I have good news and bad news. The good news is that Sacramento Republic FC set a new club record against Orange County Blues tonight. The bad news is that the record is for longest losing streak in club history, now going strong at three games in a row.
OC Blues walked away from Bonney Field with three points after another fairly disappointing performance from the Republic.
The Quails trotted out a bit of an unfamiliar starting XI against OC Blues, with Max Alvarez, Octavio Guzman, and Kip Colvey all getting their first start of the season. Many Republic fans had been calling for Alvarez and Guzman to get more time on the field and were happy to see the two Republic veterans get a start. Colvey starting ahead of James Kiffe, on the other hand, was a bit of a surprise for Republic fans.
The Republic started things off on the front foot, controlling possession and putting OC Blues on the back foot. However, despite that good start it was visitors who struck first, capitalizing on two mistakes from Danny Barrera in the 16th minute.
The first mistake was Barrera's initial poor pass to JJ Koval. The ball ended up going well behind him, making it hard for Koval to get a foot on it but easy for it to be picked up by a Blues player.
The second mistake came shortly after right at the top of the box, when Barrera ran past the ball and had to make a weak attempt at a challenge.
Buckle was not particularly happy with how the Republic conceded, saying that the team gifted the Blues an early lead.
The Republic's best chance at getting a first half equalizer was also their last chance of the half. The team launched into a dangerous counter attack after a failed OC Blues corner kick, with Emrah Klimenta and Thommy Stewart ending up with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Unfortunately, the chance went unconverted and the Republic finished the half down a goal.
SRFC: 0 goals, 0 assists, 9 fouls, 2 corners, 2 offside, 1 save, 3 shots, 1 shot on goal
OCB: 1 goal, 0 assists, 6 fouls, 1 corner, 2 offside, 1 save, 4 shots, 2 shots on goal
The second half began with some urgency from Sacramento as the Quails pushed forward as though refreshed. Unfortunately, however, they were unable to make anything out of the early push and the play evened out within 10 minutes.
Much of the second 45 minutes was spend in the middle third of the field, with neither team really generating much danger in front of goal.
The best scoring chance of the night for the Republic fell to Mackenzie Pridham right at the end of the match as the team was pushing hard for an equalizer.
It is not often that I say a chance was easier to score than to miss, but this is definitely one of those times. The buildup for the chance was good, with starting with a nice pass from Cameron Iwasa and a good cross from Kip Colvey But the finish left a lot to be desired.
What could have been a dramatic late equalizer ended up only as a save for Brandon Miller and a nail in the Republic's coffin. The final whistle blew just a few minutes later, giving Sacramento their record setting third loss in a row.
Final Stats and Lineups
Sacramento Republic FC Starting XI: Dominik Jakubek; Emrah Klimenta (Out 83), Derek Foran, Chris Christian, Kip Colvey; JJ Koval, Max Alvarez (Out 66), Danny Barrera (Out 74), Octavio Guzman; Thomas Stewart, Cameron Iwasa.
Subs: Evan Newton, Agustin Cazarez, Alfonso Motagalvan, Matt LaGrassa, James Kiffe (in 83), Chase Minter (in 66), Mackenzie Pridham (in 74).
Final Stats: 0 goals, 0 assists, 19 fouls, 6 corners, 2 offside, 2 save.
What do you think about tonight's match? Sound off in the comments below.