Sacramento Republic FC (11-5-7) conclude their three-game home stand Saturday night when they welcome Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (3-7-11) to Papa Murphy’s Park. Republic FC will look to extend its unbeaten streak to six games and secure a 2-0-1 home stand.
The last time the two sides faced off against each other was on March 31 at Rio Grande in what ended in a 2-2 draw. Republic FC was able to earn a point thanks to an equalizer in stoppage time from Cameron Iwasa.
To get you ready for tomorrow, below are three keys to the match:
- Rio Grande comes into the match Saturday winless on the road. From the Republic’s standpoint, they don’t want to be the team that the Toros get their first road victory over. With no gimmes on the USL schedule, it will be imperative that the Republic come out aggressive and secure an early goal to set the tone.
- For the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about the need for someone else on the Republic to step up. I think we’ve found that player in Villyan Bijev. Bijev was sensational last week, which earned him a spot on the USL Team of the Week and consideration for Goal of the Week (he narrowly lost to Darnell King of San Antonio FC). He has been solid all year, but has really peaked of late. I’m excited to see what he can continue to do, because when he’s playing well and causing problems for the opposition, the team seems to play well.
- Rio Grande is led by forward Aldo Quintanilla, who leads the club in with four goals and three assists respectively. Quintanilla made is professional debut versus Sacramento back in March, and since then, the 23 year-old has appeared in 17 matches for Rio Grande, and was called up to play in an U.S. Open Cup match for the Houston Dynamo back in June. I haven’t seen a lot of him, but he strikes me as a player who is scrappy, so the Republic will have to keep a close eye on him.
Do you have a match prediction for tomorrow night? Let us know in the comment section below!