The rain showers may have stopped temporarily in Northern California, but Sacramento Republic FC made it rain goals tonight at American River College’s new soccer stadium. The crowd of around 1,000 fans gathered on this cold night to witness the Republic face-off against the city’s other local team, Sacramento Gold FC of the NPSL, for the first time ever in a pre-season friendly.
The Republic got on the board early at the two minute mark when defender Elliot Hord charged past a Gold FC defender to send a laser cross to forward Gabe Gissie in the box. Gissie, who recently returned to the Republic after a season with Bethlehem Steel FC, planted the shot in the back of the net.
The Republic didn’t waste much time in capitalizing on the momentum the early goal gave them. Daniel Trickett-Smith scored the team’s second goal of the night in the fifth minute after he located a deflected Wilson Kneeshaw shot within the Gold box and calmly put the ball in the net.
After going down early 0-2, Gold FC collected themselves and did not allow another goal in the first half. The NPSL side had a few dangerous opportunities, but their crosses and shots were easily collected by former Gold FC keeper Dominik Jakubek.
Midfielder Daniel Trickett-Smith and forward Harry Williams looked good in the attack and nearly capitalized on some opportunities, but unfortunately both had a shot deflected by the crossbar.
The Republic defense — which included trialist Julius James, a possible replacement for the missing Chris Christian — wasn’t challenged much during the first half and went into the break with a clean sheet.
The second half did not disappoint for Republic fans. Academy player Ryley Kraft replaced forward Wilson Kneeshaw and made an impact in the 56th minute. Kraft picked up the ball in the midfield and made an accurate pass to former Fresno Fuego standout, Christian Chaney. Chaney was able to shake his defender in the box and score the third goal of the night for the Republic.
Shortly after Chaney’s goal, Coach Paul Buckle made a significant substitution for the last 30 minutes of the match. Jeremy Hall, James Kiffe, Tyler Blackwood, Daniel Barrera, Mike da Fonte, Samuel Ochoa (trialist), Adam Moffat and Trevin Caesar all subbed in.
Trialist Samuel Ochoa made it 4-0 in favor of the Republic when he converted the penalty that former Arizona United forward Tyler Blackwood earned. The Republic kept the pressure on and looked more aggressive in the second half.
A scary moment for Adam Moffat occurred in the 73rd minute when he went up for a header in the box and collided heads with a Gold FC defender. Thankfully, after some time off the field, Moffat returned to action.
Although he was not credited, veteran defender James Kiffe helped create the final goal of the night. His attempted cross bounced off the hands of the Gold FC keeper to put the Republic up 5-0 in the 81st minute.
It was a tough night for Sacramento Gold FC as the Republic controlled most of the match and were excellent at finishing their chances. The Republic will look to have the same success when they face off against Northern California rivals San Jose Earthquakes this Saturday at Avaya Stadium.
Starting lineup: Dominik Jakubek (off 46); Elliot Hord (off 59), Julius James (Trialist) (off 46), Augustin Cazarez (off 59), Enrique Montano (off 59); Daniel Trickett-Smith (off 59), Harry Williams (off 59), Lamin Suma (off 59), Christian Chaney (off 59), Gabe Gissie (off 59), Wilson Kneeshaw (off 46)
Subs: Evan Newton (on 46); Mike da Fonte (on 59), James Kiffe (on 59), Carlos Rodriguez (on 46), Jeremy Hall (on 59); Danny Barrera (on 59), Trevin Caesar (on 59), Ryley Kraft (on 46), Sammy Ochoa (Trialist) (on 59); Adam Moffat (on 59), Tyler Blackwood (on 59).
What did you think about tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments below.