Sacramento Republic FC’s next stop on their long road trip takes them to H-E-B Park to face the Rio Grande Valley FC (Toros) for the second and final time this season. These clubs last met on June 18th where the Republic were victorious in a hard fought contest.
The Republic currently sit in fifth place in the Western Conference with 29 points, while the Toros remain just behind in sixth place with 28 points. The Republic have dropped their last two matches and have only gained one point in their past three road matches.
The Republic will need to follow these keys to success to right the ship.
More Goals are Good, Okay
Yes, the Republic did score in the first half last week, which has been difficult feat for the club all season. Forward Cameron Iwasa scored in the 14th minute after a well-timed pass from midfielder Danny Barrera. Unfortunately, that would be their only goal of the match. Iwasa seems to be the only forward who is a scoring threat at the moment. Iwasa has seven goals this season, five more than the next two highest scoring forwards, Harry Williams and Mackenzie Pridham with two goals each.
For now, opponent’s defenses can concentrate on containing Iwasa and that doesn’t bode well for the Republic’s scoring chances. For the Republic to make a concerted run at the championship, they will need to have their other forwards rack up some more goals.
Don’t Lose it in the Final Minutes
The Republic have squandered a draw and possible two points in the final minutes of their last two matches. Two weeks ago the Republic dropped a match against the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 0-1 in the 83rd minute. As frustrating as that match was, the Republic turned right around the next week and lost in stoppage time to the Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 1-2.
The Republic were a staunch defensive team earlier in the season, but all of that seems to have come undone. I’m not sure if the loss of Emrah Klimenta is a far more devastating blow to the Republic than the scoring woes, but since his injury the Republic have not looked the same. Let’s hope Paul Buckle can find the right defensive combination to stave off the dreaded last minute goal.
Please let us know what you think are the keys to success this week in the comments below.