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How Sacramento Republic’s signings of Sargis and Penagos signals shift for club

That and more Thursday news!

Courtesy of Sacramento Republic FC.

The big news for Sacramento Republic FC so far this week was the signings of 17-year-olds Hayden Sargis and Mario Penagos on Wednesday.

The big takeaway? Sac Republic are starting to mine the talent pipeline. One of the first USL teams to set up an academy, anyone familiar with development knows it takes time to see the dividends. It will still take time to see the impact — Sargis and Penagos may or may not see real playing time for the first team this year, or next — but Republic FC have a leg up not only on the rest of the USL field, but arguably against some of their future MLS opponents, with a few top flight clubs shockingly sluggish in really building out their academies. By the time MLS rolls around, Republic FC can legitimately count on signing a player or three out of their academy every year, and that will definitively pay off in the years to come.

More news for your Thursday morning:

  • Preseason fixtures trickle out: Let’s keep a rolling list of preseason fixtures for Republic FC for the time being. What do we have so far? A closed-door scrimmage against Norcal rival San Jose Earthquakes on Feb. 21 and another closed-door match against MLS Cup champ Seattle Sounders on Feb. 5. Tune-ups for the U.S. Open Cup this year? Certainly could be!
  • Chantzopoulos moves back to Finland: Haris Chantzopoulos has been unveiled as a returning player to Finnish club KPV, where he played in 2018 before the 2019 season with Sac Republic. He played 27 games for SRFC last season, but KPV seemed pretty excited to bring him back.

Today’s question: How much attention do you pay to the academy happenings for Sac Republic? Bridging that gap between giving kids the space to be kids and also get super-excited about the potential at hand is tough, but there’s plenty of reason to be excited, right? Let’s chat in the comments.