The Sacramento Republic FC announced last Friday that they had signed midfielder Mario Penagos to a professional contract directly from their Academy.
The fourth-year midfielder joins the first team under an ‘Academy Player on Professional Team’ contract, which means that he is eligible for United Soccer League (USL) matches, while maintaining his amateur status (NCAA eligibility).
In 2017, the 16 year-old made 28 appearances for the U16/17 team recording seven goals. In the 2016 season, Penagos scored 28 goals from 27 appearances (all starts). Pretty impressive.
In a statement provided by the club in a press release, Republic FC General Manager Todd Dunivant said, “Mario has made impressive strides in our Academy and is a bright prospect. We believe this experience will add to his development and provide us depth down the stretch.”
It’s seems unlikely that Penagos will see time on the field between now October 13 when the regular season concludes, but it should give him an opportunity to train with the first team, which will only further his development. Regardless, it’s tremendous news for Penagos and awesome to see the Republic continue to sign their Academy players.
Republic keeper Josh Cohen was voted USL Fans’ Save of the Week for the second time in three weeks last week. Cohen has been stellar all season, and in many ways, has been one of (if not) the Republic’s Most Valuable Player this season.
The Republic also have announced that Thomas Olsen, who was on loan with the Quails from Las Vegas Lights FC, has returned to his parent club. Olsen did not make an appearance with the Republic during his month with the club.