Emrah Klimenta’s early injury in Sacramento Republic FC’s match against Seattle Sounders 2 last Saturday has been one of the central topics of conversation among Republic fans this week. Even during Wednesday’s game against Real Monarchs, the commentary was littered with fans expressing concern about the Republic veteran and asking about the severity of his injury.
Well, after days of worry and speculation, we now know that Klimenta tore his ACL on Saturday and will undergo a season-ending surgery to fix it in approximately one to two weeks. The team officially announced the news today to the immediate horror of Republic fans.
Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo https://t.co/Wx6dNTYHcE— Hector (@Hec18) July 7, 2016
Klimenta’s injury is a devastating loss for the Republic. He has been a key player for the team since its inception, logging the most minutes and the most appearances of any player to ever put on the Old Glory Red. To put it simply, if the Republic were playing a game at any point since 2014, it was almost a guarantee that Klimenta was on the field.
But no longer.
With Klimenta out for the season, Republic Head Coach Paul Buckle is in the unfortunate position of having to find a replacement for one of his team’s more influential players. There are three possible replacements for Klimenta on the roster right now: Joaquin Rivas, Octavio Guzman, and San Jose Earthquakes loanee Kip Colvey. All three have filled in for Klimenta at one point this season, Rivas when he was away with the Montenegrin National Team, Guzman on Saturday when he got injured, and Colvey on Wednesday against Real Monarchs.
Rivas is a natural attacking player that has been trained as an emergency backup right back, while Guzman is simply such a versatile midfielder that he could capably fill in at fullback if needed. Of the three, Colvey is by far the best replacement. Not only is he a natural right back, he is also willing and able to go forward as much as Klimenta does. The only issue with Colvey is the uncertainty of his availability. If the Quakes make him available until the end of the season, things should go fairly well. If not, things might get dicey.
Looking past just this season, this injury may mean that Saturday’s game was Klimenta’s final one with the Republic. He has drawn attention from MLS clubs in the past and according to the Davis Enterprise’s Evan Ream, he is still on the radar of certain clubs.
I wonder if Saturday was the last time Emrah Klimenta plays for the Republic. I'm told that a few MLS teams are interested in him— Evan Ream (@EvanReam) July 7, 2016
Now, this does not mean that Klimenta is in fact done in Sacramento. But if an offer were to come his way in the offseason it is hard to see him turning it down.
Regardless of what might happen during the offseason, what is important now is that Klimenta’s surgery and recovery goes well. We at ICS wish Emrah a speedy recovery and hope that he comes back from this better than ever.