,” Vitiello said. “So we’ll really put some focus in there and try to get three points.”

But while the Republic will be preparing for Saturday’s match, more good news came in from the U.S Open Cup draw Thursday evening, announcing that the semifinals will run through the California capitol as Sacramento will host Sporting Kansas City FC on July 27th.

The July match marks the second time the Republic have hosted an MLS side this season and will undoubtedly be the biggest match in club history. The players and coaches were excited about potentially playing the cup semis at home, challenging the fans to turn up for the big occasion.

Massive, be huge. I think in the early days, they got 20,000 fans at the city college. So I’m sure if we were able to get a home tie, I’m sure the city would get behind us and we would pack out the stadium,” Briggs said.

“My challenge to them is: Can we do that at home? Can we have what they did down there? Can we have that every week?” Coach said, referring to the fan display in LA. “Because it was one hell of an atmosphere and so grateful for the fans that traveled down and supported us.”

“That’d be huge for the fans, for the city, for the club, for the culture [it’d] be really special to have the Open Cup back after a couple years’ hiatus. To be in a position we’re in now, in front of our supporters, I mean, that’d be a really magical moment down at [Heart Health Park]. So we’re excited for that opportunity,” Lacroix said.

And the city of Sacramento will get that opportunity on July 27th as tickets were made available Friday at 1 P.M. PST, selling out in under three hours.

Kickoff from Cardinale Stadium is set for 7:00 PM. The match will be broadcast live on Antenna TV 40.2, FOX40.com and the FOX40 App, and streaming on ESPN+.

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