This is probably the time of the soccer calendar year that is trickiest to navigate. The schedule is out, teams are making moves, some of the leagues are getting started with preseason, and there’s a feeling of “hurry up and wait” for things to kick off for the likes of Sacramento Republic.
What should we call this time of year for soccer fans? It’s not exactly the spring fever baseball fans get, it is January after all, but it’s a similar feeling, an antsy anticipation for the fun that’s to come. Everything is possible, optimism is at its peak, but mostly it’s itching to see the team back on the field and let the games begin again.
Here’s some of the big stories for your Tuesday morning:
- Gearing up for preseason: Time was, professional athletes could sit on their behinds in the offseason, rest up, eat a few goodies and get back in shape in preseason. No more. Sac Republic released a video on Monday showing some players, including Cameron Iwasa and Villyan Bijev, building strength to get ready for preseason.
- RoRo’s reception: Rodrigo Lopez has physically returned to Sacramento and a pretty good crowd came out to welcome him back.
- Where are they now? Pridham edition: You may remember Mackenzie Pridham, who bounced around USL for a bit, including a season with Sacramento Republic. If you’ve checked out his instagram feed the last couple years, the 29-year-old has not only left professional soccer behind, he’s now a serious surfer and has made a movie, “Nothing But Time,” about his recent journey. This profile is definitely worth a read in Surfer Today.
- Hot stove is on fire: With so many teams in the USL Championship, you would expect a lot of signings, but they are coming at a prodigious pace. Seriously, about 25 signings came yesterday, from Frank Lopez’s transfer to Energy FC, to Devin Vega moving to Real Monarchs, to Phoenix Rising picking up Azerbaijani forward Rufat Dadashov. When will Sacramento Republic be making their next big splash? Could be here before you know it.
Today’s question: How do you manage your soccer fever this time of year? Watch other leagues, keep a blackout until meaningful minutes take place, or eagerly count down the minutes? Let us know in the comments below, let’s chat!