Sacramento Republic FC faced off against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC Saturday night at Papa Murphy’s Park in an important match for the boys in Old Glory Red. It was also Sacramento Soccer Day — an annual celebration of a soccer match played on July 18, 2013 where the Republic name, color and shield were unveiled at Raley Field.
Republic FC Manager Simon Elliott fielded the following starting XI. Of note, newly acquired forward Thomas Enevoldsen and goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth cracked the starting lineup and Iwasa was made his 104 league appearance with the Republic, tying him with Emrah Klimenta for the most in club history:
Our @jiffylubesac starting XI vs @SwitchbacksFC. ⚽️— Republic FC (@SacRepublicFC) August 18, 2019
With tonight's start, @cam31iwasa equals @EmrahKlimenta's record of most @USLChampionship appearances in club history. #LetsGo | #SACvCOS pic.twitter.com/kliLtRleZO
The Republic would open the scoring in the 32nd minute on a beautiful give-and-go sequence involving Keven Aleman and Jaime Villarreal. This kind of play had been missing from the Republic’s attack, so it was exciting to see this play out.
In the 57th minute, newcomer Enevoldsen made his presence felt by scoring his first goal as a member of the Republic on great holdup play from Cameron Iwasa.
Three minutes later (60th minute), Enevoldsen capitalized on a poor clearance from the Switchbacks FC and recorded a brace in his first match with the Republic.
The Quails would add a fourth goal in the 72nd minute that started when Enevoldsen sent in a beautiful ball that Aleman was able to control just outside the box with his chest, he quickly volleyed forward to Iwasa who hammered it home to make it 4-0. It was an incredible first touch from Aleman earning him his second assist of the match and it was Iwasa’s team-leading eleventh goal of the season.
The final 20 minutes would play out, and the Republic would earn an important win and three points against a poor Switchbacks side. They absolutely had to have it, and to their credit, they delivered with a dominate second half.
With the win, the Republic move to 10-9-4 (34 points) and up to sixth place in the Western Conference, while the Switchbacks fall to 6-15-4 (22 points) and in 16th place.
The test for the Republic will come next Friday, August 23 when they travel to Phoenix to face off against Rising FC who has reeled off 14 consecutive wins (USL Championship record) and a team that owns a 15 match unbeaten streak that goes back to last season. Make no mistake about it — a point out of that contest would be huge for the Republic.
Sacramento Republic FC: 4 goals, 15 shots, 7 shots on target, 48.9 possession, 2 corners, 1 offsides, 2 yellow cards.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: O goals, 18 shots, 4 shots on target, 51.1 possession, 9 corners, 1 offsides, 2 yellow cards.
Republic FC Lineup: Bobby Shuttleworth, Mitchell Taintor, Matt Mahoney, Hayden Partain, Keven Aleman, Sam Werner, Juan Barahona, Thomas Enevoldsen, Jaime Villarreal, Jordan McCrary and Cameron Iwasa.
Republic FC Bench: Rafael Diaz, Haris Chantzopoulos, Daris Formella, Drew Skundrich, Villyan Bijev, Ray Saari and Stefano Bonomo.
The Republic announced prior to Saturday’s match that they had loaned defender Elliott Hord to Hartford Athletic for the remainder of the season. The loan will help Hord get more consistent playing time, while providing the Republic some roster flexibility.