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2020 Sacramento Republic player postmortem: Drew Skundrich

Two-way midfielder was a key player for Republic FC.

Courtesy of Republic FC

Drew Skundrich returned for his second season with Sacramento Republic FC in 2020, and played a key role for the club. In fact, there’s a shout he may have been the team’s MVP on the season.

Skundrich played a box-to-box role in central midfield that wouldn’t immediately scream “MVP!” because he didn’t rack up goals and assists. Yes, he did score a couple goals, but having a full two-way role in midfield meant much of his work was not displayed in three-minute highlights for games.

Still, he was not only proficient in his role, but Skundrich brought a little bit of everything. He played some defense, some attack. He makes a tackle and hits a good pass. He’s got a good soccer IQ and can be a leader — something made tangible with Mark Briggs giving him the captain’s armband for much of the season.

Here are Skundrich’s stats in 2020:

Drew Skundrich 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 13 13 1,154 2 0 17 5 5 0
Playoffs 1 0 47 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 14 13 1,201 2 0 17 5 5 0

Skundrich was a fixture in the lineup until he suffered an injury just before the end of the regular season. It wasn’t a catastrophic injury, and he made it back to play in the playoff game at Phoenix Rising, but I think his being a bit hobbled hurt Sac Republic more than many realize. Yes, Sacramento took Phoenix to the brink in that playoff game, but if Skundrich was fully healthy and in form for that game, he may have helped push open the door just enough to get an all-important go-ahead goal for Republic FC.

Needless to say, I’m very high on Skundrich and think he is one of the highest-upside players on the team. In fact, I think he deserves a look from an MLS team, honestly. He was drafted by the LA Galaxy out of Stanford in 2018, but wasn’t signed. I think the body of work he’s built in the USL Championship between Sacramento and his rookie stint with Bethlehem Steel show he can play at MLS level. I think while the USL Championship absolutely stands up on its own merits, one of its purposes is to give players like Skundrich playing time and reps so they can develop and then get another chance in the top flight.

Will that happen? I don’t know. Skundrich won’t be returning to Sac Republic for 2021, with the player reportedly asking to go elsewhere as a free agent. His wife, Andi Sullivan, plays professional soccer on the other side of the country, and I imagine personal reasons are a big reason why he wants to leave, the couple having been separated for much of 2020 during a pandemic. I think an Eastern Conference USL club would jump at a chance to sign him.

At the same time, like I said, I think Skundrich deserves a look in MLS. I hope he gets one, because I think he has the potential to not only play in MLS but to even become a starter for many MLS clubs. We’ll see what the future brings for the midfielder.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.