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Sacramento Republic’s Sam Werner, Tomas Hilliard-Arce announce retirement

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Duo move on after reuniting at club.

Joseph de Ocampo

Sacramento Republic FC announced on Wednesday two players, winger Sam Werner and defender Tomas Hilliard-Arce, have each decided to retire as professional players.

Werner, 24, signed with Sac Republic ahead of the 2019 season. The wide player made 53 appearances across all competitions in two seasons, scoring 10 goals and eight assists. A rare elite player to come out of Montana, the club highlighted Werner’s community involvement while with the club as well, “Sam was a regular fixture in the club’s monthly matches with inmates at Folsom State Prison, advocated for equality and justice as an Athlete Ally, and delivered groceries to seniors in need through Indomitable Hands.”

“I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity Republic gave me to live out my boyhood dream. I was lucky to get to work with people like Ben, Todd, and Briggs and was continually astonished by the relentless support I received from the entire Sacramento community,” said Werner in a team statement. “I am now a fan for life and can’t wait to watch this club continue to perform on the field and impact the community off of it.”

Hilliard-Arce, 24, spent the 2020 season with Sac Republic, where he made 13 appearances, and scored a goal as a fixture at center back for head coach Mark Briggs. Before joining Republic FC, he was drafted No. 2 overall by the LA Galaxy in MLS Draft in 2018, and spent two seasons in the Galaxy organization, making five appearances in MLS play and another 39 for the club’s USL Championship side, LA Galaxy II.

“Republic FC is a top-class organization and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity I was given in Sacramento,” said Hilliard-Arce. “From the front office leadership to the soccer operations staff to the loyal supporters, this club has a passionate fanbase and a dedication to doing what’s right in the community. That’s something I will always remember and treasure.”

Werner and Hilliard-Arce played together at Sacramento Republic, but their connection goes much deeper, as they played together at Stanford University and won three straight NCAA championships for the Cardinal from 2015-17.

“On behalf of the entire club, we’d like to congratulate Sam and Tomas on their outstanding careers,” Republic FC general manager Todd Dunivant said. “They achieved sustained success on the field, but their impact and contributions off the field were perhaps even more important. We are extremely grateful for their time in Sacramento and look forward to cheering them on in their next chapter.”

It may be a cliché to say this, but listen, these guys have Stanford degrees. They almost certainly have their next moves plotted in their careers and/or life and whatever they do, they’ll have bright futures. Thanks for the memories, Sam and Tomas, and best of luck moving forward!

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