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2020 Sacramento Republic player postmortem: Julian Chavez

Midfielder takes first steps of what could be a pro career.

Courtesy of Republic FC.

Julian Chavez signed an academy contract with Sacramento Republic FC in 2020, and the 18-year-old had to wait for his turn, but he made his limited minutes certainly count.

The midfielder made his first team debut Aug. 8 in a road win over Portland Timbers 2.

The player known as “JuJu” must be comfortable on the Providence Park pitch, because he produced the most memorable moment of the season for Sac Republic, scoring a banger with the last kick of the game to down T2 in another clash in Portland on Sept. 2.

Honestly, not too bad, not too bad at all for a relative debutant.

Here is Chavez’s statistics with Sac Republic in 2020:

Julian Chavez’s 2020 statistics

2020 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2020 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
Regular Season 5 1 82 1 0 1 1 1 0
Playoffs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 5 1 82 1 0 1 1 1 0

As you can see, Chavez didn’t see a ton of action, with four of his first five games coming off the bench as a late sub. However, those first four games were all wins. The lone blemish came in his fifth appearance, also his lone start of 2020, coming in the final week of the season against Tacoma Defiance on the road, where he lasted 61 minutes in a 1-0 loss.

With less than a full 90 minutes under his belt for the season, it’s hard to really extrapolate and get carried away, but certainly what we’ve seen so far is promising. Chavez certainly benefitted from being part of the squad all season, but with his position being quite deep, he had to wait for his chance. And being on an academy deal meant he was perhaps pushed down the pecking order some more, by design.

Will Chavez get a professional contract in the future? We’ll have to see, but we saw this trail blazed by SRFC teammates Hayden Sargis and Mario Penagos in 2020, after they had been on academy contracts the year before. There are no guarantees in life, but Sac Republic look inclined to go a bit younger for 2021, and that could be a sign for Chavez that he’ll be sticking around and as a full professional.

Still, in limited minutes, Chavez got his feet wet at the adult pro level and he scored an outstanding winner in limited minutes. It’s a good start for a budding pro career, and we’ll see what the future brings for him.

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