Earlier this week, ABC10’s Sean Cunningham broke news of a potential matchup between Republic FC and Chivas de Guadalajara on October 5th. The news was later followed by Facebook ads promoting the game and announcing that tickets would go on sale beginning August 12th.
Sac Republic FC will be play against the popular Mexican club Chivas (Guadalajara) on Oct. 5th in Sacramento at Bonney Field - 7pm— Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham) August 5, 2016
The possible friendly, which would fall during USL playoffs, has not been confirmed nor denied by either team, but has already generated plenty of opinion online:
@EvanReam You gotta be sh***ing me. Can we have our youth players play?— Manuel (@BurgerManny) August 5, 2016
@Sebastian_alv10 I can't wait to have an excuse to miss it. I'm a fan of not friendlies— Evan Ream (@EvanReam) August 5, 2016
All signs seem to point to the game happening, but while we wait for the official word, we thought we’d take a look at the pros and cons of the match if it were to take place:
1. Republic gets to play one of the most storied clubs in world football.
With 110 years of history and 11 first division championships, Club Deportivo Guadalajara (nicknamed ‘Las Chivas’) is an historic institution in Mexican soccer and is easily the country’s most popular team. The Goats were one of the ten founding members of the Mexican first division - now known as Liga MX - and have never been relegated since. They are also the only Mexican club to exclusively field Mexican players, a tradition dating back to the team’s founding in 1906 that has been a huge factor not only in the popularity of the club (40 million global fans), but also the success of the Mexican national team. While it may not seem like it based on our proximity to our southern neighbors, this matchup is equivalent to an EPL side coming into town; in other words, it’s a great opportunity - not only for local Chivas fans, but also Republic fans and fans of the sport in general - to see an historic club play that they may not otherwise be able to.
2. It’s another statement of intent to bring MLS to the city.
Think the top brass at MLS’s New York City headquarters won’t be paying attention to this game? Think again. An international friendly against a big club like Chivas is another litmus test for market viability in Sacramento. With Republic’s amazing following and the city’s large Latino population, this game is practically expected to be a sell-out in the eyes of MLS execs. If it’s not, it may impact the good image we have going with the league. Yes, you and I and the whole city know we’re ready and #BuiltForMLS, but for the league, there’s no such thing as too much proof.
1. The game falls during Republic’s potential playoff run.
If Republic makes the postseason this year - which, based on their current form and conference position, should be the case - then this games adds an unnecessary exertion to the team that could put it at a disadvantage when facing its next rival. The same could be argued by Chivas fans on their end, as the club would have to travel abroad and play Republic a few days after their 12th fixture of the season and amidst the threat of relegation for the first time in their history. All of this could lead to…
2. The quality of the game might be diluted.
The game is unlikely to be a priority for either side and as a result, both clubs will likely abstain from fielding their usual starters in order to keep them rested and prevent injuries ahead of their next matches. There could be exceptions, however, if Republic doesn’t progress in the playoffs. Also, Guadalajara’s next match won’t be until October 16th, so they could always opt to use the Republic game as an opportunity to keep the team in match condition during this short lull in Liga MX.
What are your thoughts and feelings on this one, fans? Happy for the chance to see Republic face a big club and make headway in its MLS bid? Or are you upset at the potential playoff ramifications? Let us know in the comments below: