Sacramento Republic FC face off against Real Monarchs SLC tonight in just eight hours, which means it is time to start speculating on what starting lineup Paul Buckle will choose.
Although the official injury list is not out yet, Paul Buckle should have a mostly healthy roster to choose from, with the only injuries likely being Daniel Trickett-Smith and Emrah Klimenta.
According to the Sacramento Bee’s Bill Patterson, San Jose Earthquakes loans Adam Jahn, Tommy Thompson, and Kip Colvey will be available tonight. While Jahn and Thompson are the more familiar names, Colvey is the one that Republic fans should be most happy to see. The former Cal Poly Mustang has already played for the Republic once this season, starting in place of James Kiffe against the Orange County Blues in April, and could do so again tonight in place of Emrah Klimenta.
With the groundwork laid out, here is my prediction for tonight’s starting lineup.
Up top, the fruitful partnership of Adam Jahn and Cameron Iwasa seems like it will continue. Both forwards have made it hard to leave them out of the starting lineup. Iwasa is the team’s leading goalscorer and has really come into his own this year as an important contributor. Jahn is also a near guaranteed start with how much Buckle loves the hold-up play that the Quakes striker brings.
It should be no surprise by now that JJ Koval is going to start tonight’s match. When Koval is healthy, Koval starts. Partnering him in central midfield is likely to be Octavio Guzman, though it would not surprise me to see Danny Barrera either. Out wide will probably be exceptionally talented Quakes midfielder Tommy Thompson and whoever does not start centrally between Guzman and Barrera.
The back four will see some changes for sure tonight with the injury to Emrah Klimenta and Chris Christian’s suspension. Mike da Fonte and Derek Foran are the two best center backs available for selection tonight so I expect to see them starting there. James Kiffe is a definite starter as well. Nobody on the roster can do what he does better than him. Finally, Kip Colvey, the New Zealand international fullback who recently helped the All Whites win the OFC Nations Cup and qualify for the 2017 Confederations Cup, will likely start in place of Klimenta at right back.
Dominik Jakubek will of course donning his gloves and defending the goal, as he has done in just about every match this year.
Alternates: If Kip Colvey does not get the start at right back, the two other replacements could be Octavio Guzman or Joaquin Rivas. If Guzman starts at right back, I would expect Danny Barrera to move into central midfield, Cameron Iwasa drop back to wide midfield, and Harry Williams to start up top.