Sacramento Republic FC v. Charleston Battery Preview

Jul 30, 2022, 8:30 AM
SACRAMENTO, CA - JULY 27: Douglas Martínez #42, Damià Viader #3, and Dan Casey #5 of the Sacramen...
SACRAMENTO, CA - JULY 27: Douglas Martínez #42, Damià Viader #3, and Dan Casey #5 of the Sacramento Republic FC celebrate their victory with the supporters' group, the Tower Bridge Battalion, after a U.S. Open Cup Semifinal game between Sporting Kansas City and Sacramento Republic FC at Heart Health Park on July 27, 2022 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Erin Chang/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
(Photo by Erin Chang/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Coming off the biggest win in the club’s history Wednesday night, Sacramento Republic FC return to USL play this weekend when they travel to South Carolina to take on Charleston Battery.

Booking their ticket to the U.S. Open Cup final, the Republic took down MLS side Sporting Kansas City on penalty kicks, 5-4, sending Heart Health park into sheer pandemonium Wednesday, loud enough to hear in Stockton (probably). Sacramento failed to score in the match but it was the defensive effort of the back three, and the goalkeeping of Danny Vitiello that won the match for the Quails.

After 120 minutes of goalless action, the match went to penalties as Vitiello came up big once again, stopping Graham Zusi’s spot kick to put Republic on the brink of a finals berth. Captain Rodrigo “RoRo” López did the rest, placing his penalty down the middle-left side of the goal, sealing the victory for the Indomitable Club as the first non-MLS team to make the competition’s final since 2008.

The boys now face the previous side to make it that far in Charleston Battery. The South Carolina team’s performance this season has been, to put it bluntly: Poor to say the least. Drawing 3-3 in their last match against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, the Battery are second to last in the eastern conference with a measly 13 points and an abysmal -20 goal differential on the season.

Regardless, the Republic will need to be wary of their number nine, Augustine Williams, scoring three goals in their last two matches. The Sierra Leonean has played in 2o matches for the Battery this season, scoring 10 goals for the club.

Moving over to Sacramento, the Indomitable club has been inconsistent to say the least, winless in their last four league fixtures. After a perfect month of June, the Quails have crashed back down to Earth, unable to score a single goal in the previous three matches. Thankfully their defense has led the way as the club fight to stay in the playoff picture, currently tied for seventh place with LA Galaxy II at 30 points.

The Republic will need to keep that same defensive mindset while adding a bit of clinical edge if they want to come back to California with all three points.

Their third match in seven days, it’ll likely be a squad match as youngsters and the bench players  will start in order to rotate the squad. Additionally, the recent signings of forward Deshorn Brown and  defender Danny Reynolds should provide much needed reinforcements as the team looks to make a push into playoff safety.

The club also announced the signing of Defender Josh Bauer Friday, on loan from MLS side Nashville SC, to give the starters a bit more of a breather in this tight run of matches coming up.

“Josh is joining us during a very busy stretch of our season,” Republic FC President and General Manager Todd Dunivant said via a press release. “He’s bringing valuable USL experience to our defensive unit, and we think he’ll be a great addition to the locker room.”

Unclear at the moment if Bauer will feature this Saturday, the experienced defender will certainly play a role for the Quails as they look to close out the 2022 regular season strong.

Kickoff from Charleston is set for 4:30 PM PST, and the match will be broadcast live on Antenna TV 40.2, and the FOX40 app, and streaming on ESPN+.

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