Sacramento’s defense will be Gomez/Keinan/Hilliard-Arce/McCrary, with a midfield of Villarreal, Lopez and Wheeler-Omiunu. Definitely going for experience. Drew Skundrich is on the bench, Sam Werner unavailable.
Phoenix are going with their top group available.
The playoffs are here for Sacramento Republic FC, who will look to extend their stay in the postseason as they take on Phoenix Rising FC in Arizona Saturday.
Sac Republic are coming off a good 4-0 win over Portland Timbers 2 last weekend to close out the regular season, their best win of the season. In scoring early and often and keeping a clean sheet, it was exactly what the doctor ordered after a few middling performances before that.
They’ll take on a Phoenix side still considered favorites in the West overall, but different than they seemed to be coming into the season. Their Golden Boot winner, Junior Flemmings, is officially suspended for the playoffs after he was judged to have used a homophobic slur in a game recently, and head coach Rick Schantz sounds unlikely to be on the sideline as he didn’t appear to handle the situation around that well in the moment.
Officially, Phoenix lost three times this season, to Sacramento’s two losses, with Rising FC losing just once at home, to San Diego Loyal, who played them very well this season. I would expect Mark Briggs and his coaching staff have been watching tape of games between those teams for ideas on how to stop Phoenix.
The bottom line is Sacramento are underdogs in this game on the road, but there are reasons to believe they can win the game, certainly. They’ll need to be at their best, on both sides of the ball, and probably hope for a fortunate bounce or two along the way, too. It’s going to be tense, but these are the games you want to see, and we’ll see if Sac Republic can extend their run in the playoffs with a win in this one.
Our partners at DraftKings Sportsbook as of Friday evening have Sacramento at (+330) and Phoenix at (-143) with odds of a tie (meaning level through 90 minutes) at (+230). So Phoenix are huge favorites at home, in the playoffs, and there’s some logic there. I think if you’re a betting person, putting a few bucks on Sac Republic could pay off handsomely, frankly.
How to Watch:
Saturday’s match between Sac Republic and Phoenix Rising will be aired on KQCA My58 and Estrella TV Sacramento in the Sacramento viewing area and streamed on ESPN+ in the rest of the United States. The broadcast is scheduled to start at 7:30 pm PT at Casino Arizona Field in Tempe with kickoff to follow.
Come chat about the game with us in the comment section below!
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