Sacramento Republic FC traveled north for a rare Monday night match against Tacoma Defiance, or perhaps more accurately, a starting XI featuring mostly Seattle Sounders FC first team players. For those not aware, the Defiance announced prior to the match that it had entered into a loan agreement with the Sounders making six players eligible to play in USL and MLS matches this season.
Those six players included goalkeeper Bryan Meredith, defenders Román Torres and Nouhou, midfielders Handwalla Bwana and Jordy Delem and forward Will Bruin. All started Monday night against the Republic with the exception of Meredith. In total, the Defiance fielded 10 players on loan from the Sounders.
Manager Simon Elliott featured the following starting XI:
The Defiance would strike first in the 50th minute when Bruin laid it off to midfielder Henry Wingo (another Sounders first-team player) who easily slammed it home for a 0-1 advantage.
Bruin would strike again in the 78th minute alluding two Republic defenders from the right side and beating Josh Cohen far post to extend the Defiance lead to 0-2.
Republic would pull one back in the 88th minute on a hand ball in the box. Cameron Iwasa calmly stepped up and converted. With the goal, Iwasa is now tied for first in the USL Championship with Luca Lobo from Tulsa Roughnecks FC with five goals.
Unfortunately for the Republic, time quickly ran out on the match and the Quails dropped their first match of the 2019 season 1-2.
On one hand, it was disappointing that they couldn’t squeak out a result on the road, because they certainly had numerous chances, but the more frustrating takeaway was the fact that they had to essentially face an MLS side in USL competition.
I suppose it’s only fair to say that the Republic have benefited in the early years of its existence from MLS loanees (e.g., Adam Jahn, Tommy Thompson, Jake Gleason), but what happened Monday night doesn’t seem good for the USL.
With the loss, the Republic move to 2-1-1 (7 points), while Tacoma moves to 2-3-0 (6 points).
Next up for the Republic is a home match Saturday against newcomer Austin Bold FC (1-1-1), which will mark the first two teams have played each other. Match is scheduled to kickoff at 7:30pm.
Sacramento Republic FC: 1 goal, 15 shots, 3 shots on target, 49.8 possession, 4 corners, 4 offsides, 1 yellow card.
Tacoma Defiance: 2 goals, 18 shots, 6 shots on target, 50.2 possession, 5 corners, 1 offsides, 1 yellow card.
Republic FC Lineup: Josh Cohen, Shannon Gomez, Mitchell Taintor, Haris Chantzopoulos, Dekel Keinan, Ray Saari (OUT, 55’), Elliott Hord (OUT, 51’), Jaime Villarreal, Keven Aleman (OUT, 71’), Stefano Bonomo, Cameron Iwasa.
Republic FC Bench: Rafael Diaz, Matt Mohoney, Hayden Partain, Drew Skundrich (IN, 55’), Sam Werner, Villyan Bijev (IN, 55’), Tyler Blackwood (IN, 71’).