It’s hard to believe, but week four of the United Soccer League (USL) season is upon us, and Sacramento Republic FC (2-1-0) find themselves in a familiar position undefeated through their first three matches. Republic started 2-1-0 in 2016 (lost game four of the season on the road versus Portland Timbers 2), and last season, they won their first three before dropping a road match to Oklahoma City Energy FC. So yeah, the fourth game of the season hasn’t be kind to the boys in recent years. This misfortune has a good chance to change tomorrow.
Republic welcome Seattle Sounders 2 (1-0-2) to Papa Murphy’s Park, who are coming off a 0-1 home loss to Fresno FC, and are on a mini two-game losing streak.
To get you ready for tomorrow, below are three keys to the match:
- Republic have never lost to Sounders 2 at home in the USL regular season (5-0-0) and own an 11-1 goal differential in those matches. In all-time matches, the Quails are 7-1-1 and hold an 18-8 scoring advantage. History may be on the side of the Republic, but they’ll need to come out aggressive early and control the pace if they want to secure three points.
- Republic will have their hands full with forward David Estrada who had a brace in week two, as well as prospects Felix Chenkam (forward) and Nick Hinds (midfield/fullback) who both have recorded a goal this season. Additionally, Ray Saari in the midfield is a must watch. Saari signed with Sounders 2 last year and has first-team quality.
- As I write this, I’m guessing the grounds crew is out at Papa Murphy’s Park draining water off the pitch. The good news? They have a tremendous team. But with more rain expected overnight/into the morning, combined with a field that hasn’t historically drained well, tomorrow’s playing surface could be a factor. We saw this play out in week one, following a week of rain in Sacramento. Players were slipping and it thwarted several good chances for the Republic in and around the box. It’s definitely something to keep an eye on.
Kick off for tomorrow night’s match is scheduled for 7:30pm. Indomitable City Soccer will be at the match in force to bring you all the coverage, including in-match/post match reaction and coach/player interviews. Let’s get those three points!