Sacramento Republic FC announced Monday they have signed midfielder Rafael Jauregui to a professional contract. The 15-year-old is a product of the Sacramento Republic Academy and spent the 2020 season with the first team on a USL Academy contract.
In making his debut in a competitive match on July 20, Jauregui became the youngest player to play for the club, at 15 years, 9 months and 10 days.
“Rafa is a special player and a special kid that doesn’t come along often. In 2020, as a 15-year old in first team training, he was routinely the best player in small-sided games,” said Republic FC general manager Todd Dunivant in a team statement. “Rafa’s poise, character and passion for the game reflect his family values and the countless hours spent in his neighborhood park. We’re proud to elevate another Sacramento native from our academy to the first team.”
Jauregui becomes the third Academy product on the first-team roster as a pro, joining Mario Penagos and Hayden Sargis, who are both several years older than Jauregui. It’s clear the Sacramento native is regarded as a very promising prospect, and his time playing this year means it’s quite likely he’ll get some real minutes in 2021.
So we’ll see what happens moving forward, but this move is not altogether unexpected. Sac Republic think very highly of Jauregui, and now he’s got that pro deal to seal the next phase of his development. Congratulations to him and best of luck.
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