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Sleepless in Sacramento

An electrifying USOC game has Republic providing needed energy to fans and players alike. Maybe too much energy in my case.

Alex Leguizamo

I did not make it in to work today. Wednesday’s US Open Cup win over RSL made my vision blurred from excitement and I just could not see myself going into the office. I just had too much energy to sit in a cube.

That cross from Kiffe to Barrera, all the missed opportunities on the counter, that awful center official, Cazarez and Hall playing out of their minds, thinking why can’t this team play like this all the time, Caesar and Blackwood giving it all till their legs exploded... it all kept me up till, like, 2am.

The crowd and the atmosphere was legit! It was by far the most packed weekday Republic game I have seen. The team helped feed into that, too. Buckle set them up to play aggressively, giving no quarter and showing little respect to their supposedly superior opponents.

We’ve all complained about the Republic at times and the organization is far from perfect. That being said, I am thankful that despite all the Republic’s faults, they would never put in a performance like the one we saw from Real Salt Lake Wednesday night.

The Republic’s energy fed into the crowd, and the crowd’s fed back into the team. Even after the equalizer the game didn’t feel like it was going to bog down. There was too much vibe for that. Goals needed to be scored. Needed to be seen and felt.

Agustin Cazarez’s first goal in 2 years — and a header at that! I meant it when I wrote about the team playing to Auggie’s tempo, and his play on Wednesday was “look, move, pass, move, pass, look, move.” Everyone put in a good performance though, and they made it look pretty easy to brush aside a MLS squad.

When Republic play up to their full potential, they are an exciting, powerful team that can tussle with the best. I hope everyone, fans, coaches, and especially the players can use Wednesday’s game as a foundation for the future, both in the Open Cup and USL play.

Congrats to all for this historic USOC victory! Soak it in everyone. Especially the players, you deserve it.