Sacramento Republic FC hosted Club América U20s (Mexico City) of Liga MX Tuesday night at Papa Murphy’s Park. The international friendly was the first match between the two sides, and as expected, there was a lighter crowd than usual, but still decent for a Tuesday night.
Republic FC Manager Simon filled out a much different starting XI on Tuesday. Notably, Rafael Diaz got his second start between the pipes (first start was in the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup) and both midfielder Mario Penagos and defender Hayden Sargis saw their first action of the season.
Sacramento would strike first in the 6th minute on a corner that initially bounced around the box before Republic midfielder Ray Saari slotted it home.
In the 15th minute, Sacramento would extend the lead to 2-0. This time it was Cameron Iwasa who found space down the middle of Club América’s third of the field. He quickly played it forward, cut right and then crossed the ball back left in front of goal. Stefano Bonomo, who was making a run towards the box the entire time, hammered it home.
The second half came with a hole slew of substitutes for the Republic — many of which were academy players. It was exciting to see some of the young players out there and getting a chance to play. It had to be a thrill for them and their families. Penagos definitely shined for the Quails and seems to have a bright future.
The final whistle blew and the Republic’s first half goals stood. The 2-0 win may not seem important, but I believe it was to keep the momentum rolling for the club, and without question, for the young guys that got a chance to get some run at PMP.
The Republic return to USL Championship action this Saturday, July 20 at Rio Grande Valley FC. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30pm. The Quails will be looking to make it two straight league wins, and really need these three points against a team that has lost three of their last four.