After earning a their first ever win over Real Monarchs SLC at Bonney Field on Wednesday, Sacramento Republic FC get their second tonight when the two teams face off at Greater Nevada Field in Reno, Nevada. In the midweek match the Republic looked the better of the two sides for nearly the entire match and San Jose Earthquakes loanee Adam Jahn scored the game’s only goal. Here are some things to keep in mind ahead of tonight’s match.
DTS is back in business.
The 20 year old Daniel Trickett-Smith sat out Wednesday’s game between these two teams, serving a one-game suspension he picked up with his red card against LA Galaxy II last week. Now that DTS is no longer suspended, it is almost certain that we will be seeing him step on the field at some point tonight. Republic Head Coach Paul Buckle — and many Republic fans -- hold the youngster in high regard and are delighted with the potential he has shown in his performances thus far.
One particularly good performance from DTS came in the Republic’s friendly against Liverpool U-21s last month at the very same Greater Nevada Field that the team plays at today.
Yes please. More of that please.
Uncertainty on the back line
Republic center back Derek Foran, who has been mostly solid for the Republic this season, was taken off early in Wednesday’s game with a hip injury and replaced by Mike da Fonte. Although there has been no official word from the team yet as to the extent of Foran’s injury, there is at least a chance that he will be unavailable for tonight’s match. If he is unavailable, his spot in the back line would undoubtedly fall to da Fonte, who replaced him in the midweek match.
We will hear later today if Foran is on the injury list or not, but until we know for sure it seems likely that we will be seeing da Fonte get his first USL start of the season.
Uncertainty up top
Adam Jahn said after Wednesday’s match that he was likely going to be returning to the San Jose Earthquakes in preparation for their upcoming games. However, according to the Sacramento Bee’s Bill Patterson, Jahn will in fact be making the trip to Reno with the Republic.
Adam Jahn will be making the trip to Reno with Republic FC for Saturday's match vs. Real Monarchs SLC.@SacRepublicFC— Bill Paterson (@SacBee_BillP) June 10, 2016
Whether or not Jahn starts remains to be seen, but given his importance in Wednesday’s win and Buckle’s high opinion of him, it seems likely.
The fact that tonight’s game is being held in Reno is not insignificant. While the official match preview may say that it is due to the Rio Tinto Stadium grass being replaced, it also offers us in Sacramento a chance to test run next season’s away days before Reno 1868 FC join the league next year. Away matches between 1868 and the Republic will undoubtedly be some of the most highly anticipated from both fanbases due to the relatively small distance between them. While the Tower Bridge Battalion has certainly had large traveling contingents in the past, Reno’s proximity will hopefully make for even bigger away crowds, something which would make games between the two teams quite exciting.
By the way, Indomitable City Soccer will be there in Reno tonight. We couldn’t resist checking it out.
Predicted Starting XI
Here is one possible starting XI that we may see tonight. Keep in mind that it is just my own prediction and therefore will not be 100% correct.
Up top, Harry Williams has consistently been a dangerous attacker for the Republic, showing a capability to pop up in good positions and keep the opposition defense on its heels. Those capabilities, along with the fact that Cameron Iwasa played all 90 minutes on Wednesday, makes is seem that there is a chance that Buckle will choose to start Williams tonight. As mentioned above, Buckle seems to like Adam Jahn’s hold-up play and aerial prowess, so it seems possible that he may also get a start.
In midfield, the time seems right for JJ Koval to make his return as a starter. He has been named to the bench for the Republic’s last two games and made a 34 minute appearance as a substitute on Wednesday. If he does in fact return, his partner should be Octavio Guzman, who has started in each of the Republic’s last six games. Guzman has been impressive lately, most recently with his beautiful display of skill to help kill off the clock late in Wednesday’s match.
The starters at wide midfield are likely to be Daniell Trickett-Smith, back from suspension just in time to bring the DTS Hype Train to Reno, and Danny Barrera, who has overcome his early slump and put in some good performances lately.
With Derek Foran’s injury possibly keeping him out of the match, there is likely to be a chance to the usual suspects on defense with Mike da Fonte filling in. Otherwise it is likely to be business as usual, with James Kiffe and Emrah Klimenta on the wings and Chris Christian in the middle.
What are your thoughts on tonight’s match? Have a different predicted starting XI? Make yourself heard in the comments below.