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Match Preview: Sacramento Republic FC versus Tulsa Roughnecks FC

Tonight begins a critical two-game road trip for the Quails.

Joe de Ocampo/Indomitable City Soccer

Sacramento Republic FC (14-7-7) begin a critical two-game road trip tonight when they travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma to face last place Tulsa Roughnecks FC (3-14-11). These two teams played to a 1-1 draw on April 28 at Papa Murphy’s Park, which if you don’t recall, was a time-wasting affair from the road team. Overall though, it was a sloppy match.

This is a dangerous game from my perspective. The Republic absolutely need all three points and Tulsa, firmly out of playoff contention, can play loose. Still, it’s worth nothing that the Quails have still yet to lose to Tulsa (across six previous matches).

How the Republic fare this week will really decide their seeding in the playoffs. A good week can position them well for a top spot. Conversely, a bad week could put them out of the top four. That’s how tight the Western Conference is this season.

Here are three keys to tonight’s match at Tulsa:

  • The Republic need to start fast and get an early goal. It will be important to try and bury Tusla early, because the last thing the Quails want is the Roughnecks to feel like they’re in the match — especially late. Road wins are never easy. I think a fast start and early goal will go a long way in securing three important points.
  • Let’s hope that Christian Eissele is in the starting XI. As previously stated, Eissele brings a unique dynamic to the club when he plays, so here’s to Manager Simon Elliott rewarding him for his outstanding play (and brace) a few weeks ago against Seattle Sounders 2. The Republic are a much-more dangerous team with him in the lineup.
  • In a match that will likely feature three former Republic players (Joaquin Rivas, Nemanja Vukovic and Ivan Mirkovic) for Tulsa, it will be important for the Republic to limit their impact. These are three quality/crafty players that would like nothing more than to spoil the night for the Republic.

Do you have a score prediction? Let us know in the comments section below!