Sacramento Republic FC return to the familiar confines of Bonney Field tomorrow to face off against Seattle Sounders 2 for the third and final time this season. With two wins over S2 already, this weekend gives the Republic their first chance of the season to sweep an opposing team.
Last Time Out
The last time these two teams faced each other was May 14th at Bonney Field. The Republic were riding a two-game home winless streak, and in dire need of three points.
Thankfully for the Republic, three points came in the form of a Man of the Match caliber performance from Tommy Thompson and a 2-0 win. The TT hype train bowled over Sounders 2, with the conductor notching an unassisted goal in each half.
Other performances of note that night were those of Cameron Iwasa and Dominik Jakubek. Iwasa earned the penalty that led to Thompson’s first goal, while Jakubek made five saves to earn a clean sheet.
That win gave the Republic a 4-1-0 record against Sounders 2, with the only loss being the 2015 season opener in Tukwila.
Setting the Table
The Republic and S2 come into tomorrow’s match at opposite ends of the Western Conference table. While the Republic are near the top in fourth place and just four points away from the top spot with a game in hand, Sounders 2 are way down in the basement in 14th and only five points out of wooden spoon territory.
The vast difference in points between the two teams is mirrored in their goal differentials as well. The Republic have a goal differential of +6, fifth highest in the Western Conference and eighth highest in all of USL. Sounders 2, on the other hand, have a goal differential of -12, second lowest in the West and third lowest across the league.
Bad Team, Good Players
However, even though S2 are definitely a bad team, it is crucial that the Republic not overlook them and fall victim to what could very well be a trap game. As Dave Clark from Sounder at Heart told us earlier this year, S2 may be a bad team but they have some talented players.
Two of those players are forwards Andy Craven and Victor Mansaray, S2’s pair of leading goal scorers with three goals apiece. Another player to watch is forward Myron Samuel, who has recorded one goal and three assists.
More Goals Scored, More Goals Conceded
One of the best parts of the last month of Republic soccer has been the massive increase in goals scored. Through the month of June, the Republic scored nine goals in five matches, two more than they had scored through their previous nine games. The 1.8 goals per game average last month was the highest month-long goals per game average since August 2015.
A major point of discussion this season has been the Republic’s defensive strength, something that took a bit of a hit last month. June saw the Republic concede six goals in five matches, two more than they had conceded in the nine games up until that point. While it is unfortunate to see the Republic concede goals more frequently, the trade-off of scoring more goals is definitely worth a bit more vulnerability for a defense that has shown itself capable of dealing with danger.
What are your thoughts on tomorrow’s match against Seattle Sounders 2? Let us know in the comments below.