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2020 Sacramento Republic player postmortem: Matt Mahoney

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Versatile defender a rotation option under Mark Briggs.

Courtesy of Republic FC

Matt Mahoney entered the 2020 season with Sacramento Republic FC, his second at the club, in an intriguing situation.

The then-24-year-old had played quite a bit last year under former head coach Simon Elliott — would he retain his starting position? Furthermore, with the ability to play across the back line, which position would he make his own?

It seems new head coach Mark Briggs did not see Mahoney as a left back, but he still split time in 2020 between center back and right back, although his regular minutes were curtailed as he was a depth option this season.

Here are Mahoney’s stats in 2020:

Matt Mahoney 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 10 7 696 0 1 5 2 0 1
Playoffs 1 0 64 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 11 7 760 0 1 5 2 0 1

In the end, it seemed Briggs thought Mahoney was firmly in the second unit in the positions he played and while he still got a chunk of playing time, it was in a rotational role or as an off-the-bench option.

On one hand, I feel like I didn’t get a great look at Mahoney, but he did seem like he was firmly beat out by Hayden Sargis, Tomas Hilliard-Arce and Dekel Keinan at center back and Jordan McCrary at right back, so I suppose that’s how it goes. Still, I don’t think he played badly — his lone red card on the season came late in a road win, so it didn’t affect the outcome of the game — and the team went 5W-2L-4D in the games he played. In the 11 games he played, Sacramento allowed more than one goal just twice.

Ultimately, 2020 appears to be Mahoney’s final season with Sac Republic, as his contract option was declined and the club has already announced he won’t be returning next season. I have to expect he’ll get another shot on another team, because again, he’s a versatile defender who is at a good age and plays a steady game, both as a starter and off the bench.

Having said that, while Mahoney may deserve to be a more regular starter elsewhere anyway, replacing a defender who is as good of a depth option as him is not going to be easy. Perhaps everyone agreed it was time to move on, but I think replacing him may be a bit more trickier than one might assume. Time will tell, both for Sac Republic and Mahoney moving forward.

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