Sacramento Republic FC are back on the road this Saturday to face Saint Louis FC in the second meeting between the two potential MLS clubs. Saint Louis narrowly defeated the Republic 1-0 back on April 23rd at Bonney Field.
The Republic are coming off a 1-1 draw against San Antonio FC in their first home game after a grueling five-game road trip. The Republic have had a rough July and will need to rack up some points to stay near the top of the Western Conference. Saint Louis is coming off a 1-1 draw against the Swope Park Rangers last week and currently sit in eighth place in the Western Conference.
The Republic will need to follow these keys for success to even up the series against Saint Louis:
Pressure on the Forwards
To say this has been an interesting week of signings for the Republic is an understatement. On Tuesday, the Republic signed former Chelsea and West Ham United striker Carlton Cole, who has 52 career EPL goals to his name. According to the Republic, Cole will not report to the team until August 16th, so he will not be available this Saturday.
The Republic weren’t finished yet. According to Evan Ream on Wednesday, the Republic are looking to sign some players from the Fresno Fuego of the PDL.
BREAKING: I'm told Sac Republic have signed two new players. Forward Christian Chaney and right back Elliott Hord will join Sac from Fresno— Evan Ream (@EvanReam) August 11, 2016
But wait, there’s more. On Thursday the Republic signed another forward from England, Wilson Kneeshaw, who last played in the British Northern Premier League for Blyth Spartans AFC.
With all the new signings, it will be interesting to see if all these new players will get significant playing time in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully the news of the new signings will light a fire under the forwards that have been on the team already. Cameron Iwasa is the current leading scorer with seven goals, but he has only scored twice in the last nine matches. Harry Williams showed promise early on but has cooled off and has been seeing fewer minutes on the pitch lately.
It’s no secret that the Republic's scoring has been horrendous in the first half. If Iwasa or Williams can get a goal early, the Quails have a great chance of winning.
Defenders Chris Christian and Mike da Fonte will have to contain Saint Louis forward Irvin Herrera, who currently sits second in the Western Conference with 11 goals. Unfortunately for the Republic’s back line, James Kiffe will not be available due to a suspension for yellow card accumulation. Without Kiffe, Christian and da Fonte will have a more difficult time facing Herrera in the attack.
With both Kiffe and Emrah Klimenta gone for Saturday’s match, the Republic will need to find some suitable replacements. Some possible alternates include San Jose loanee Kip Colvey who has been a serviceable fill-in for Klimenta. Now that Kiffe is out who will be able to fill his shoes? Look for Guzman or Cazarez to get a shot at right back. Take a look at Josh Beeman’s article to see who else could replace Kiffe.
Please let us know what you think are the keys to success this week in the comments below.