Sacramento Republic is on the road once again this weekend as the Quails face off against the last placed Portland Timbers 2 up at Merlo Field. It is the first time these two teams have faced one another this season, but the Republic hold the advantage in the all-time series with two wins and one loss.
Here are some things to think about heading into tomorrow's match against Portland Timbers 2.
Assistant coach Adam Smith takes the reigns
According to the Sacramento Bee, assistant coach Adam Smith will likely be running the show for today's match instead of Paul Buckle, who left Sacramento on Tuesday to await the birth of his son (congrats to Buckle and family).
Although it is highly unlikely that we will see anything too divergent from what Buckle himself might do in terms of a lineup or overall tactical plan, Smith being in charge of in-game decisions could make for some interesting moments. Perhaps this will be the week we see the regular season debut of Mackenzie Pridham?
A tale of two streaks
Timbers 2 and the Republic meet tomorrow as two teams riding two very different streaks. The Republic are undefeated so far this season, earning seven points from three games. T2, on the other hand, has not earned a single point in their first three games. One of those streaks is going to come to an end today.
On paper it certainly seems as though Sacramento has the advantage here, although that would be true for just about any team facing T2 right now. However, it will not be a walk in the park. Not if the Quails can't get the ball in the back of the net.
Please sir, I want some more
Goals, that is. In three games so far this season the Republic have only scored two goals. The first was a Thommy Stewart penalty against Seattle Sounders 2, the second was Cameron Iwasa's late game winner against Arizona United. Sure, there have been some potential goals that have been (rightly or wrongly) disallowed, but the fact remains that the Republic has been less than inspiring in the finishing department.
Hopefully that will change today against Timbers 2. As mentioned above, T2 has not earned a single point so far this season and have conceded 7 goals in just three games, the most of any Western Conference team except Sounders 2. Against such a lackluster defense the Republic may have a better chance of finally putting up a multiple goal performance.
This from our Three Questions piece with Stupmtown Footy's Kevin McCamish seems to strengthen the possibility of a strong offensive showing from Sacramento.
T2 has had defensive mistakes, horrible passing, bad touches, and given up a PK in every single match so far. At times this makes them look like a high school junior varsity team.
Regardless of who starts up top for the Republic today, it seems like they might have more chances than usual to either open or add to their 2016 goal tally.
One caveat for the lineup above: Sherrod was apparently training with San Jose this week, so there is a possibility that he might not be with the team in Portland. In that case I would predict Cameron Iwasa or Mackenzie Pridham to get the start in his place.
Predicted Scoreline: Sacramento Republic 2, Portland Timbers 2 0
What do you think is interesting about today's match? Any predictions? Sound off in the comments below.