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Sacramento Republic ring in changes with offseason roster moves

Read the latest roster decisions from the club ahead of 2021.

Craig Mitchelldyer-Portland Timbers 2 (Courtesy of Republic FC)

Sacramento Republic FC announced their offseason roster moves on Tuesday, with many transactions and more than a few surprises.

The club announced they have exercised options on Rafael Diaz, Shannon Gomez, Jordan McCrary, Jaime Villarreal, and Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu, with Hayden Sargis, Mario Penagos and Cameron Iwasa already on multi-year contracts heading into next year.

Meanwhile, the club says they are in negotiations with Kharlton Belmar and Dariusz Formella, among “several players.”

Seven other players are out of contract or will not have their contract options picked up: Ashkanov Apollon, Villyan Bijev, Adam Grinwis, Rodrigo Lopez, Drew Skundrich, Juan Barahona and Matt Mahoney. The club confirmed Skundrich, Grinwis, Barahona, Mahoney and Apollon will not return in 2021. Lopez previously announced he was leaving the club, not by his choice, so presumably he will not be back, either.

Unofficially, there has been a report from Evan Ream that Iwasa may be under contract for 2021 but is not currently in the team’s plans. It’s unclear if that remains the case or if the team and player are coming together for an agreement.

Sam Werner and Tomas Hilliard-Arce have already announced their retirements as professional players.

Republic FC’s on-loan players in 2020, Brady Scott and Frank Lopez, will return to their parent clubs.

“2020 was a season unlike any other, and we are proud of our team for meeting a multitude of challenges head on and showing why we are the Indomitable Club.” said general manager Todd Dunivant in a team statement. “We want to thank each player for their service to the club and community, and we are looking forward to strengthening the team as we build the 2021 roster.”

So a few of the players who are announced as departing may return, but it sounds as though most of the squad is out for 2021, which is quite surprising considering the experience and depth Sacramento Republic built in recent years. I think they weren’t a perfect team but had a lot of the building blocks to be a real contender, but it looks as though the club is doing a big overhaul for 2021. Again, we may see some more familiar faces come back, but it very much looks like Mark Briggs and Dunivant are turning the page and embarking on a new era for Sac Republic. We’ll see what happens.

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