Another Sunday. Another edition of Sunday Spotlight! This season-long series is an opportunity for us to feature the players and people behind Sacramento Republic FC in a short 3-4 question format.
This week we caught up with Republic defender Mitchell Taintor who is the heart and soul of the Republic’s back line. Taintor was huge again last night against Tulsa scoring the opening goal in the 8th minute on a powerful header from a set piece, and he was pivotal in helping the Quails earn the clean sheet in a 6-0 drubbing of the Roughnecks.
Taintor discusses his goal from last night, working on set pieces, the difference between this year’s team and last, what he does to get away from the game, and more.
Congratulations on the win. Can you walk me through your goal?
It was just a great delivery and I made a good run. Haris was able to help me get free, so it was sort of a combination of all three things coming together. [There’s] been a goal drought on set pieces this year and last year we didn’t get many. It’s something we have been harping on in training every week, so it’s nice that we got a couple off them tonight. It’s the fruits of the labor we have been putting in, and I was just lucky to get on it.
Second goal for you tonight on the season. Does this one feel as good as the first one you scored 40 yards out?
[Laughs]...The first one you can say was a better goal, but you know, they all count the same and this one (tonight) was the winning goal. Last time we let up four, so it kind of put a damper on that one.
This is your second year with the club. What’s different this year compared with the team last year?
It’s still a great group of guys. Last year we had a great locker room and this year we do as well. We’re playing a little different football than we did last year because of the different personnel, but like I said before and as everyone can see, it’s coming together. We’re making our way up the board and that’s the point of everything. Three points and get out of here.
When you’re not playing, how do you get away from the game?
I mean, you don’t really. I was out for a couple weeks with a couple of injuries. It’s very frustrating. All you can really focus on is putting your shift in, do all your rehab, and you really can’t force the timeline with that stuff.
But when you get back and you’re healthy, it’s great. I sat up in the stands for a couple of games and [got] a different perspective on the game and stadium, which helped me. But it’s really good to be back with the guys and helping [to] contribute to the team.