Sacramento Republic FC had a season like no other in 2020, that’s for sure. Opening the season in March then immediately closing down for a few months because of the coronavirus pandemic, when the season did start it was with a novel group stage format and an additional game was postponed due to coronavirus risks among teams.
That makes comparing the 2020 season to the previous six rather difficult to do, a bit of an “apples to pears” comparison. Still, it was a season of soccer games being played, with a beginning, middle and an end, and most of the rules of the sport stayed the same, so let’s look back at how this season ranks in Sac Republic lore.
Points per game
Sac Republic posted their lowest points total ever — 30 points — but of course their regular season was by far their shortest ever, 16 games compared to 28-34 over the years.
But points per game is the easiest comparison, and 2020 was pretty strong overall. Their mark of 1.88 points per game in 2020 was their third-best all-time, behind 2014’s 1.96 ppg and 2018’s 1.91 ppg.
That seems to represent a big improvement on 2019, which was their worst-ever points per game mark, of 1.41. It appears the decision to move on from Simon Elliott was the right call, based on the results this year.
So in context, 2020 was fairly strong overall in Sac Republic history in terms of the metric easiest to compare, points per game.
Each of Sacramento Republic’s seven seasons to date has included a trip to the playoffs, a remarkable run of consistency in a division not really known for consistency.
And while the size of the playoff field and format has changed over those seven years, where did 2020’s performance rank in team history?
Four times total, Sac Republic lost their first playoff game, as happened in heartbreaking fashion this year. Two times, in 2017 and 2019, they made it to a second game, while of course they won the league title in 2014.
So overall, the playoff performance this year was bang average compared to their historical showing in the postseason.
U.S. Open Cup
For the first time in Sac Republic’s history, and for the first time in over 100 years, the U.S. Open Cup was not held in 2020, due to complications related to the coronavirus pandemic. It honestly could not have been avoided, but it’s still unfortunate the run came to an end for everyone for one year.
Team scoring and defense
SRFC scored 27 goals in 16 games this year, 1.69 goals per game. For all the talk that Republic FC hit a goal drought at points in the season, their goals per game average was second-best in their history, behind only the 1.75 gpg mark in 2014. So in context, perhaps they were more reliable scorers than we gave them credit for in the moment.
Defensively, Sacramento allowed 1.06 goals per game in 2020. All-time, that’s right in the middle, fourth out of seven seasons. Their best mark came in 2016, allowing 0.9 goals per game, and worst was 2017’s 1.34 gpg. That said, Sacramento’s defense has really been consistently good, and they’ve never finished a season with negative goal difference.
Dariusz Formella led the team in scoring this season with eight. That’s lowest in a season in team history, but remember, they played significantly fewer games this year. Still, his mark is only one off the second-lowest in team history, Trevin Caesar’s nine in 2017. The highest scoring season for an SRFC player is Cameron Iwasa’s 18 in 2018.
So how would you rank the 2020 season in Sacramento Republic’s history? It’s tricky given the unusual set-up this year, but leave a comment below explaining your thinking.