As many of us were rolling out of bed this morning or enjoying a weekend cup of coffee, Sacramento Republic FC were busy making a surprise announcement that they had re-signed defender Chris Christian for the 2017 season. Talk about an early-season present for the Republic and its fans – and a day before the start of the 2017 season no less.
As we’ve been reporting since training camp opened, Chris Christian had been in Portugal exploring his opportunities to play overseas and always had an open invitation from the Republic to return. That said, in our recent conversations with Manager Paul Buckle, while he didn’t completely close the door on Christian returning, he didn’t seem overly optimistic either.
The lack of depth at center back position has been a major concern for the Republic all pre-season and as they headed into their season-opener tomorrow versus the Seattle Sounders FC 2. Remember that the Republic lost center backs Mike da Fonte via a transfer to the Colorado Rapids and Carlos Rodriguez to a preseason injury all in the last couple of weeks. Both center backs were expected to play a significant role this season. So, obviously, re-signing Christian is HUGE news. He immediately brings much-needed experience, skill and stability to the center back position.
According to the press release sent out by the Republic, Christian will rejoin the team this Monday (March 27) and is expected to be available next Saturday, April 1 for the home-opener versus Orange Country SC.
What do you think Republic fans…relieved? Excited? Let us know in the comment section below.