As Sacramento Republic FC fans know, defender Elliott Hord started the 2018 season on the injured list after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on January 24 to repair a bone bruise on his right knee. The initial prognosis on his return was eight to twelve weeks, but it wasn’t until June 6 that Hord saw his first 90 minutes of action. You know how injuries go….these things take time.
However, fast forward a few months later and we are seeing Hord’s hard work to get back on the pitch pay off. Look at his last three matches: an absolute cracker on the road at Tulsa on September 19 (see below), an assist on the 1-0 win versus Portland Timbers 2 on September 29, and another assist Wednesday night against Swope Park.
Make no mistake about it. Hord’s performance of late has been a huge boost for Manager Simon Elliott. For really much of season, Cameron Iwasa, Villyan Bijev and Josh Cohen have carried the load, albeit some individual performances from others here and there.
Hord has been as solid as you can get defensively as well, and as Cameron Iwasa stated Wednesday, his ability to impact both sides of the ball has been big for the club.
“[Hord] has been huge for us. First and foremost, getting a guy who is that solid defensively is great. But a guy that can contribute in the attack...and that’s multiple games he’s had now with an assist...he’s been super dangerous for us. Having that come out of the back is fantastic.”
Simon Elliott really needed someone else who could consistency perform, and Hord seems to have risen to the challenge. The timing could not be better either. The impact of a guy like Hord playing so well could be the difference between the Republic making a deep playoff run or not.
And why not him right? He has been excellent since he arrived back in August 2016 when then manager Paul Buckle called his number after Emrah Klimenta was lost for the season. He does the little things that make all the difference, such as he did Wednesday night by hustling to keep in a ball on the right side that he quickly played up to Luis Espino who dribbled it up to the end line and crossed it to Iwasa who headed it home.
Confidence is a big thing, and right now, it’s riding high for Hord. “It’s just about being consistent, reading the game and trying to be on my toes”, said Hord when asked about his recent run of form.
Here’s to him continuing to be a force for the Republic. He could be the difference for the club come playoff time.