Sacramento Republic announced early today that they have signed Elk Grove native Matt LaGrassa to a contract for the 2016 season.
LaGrassa comes to Republic having played college ball at Cal Poly and spending time at the PDL level with both Des Moines Menace and Ventura County Fusion. He appeared in 77 matches for the Mustangs from 2012-2015, starting 57, scoring 18 total goals and contributing eight assists. In his PDL time, he played 1,864 minutes in four years, scoring four goals.
"Matt is a young player that we have very high hopes for at the club," said Sacramento Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle in the team's press release. "I had the opportunity to see him at Cal Poly and he is a midfielder that is always looking to be on the ball. This is something we want and we feel he will really improve our roster. He is also a local player which is a big plus for us in our efforts to support the growth of local talent for U.S. Soccer."
LaGrassa is one of quite a few players on the Republic team with local connections, along with Max Alvarez, a Napa native who played college ball at Sac State; Cameron Iwasa, a Sacramento native who played for UC Irvine; Lodi native Dominik Jakubek, who played for Chico State and the NPSL's Sacramento Gold; and Octavio Guzman, who also played his college ball at Chico State.
"Being from Sacramento, I am very excited to start my professional career at home," LaGrassa said in the team's press release. "I think this will be a great opportunity for me as a player in a place where I can make the fans happy, including my family and friends. I believe Sacramento Republic FC is the best USL franchise in the country and the best place for me to continue to grow as a person and a player."
The LaGrassa signing continues a Republic tradition of signing players with experience at Ventura County Fusion, who Republic has close ties to. Former star Rodrigo Lopez, current defensive midfield stud Ivan Mirkovic, and left back James Kiffe are just a few players who have come to Republic via the Fusion connection.
It also is an apparent continuation of another tradition, which I cannot confirm is, in fact, a thing.
His record against the Hornets notwithstanding, Republic fans should be happy to have another shiny new signing, especially with the Republic's training camp already underway.
We at ICS are pretty excited to see what LaGrassa can do for Republic this season, what about you? Let us know in the comments below.