It was kind of a wild week for Sacramento Republic FC right? A road win in Phoenix, a second road win against Reno in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup competition, news on the MLS expansion front, and player accolades that got lost in the shuffle. In the event you weren’t paying attention, or missed pieces here in there, here are the quick highlights of the week:
Sacramento played perhaps their most complete match of the year last Saturday on the road against a very solid Phoenix Rising FC side and came away with three points. It was arguably their most impressive win since defeating Orange County SC on the road earlier this season.
The Republic would follow that up performance last Wednesday in the third round of the Open Cup by knocking off Reno 1868 FC 1-0. With the win, the Quails advance to the fourth round and will face an MLS side in Seattle Sounders FC at the PMP on June 6.
Cohen continues to shine
Despite a back line that has been shaky at times this season, Republic keeper Josh Cohen continues to impress. In the match versus Phoenix, Cohen recorded seven saves, including a penalty-kick save from Didier Drogba, earning him a spot on the USL Team of the Week. I’m guessing that save will be one Cohen remembers 20 years from now. He’s easily the most fan favorite keeper the Republic have had since Jake Gleeson.
We’ll have more analysis on the MLS expansion coming this week, but let’s just state the obvious. Thursday’s news that Cincinnati will be reportedly announced as the next MLS expansion city stunk. It flat out did. But here’s my utopian view for what it’s worth.
Now is not the time to point fingers. I believe Sacramento still has a reasonable shot, whether we’re the 27th or 28th team that joins MLS. And you know, if we don’t eventually get there, we still have this incredible club.
That’s not to say it’s not annoying and frustrating, because it is. I know fans feel duped by Don Garber and MLS. But let’s not become an apathetic. That’s literally the worst thing that could happen. Let’s double down on our efforts. This thing isn’t over by a long shot.
For those of you that like to see where Republic FC stacks up against the other clubs in the USL, the week 10 power rankings were released and the Republic jumped seven spots (from 11th to 4th), which was the largest increase of any club. A road win in Phoenix will do that.
Looking ahead to this week, the Quails head back out on the road to face Real Monarchs SLC on Tuesday, May 29 before returning home to host Orange County SC on Saturday, June 2. It will be a good test for them against two top-tier Western Conference teams.