Sacramento Republic FC will begin their Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play this Wednesday when they host San Francisco City FC of the Premier Development League. The game will be played at Hornet Field on the campus of Sacramento State University instead of Papa Murphy’s Park due to a concert that took place Sunday. The team made a decision to give the field an opportunity to recover before they host their next USL home match on June 2.
San Francisco City FC advanced to face Republic FC after a convincing 4-0 win over CD Aguiluchos in a first round Open Cup matchup on May 9. The second round matchup between Republic FC and San Francisco City FC will be the first contest ever between these two sides.
We're back in action this Wednesday when we face @SFCityFC in the Second Round of the @opencup.— Republic FC (@SacRepublicFC) May 15, 2018
Kickoff is 5 p.m. at Hornet Soccer Field. Hosted by @SacStMSoccer.
️ | https://t.co/CXSIcEikDK pic.twitter.com/HwLflMfzeq
As you may recall, last year Republic FC made it to the Round of 16, which was the furthest the club has advanced in the competition. It was a great run, which included a 2-0 win over Reno 1868 FC, and most impressively, a 4-1 win over MLS side Real Salt Lake. While they would end up falling to LA Galaxy in their next match 0-2, the win over Real Salt Lake marked the first time that the Republic knocked off an MLS side to advance in the tournament.
If the Quails are able to advance, they will play the winner of Reno 1868 FC versus Portland Timbers U23, which is also scheduled to be played this Wednesday night. If Reno wins, Republic FC will travel to Nevada to play on May 23. However, if Reno loses, Republic FC would host Timbers U23 on May 23 at American River College in a third round matchup.
Clearly, the Republic will need to play considerably better than they did last Saturday if they want to advance. They will need an effort similar to the first half they played and not the second half where they inexplicably conceded three goals in five minutes in-route to a disappointing 2-3 home loss against Reno.
It will be interesting to see how Republic manager Simon Elliot approaches the competition in terms how he rest guys, gives others a shot that haven’t played so much, yet balance it all out in a way that ensures the boys in red ultimately win and advance (and earn a chance to redeem themselves against Reno in the process).
But make no mistake about it...Elliott understands the importance of this tournament. He explained as much when I asked him a month ago about it. “The Open Cup is a prestigious competition and we want to do well in every game we play in, so there’s going to be a balancing act there”, said Elliott. “There may be a rotation. We’ll have to wait and see.”
San Francisco City FC (0-3-0) is coming off a six goal loss over the weekend against FC Golden State Force, and haven’t yet scored in their first three league matches this season.
What is your game prediction? Let us know in the comment section below.
Founded in 1914, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the oldest national soccer competition in the United States. To learn more about the Open Cup, click here.