As most have likely seen by now, Emrah Klimenta announced yesterday via his Instagram account that his time with the Republic had drawn to a close. While it came as no surprise given Klimenta’s initial desire to opt-out of his contract this year, and the Republic’s direction over the last few weeks in acquiring depth at the defender position, the news still stung a bit considering how much Klimenta has meant to the club and city.
Klimenta was the consummate professional on and off the pitch. He was a headache for the opposition and a gentleman interacting with the fans (even with us media peeps no matter how bad the questions were). His passion and love for the game always provided a spark on the field.
When he suited up in Old Glory Red, we cheered him mightily. When he got the call up to represent the Montenegro National Team, we cheered him and shared in his joy of getting the chance to play for his country. And when LA Galaxy called last season, we cheered even though it killed us to lose one of our club’s greatest players ever.
While it was great to see him come back to us in July of last season (after he had been released by the Galaxy), we all knew it was likely short-lived. There was a new manager, general manager, new system in place and different players. Time passes and things change.
One thing will never change though is this. Klimenta’s impact on the Republic and our city. He will forever be a Quail and I know I speak for an entire fan base when I say thank you Emrah. Thank you for laying it all out on the field each and every game. Thank you for inspiring our youth and city to grow in their love for footy. While we’re sad to see you go, we can’t wait to see what your next move will be.
With that, let me leave you with this parting thought.
Rodrigo Lopez and Emrah Klimenta (and maybe someday soon Cameron Iwasa). These two helped build the Republic in to what it is today. Hopefully someday they get their due recognition. Their jerseys numbers sure would look good hung up somewhere permanently.