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Mike da Fonte back for 2017 season

Goal-scoring center back returns for another year.

Photo Gallery: Sacramento Republic vs Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2

Sacramento Republic FC announced yesterday that they have re-signed center back Mike da Fonte for the 2017 season.

Da Fonte, who came to the Republic last season after spending 2015 with New York Red Bulls II, ended the season as one of Paul Buckle’s the two first-choice center backs after initially being relegated to the bench in favor of a defensive duo of Derek Foran and Chris Christian.

Da Fonte’s first appearance came as a half-time sub for Derek Foran in the 11th game of the season in a 1-0 win over Real Monarchs SLC. He then went on to start and play all 90 minutes in nearly every single game for the rest of the season (he missed one due to suspension and was subbed out in the 86th minute in another).

Although his defensive contributions were significant, possibly the most memorable parts of da Fonte’s season were the four goals he scored, tying him with Harry Williams as the team’s second-highest scorer.

Republic Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle had this to say about da Fonte coming back for next year.

Mike epitomizes what we stand for with his commitment on and off the field. Mike got better and better as the season went on. He is not only a good defender, but he also showed his offensive prowess, scoring key goals for us off set pieces. I enjoyed working with him this season and look forward to working with him once again next season.

What are your thoughts on da Fonte coming back for 2017? Sound off in the comments below!