In a move that surprised just about everyone, Sacramento Republic announced last Tuesday that they had transferred center back Nemanja Vukovic and forward Justin Braun to NASL's Indy Eleven for an undisclosed sum. Both players were members of the team that won the 2014 USL Championship and had been important players with Republic since the first kick of that season.
Braun was the team's captain from day one and was a mainstay in the Republic starting XI. He scored 12 goals during his two seasons in Sacramento, including the first goal in Republic history.
Braun tweeted put this message for Republic fans.
Vukovic was named the 2014 USL Defender of the Year and was one of the most solid and consistent performers on the team, ending his Republic career as second all-time in USL minutes played.
Former Republic Technical Director and current Director of Football Graham Smith spoke about the move in the team press release.
"Both Nemanja and Justin have been pivotal in the club's success, but the time was right for them to move on to other opportunities," he said. "They have been with us since day one and played a major role in the club; both gave us 100 percent and nothing less in their dedication and effort to the club. The transactions also provide us with roster flexibility and an opportunity to develop future talent. Nemanja, Justin and their families will always be a part of the Sacramento Republic FC family and we wish them nothing but the best."
While the club has repeatedly said that more transactions are coming, Republic fans are starting to get frustrated with an off-season that has seen many popular players leave. While Republic fans are justified in their frustration - it is never easy to see fan favorites leave - they can also be confident that more signings will be coming in the near future.
That being said, Republic would do well to try and hurry up the process, as people in Sacramento are beginning to get impatient.
As for Vukovic and Braun, we at Indomitable City Soccer are thankful for what they've done for Sacramento Republic and wish them luck with their new team. We'll be watching.