Sacramento Republic FC announced Monday that they had signed El Salvador National Team defender Juan Barahona for the remainder of the 2019 season. The 23 year-old Barahona joins Republic after a six-year stint at Santa Tecla (El Salvador’s first division) where he won four league titles in six years. The contract includes a club option for 2020, pending league and federation approval.
The arrival of Barahona should be an immediate boost for the Republic given his experience, skillset (left-footed defender who primarily has played left back in his career) and winning-mentality. Republic have had that combination in the past with James Kiffe who with his left foot, was notorious for playing forward and sending in dangerous crosses in the box from the left side.
Good on the Republic for continuing to find players that are well-rounded and bring something unique to the club. They clearly found it in Ray Saari and Sam Werner (two off-season signees), and hopefully Barahona will provide a spark as well. It is certainly what General Manager Todd Dunivant seems to believe he has found.
“Juan ticks a lot of boxes for us,” said Dunivant in a statement provided by the club. “He is a proven winner, is naturally left-footed, defends well, loves to get forward, consistency scores from set pieces, and at only 23 years old, has a ton of professional experience. We think Juan is going to be a great addition to the club and look forward to his integration.”
Barahona has 20 caps for the El Salvador Men’s National Team, including World Cup qualifiers and Concacaf Champions League play with Santa Tecla. That experience should be invaluable for the Quails.
Of note, Barahona is not the Republic’s first Salvadoran player. That honor belongs to Joaquin Rivas who played with the Republic from 2015-2016, and is currently with St. Louis FC.