Sacramento Republic FC headed down to the bay once again Saturday to face off against their former MLS affiliate in a preseason friendly at Avaya Stadium. Today’s match was the second time that the Republic has played against the Earthquakes at Avaya, the previous time ending in a crushing loss in the 2015 US Open Cup.
Today’s friendly also ended in disappointment for the Republic — although not as crushing as that USOC loss — in the form of a 4-1 defeat.
Republic’s Tyler Blackwood had one of the first chances of the match, but he was unable to capitalize on it.
7’ CHANCE! Blackwood dispossesses Godoy in the 18-yard box but Bingham is able to block the shot. Caesar can’t get on the rebound. #SJvSAC— Republic FC (@SacRepublicFC) February 25, 2017
Even though Republic had the early chance, it was the home side that struck first in the form of Shea Salinas. Tommy Thompson, who appeared in 19 matches with the Republic on loan from 2014 to 2016, set Salinas up for his finish at the back post.
Although the goal was disappointing, a more concerning moment came in the 29th minute when Republic center back Carlos Rodriguez went down after colliding with a member of the Earthquakes. Rodriguez was stretchered off the field in the 33rd minute, with trialist Julius James coming on to take his place.
Later on in the match, the Republic announced that Rodriguez had suffered a left ankle injury.
Rodriguez injury update: Defender sustained a left ankle injury and will undergo further testing. Updates will be provided when available.— Republic FC (@SacRepublicFC) February 25, 2017
Rodriguez is one of two center backs that the Republic currently have signed to contracts, the other being Mike da Fonte.
The rest of the first half went on without any significant chances on goal and the Republic went into the locker room down a goal.
Paul Buckle made two substitutions at the half, bringing on Wilson Kneeshaw for Trevin Caesar and Republic Academy player Ryley Kraft for Daniel Trickett-Smith.
The second half started with a bit of luck for the Republic, as San Jose player Anibal Godoy was whistled for a handball in the box. Republic striker Sammy Ochoa buried the ensuing penalty kick to tie the game.
Buckle went to his bench again after the goal, bringing on Lamin Suma, Agustin Cazarez, and Christian Chaney on for Tyler Blackwood, Adam Moffat, and Ochoa in the 55th minute.
Then, just six minutes later, Buckle brought on a fresh batch of subs. Gabe Gissie, Enrique Montano, Elliott Hord, and Harry Williams came on for Jeremy Hall, Mike da Fonte, James Kiffe, and Danny Barrera.
Buckle made his final substitution of the match in the 64th minute, bringing on Dominik Jakubek for Evan Newton.
Unfortunately for Jakubek, the Earthquakes’ Simon Dawkins scored just two minutes after he came on and took the lead back for the home team.
The Earthquakes extended their lead in the 79th minute thanks to Jahmir Hyka, bringing the scoreline to 3-1 and essentially putting the game away.
Despite the best efforts of the Republic defense to keep the scoreline at 3-1, Danny Hoesen gave the home team its final goal of the day in the 90th minute.
The Republic now move on from today’s disappointing loss and will face an easier test against the Sacramento State Hornets on Wednesday at 3pm. They also face off against fellow USL team FC Cincinnati on Saturday at Bonney Field, kickoff at 5:30pm.
Starting Lineup: Evan Newton (off 64); Jeremy Hall (off 61), Mike da Fonte (off 61), Carlos Rodriguez (off 34), James Kiffe (off 61); Adam Moffat (off 55), Daniel Trickett-Smith (off 46), Danny Barrera (off 61), Tyler Blackwood (off 55); Trevin Caesar (off 46), Sammy Ochoa (off 55).
Subs: Dominik Jakubek (on 64), Gabe Gissie (on 61), Enrique Montano (on 61), Julius James (on 34), Elliott Hord (on 61), Agustin Cazarez (on 55), Ryley Kraft (on 46), Harry Williams (on 61), Lamin Suma (on 55), Wilson Kneeshaw (on 46), Christian Chaney (on 55).