After a much-needed bye week, Sacramento Republic FC return the pitch this Saturday when they host Fresno FC. It’s an important match for the Republic, as a win would give them 40 points and put them in the top-tier of the Western Conference table, but more importantly, securing three points at home will set the stage for what has to be a successful August for the Quails. Essentially, how the club performs in August will determine their season. How so you might ask?
Well, of the Republic’s five opponents in August (Fresno, Rio Grande Valley, St. Louis, LA Galaxy II and Reno 1868), only Reno at this point is a playoff team. Additionally, three of the five matches are at home, so it will be imperative that the Republic take care of business. Let’s face it…they can’t come into September on this up and down track that they’ve been on since early June.
The good news? The club has everything it needs (in my view) to have a strong August and cement themselves among the USL elite. But some things need to happen.
First and foremost, Papa Murphy’s Park needs to once again become a place that opposing teams fear. Translation? The club can no longer afford to drop points at home – specifically conceding late goals, which has happened several times this season. Secondly, the club need a player or two to step up and fortify the Republic’s attack. Cameron Iwasa leads the club with 10 goals and Christian Eissele is second with three. This will need to change if the Republic want to find themselves in the top of the table come September.
Republic FC are one of the most experienced club’s in the USL. This should play to their advantage, but as the adage goes, you still need to play the games. Will they seize the moment and come into September pushing towards the playoffs?
Hopefully the break and time away has refreshed all (players and fans), because we’re heading into a critical part of the season where the good teams will rise and the others will fall. We’re about to find out where the team stands starting Saturday.
What do you think needs to happen? Sound off in the comments section below!