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Elliott Hord Returns for 2017 USL Season

Fullback situation = solid.

Photo Gallery: Sacramento Republic vs Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 Indomitable City Soccer/Alex Leguizamo

Sacramento Republic FC announced this afternoon that they have re-signed fullback Elliott Hord for the 2017 season.

Hord, who joined the Republic late in the 2016 season as part of an effort to replace right back Emrah Klimenta after the latter suffered a season-ending injury, became a key part of the team’s late-season stretch of games.

READ: Elliott Hord’s Long Road to Republic FC

Interestingly, Hord’s 2016 season with the Republic is chock-full of connections to the Orange County Blues.

Hord made his 5 minute debut with the Republic in a 1-0 win against the Blues in Irvine on October 24. He then got his first professional assist in a 2-1 win over the Blues at Bonney Field on November 3. Finally, he made his first (and only, unfortunately) USL playoff appearance against the Blues on October 1. Hord did not get a chance to take a penalty in the shootout that sent the Republic out of the playoffs.

For the short time he was with the tea in 2016, Hord played some pretty significant minutes. Aside from his short debut, he started and played 75 or more minutes in each game he was available for.

Hord’s story of joining the team late in the season and immediately finding a place in the starting XI resembles that of left back James Kiffe, who joined the team late in 2014 and has been a key player since. Although his story could always turn out differently, Hord certainly looked like he could be yet another fantastic Republic fullback if he is given the chance.

And he might very well get that chance. James Kiffe has not yet been brought back for the 2017 season.

What do you think about Republic re-signing Hord? Could we see the rise of the third fantastic fullback in four years? Sound off in the comments below!