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2020 Sacramento Republic player postmortem: Sam Werner

Winger wrapped up career with another solid season.

Courtesy of Republic FC

Sam Werner came back to Sacramento Republic FC in 2020 for his second season with the club and second as a pro. The stocky winger was coming off a strong rookie campaign, where he notched six goals and three assists in 2019, and was expected to be a key contributor again this year.

He was a regular once more, playing in all but two games all year and in many respects holding it down on both sides of the ball on the right wing.

The production was not there as much, however, with Werner tabbing just a goal and an assist in 2020. While he was always working hard on the field and wasn’t really missing sitters or struggling, his lack of goals mirrored a problem around the roster overall this year, with only Dariusz Formella really finding any consistency in terms of production.

Here’s Werner’s stats for his final season:

Sam Werner 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 15 11 905 1 1 25 9 0 0
Playoffs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 15 11 905 1 1 25 9 0 0

Yes, that’s right, 2020 was Werner’s final season, as he announced his retirement at the end of October, just two seasons into his professional career. The reasons players walk away are myriad, and the club’s release did not give a specific reason, but it’s not tough to consider likely explanations. Werner is a Stanford graduate, something that will pretty much always open doors in the wider job market. And on top of that, a Stanford degree can also lead to a high-paying job, one that could pay much better than a pro contract in the USL Championship.

I think Werner was a good player for the level and could have easily gone on to play another five years, with his services in demand around the division. His workrate was excellent, he had some tricky moves in attack, and he could do his part in team defense, too. From a soccer perspective, it was a surprise he decided to retire, and I think Sac Republic would have liked to have had him back.

But that’s how it goes sometimes, and American soccer is still not lucrative or stable enough to keep players like Werner, who can enjoy a good career but probably not hit the top, top heights, around forever.

I think his perspective was really fair in the retirement announcement: “I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity Republic gave me to live out my boyhood dream. I was lucky to get to work with people like Ben, Todd, and Briggs and was continually astonished by the relentless support I received from the entire Sacramento community,” said Werner. “I am now a fan for life and can’t wait to watch this club continue to perform on the field and impact the community off of it.”

Best of luck to Sam Werner in his future endeavors, and thanks for the memories with Sac Republic.

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