Sacramento Republic FC officially kicks off the competitive part of their preseason tomorrow with a friendly match against the Sacramento Gold at American River College. The team has been in preseason training camp since January 29th but, thanks to weather issues, have not yet taken the field against another team.
The February 10 game against New York Red Bulls at Bonney Field, which was supposed to be the first (and most high-profile) friendly of the preseason, was cancelled “due to pitch conditions at Bonney Field and record rainfall.” The February 18 game against Fresno Fuego down at Chukchansi Park was cancelled after a “deluge of wet weather and more forecasted rain put player safety in jeopardy.”
Thankfully, Wednesday’s game against the Gold seems to be destined to actually happen. Before we get to that, though, let’s answer a few questions that might be swirling in your brains.
So just who are the Republic playing tomorrow?
Sacramento Gold FC is an amateur team that has competed in the National Premier Soccer League since 2010. That’s right, even though the Republic is now without a doubt the flagship team of Sacramento soccer, the Gold has been around for longer.
Much like the Republic, the Gold’s most successful year was its first one. In 2010 the Gold not only won its Northwest Division, they were crowned the champions of the NPSL.
Although tomorrow’s game will be played at ARC, the Gold plays its regular season games at Capital Christian High School. Its former venue was River City High School, where it played until last year.
Notable alumni of the Gold include:
- Miguel Aguilar — Formerly of DC United and now on trial with LA Galaxy.
- Max Alvarez — Republic original that was with the team until the end of the 2016 season. Last seen on trial with SF Deltas.
- Dominik Jakubek — Republic original and only goalkeeper to play for the team for more than one season (until Evan Newton plays a game this year).
Wait, American River College has a soccer stadium?
They do now! ARC finished construction on a new 1000 capacity stadium last fall, opening it with a double header with both the men and women’s teams. An early rendering of the project is below.
According to the Gold’s press release, the proceeds for tomorrow’s match will benefit the ARC men’s and women’s soccer teams.
Who might we be seeing play for the Republic?
This question has a few answers.
First, since the game is most likely not being streamed online, the only way you will be seeing anything is if you shell out $10 for a ticket and go watch the game yourself in ARC’s shiny new stadium. While that is unfortunate, it is not entirely surprising either.
Second, according Head Coach Paul Buckle’s recent comments to the Sacramento Bee, Daniel Trickett-Smith, Harry Williams, and Emrah Klimenta will all be unavailable for the game. DTS is out with a thigh injury, Willaims is out with an ankle injury, and Klimenta is still recovering from his surgery last season.
With those absences in mind, here’s one possible lineup we may see tomorrow.
It is the Republic’s first game against another team, which would usually lead me to expect that Buckle may want to get his preferred lineup significant time on the field together.
However, the Republic do have another game this Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes that promises to be more challenging, so I expect that there will be some heavy rotation throughout the game. Expect there to be quite a few substitutions at halftime or around the 60 minute mark, perhaps with some trialists making an appearance.
What are your thoughts on tomorrow’s friendly? Are you going to make it out to the game? Sound off in the comments below!