After a disappointing result in last week's match against Portland Timbers 2, Sacramento Republic FC are returning home to Bonney Field to host Saint Louis FC in its second home match of the season. Although both were in USL last season, tomorrow's match will be the first time that the two teams have ever faced each other due to the fact that Saint Louis played in the Eastern Conference last season.
Here are some things to keep in mind ahead of tomorrow's match against Saint Louis.
Home Sweet Home
Sacramento Republic have been fairly disappointing in the goal scoring category so far this season, only netting two goals in four games.
One of the better offensive performances we have seen from the team came in the home opener against Arizona United two weeks ago. While it was not a dominant offensive display, the Republic were dangerous and created three goals (although only one ended up counting). The team recorded 13 shots that night, with 2 being put on goal.
It is not unusual that a team does better at home than on the road, so the not quite disappointing attack that was on display against Arizona could certainly be due in part to home field advantage. If that advantage is really a significant part in success at home, could we perhaps wee an improved offensive showing from the Quails tomorrow against Saint Louis?
I am inclined to say yes. However, the thing that remains uncertain is to what degree the attack will improve. That is something I will be watching out for.
Welcome Back, Chad Bond.
Remember when Chad Bond played for Sacramento Republic? Neither do I.
Ok, maybe that's pushing it a bit, but I certainly would not blame you if you did not remember the Welsh midfielder's time in Sacramento. Bond was a member of the 2014 Republic squad, signed prior to the beginning of the season and before both the massive attendance and the Built for MLS movement took shape.
Bond was hardly one of the team's impact players that season. He played nine matches for Sacramento across all competitions in 2014, starting five and earning just over 400 minutes.
Since leaving Sacramento, Bond has done well for himself. In 2015 he was played for the Tulsa Roughnecks, starting 24 of the team's 28 games and recording 8 assists. This season he is with Saint Louis, wearing the captain's armband for his new club.
It is with this responsibility that Bond will lead his new team in his return to Bonney Field to face his old team.
Rotation Up Top?
The Republic has had a bit of a rotating cast in the forward position so far this season, with three different forward pairings in four games. The one constant has been Thommy Stewart, but his partners have been San Jose Earthquakes loanees Adam Jahn and Mark Sherrod, as well as Sacramento native Cameron Iwasa. So far only Stewart and Iwasa have scored goals for Sacramento, with Iwasa's against Arizona being the only one from open play.
We have not heard much about if the Quakes loans are or are not with the team this week, so the starting forward pair might be a bit up in the air. One thing is sure, though: Adam Jahn will not be pairing Stewart up top due to his red card last week.
In the event that Sherrod stays with San Jose, the most likely pair we will see up top is Stewart and Iwassa. Although there is always the possibility that Mackenzie Pridham could get either a start or at least his first significant minutes of the season tomorrow.
Whoever does end up starting up top for Sacramento will have the weight of expectation on their shoulders, as Republic fans are no doubt wanting to see some goals sooner rather than later.
Predicted Scoreline: Sacramento Republic 1, Saint Louis FC 0
What do you think is interesting about tomorrow's match? Any predictions? Sound off in the comments below.