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Republic FC sign Kharlton Belmar — bring back Diaz, Keinan

Former USL Rookie of the Year comes to Sacramento from Nashville.

Sacramento Republic FC continued to build out its 2020 roster this week when they announced the signing of striker Kharlton Belmar, who played last season with Nashville SC where he made 33 appearances (20 starts) and added three goals and three assists. Before his stint in Nashville, Belmar played with Swope Park Rangers and Portland Timbers 2 after being drafted by the Timbers in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.

In 2017, Belmar split time with the Rangers and Major League Soccer side Sporting Kansas City. Despite making five appearances for Sporting Kansas City, he spent the majority of his time with the Rangers.

Belmar is a dynamic, attacking player who has historically given the Republic fits, so it will be nice to have him in Old Glory Red and paired alongside Cameron Iwasa. With Belmar now signed, it’s likely the end of the road for forwards Thomas Enevoldsen and Stefano Bonomo in Sacramento, but we will see.

“Kharlton is a big acquisition for us. He brings a dynamic element to our attack and adds both power and pace to our front line,” said Republic FC General Manager Todd Dunivant. “Kharlton is entering his prime and will be an important veteran presence in our locker room with his five years of MLS and USL experience.”

In other roster news, it was also announced defender Dekel Keinan will be back next season as well. Count me as one who was a little surprised by this move, but veteran leadership is something you can never have too much of. It is worth noting the 35 year-old proved to be durable last season making 24 appearances (23 starts), while logging 1,900 minutes.

The Republic also announced goalkeeper Rafael Diaz will be coming back as well. I can’t see more than a back up role for Diaz here, so look for the club to add another goalkeeper at some point to build out their depth (someone whose name doesn’t end in Shuttlesworth).

Still no word yet from the club on Keven Aleman and Mitchell Taintor. I’m still holding out hope the Republic bring back Aleman as he was someone who came on late last season (once he was finally healthy). Here’s to the Republic and Aleman getting this done. On the other hand, I believe we have seen the last of Taintor.

Rumors on the coaching staff are swirling. I am not going to be the one to get in front of the club’s announcement on this, but we could hear something as early as next week. Call it a hunch. ;)