Sacramento Republic FC are busy in preseason for the 2020 USL Championship season, and with the preparations fully underway, it’s time to cast a glance over the roster. Let’s start with the options in goal at present and the projections for the depth chart.
Likely starter: Adam Grinwis
The 27-year-old is a USL veteran and has spent time in MLS with Orlando City, getting limited minutes in the top flight. He is likely approaching his prime years, and considering he was one of the big signings this offseason for Republic FC, the No. 1 slot looks like his to lose in 2020.
Is it set in stone? No, not necessarily, if there’s a drop in form or an injury, you never know what can happen. But considering Grinwis played the entire game for Sacramento in their scrimmage against Seattle Sounders and his experience and good form over the years, Grinwis looks like a safe bet to be the starter on opening day and most, if not all, of the season.
Likely backup: Rafael Diaz
The 28-year-old is the continuity player in goal for SRFC, having joined in 2018. But while Diaz also has experience at both USL Championship level and on an MLS roster, Grinwis has more actual game experience over the years. Add to that Diaz having a stretch as starter after Josh Cohen was sold to Israel, before Bobby Shuttleworth was loaned to Sacramento for the closing months of the 2019 season. With Cohen still gone and Shuttleworth back in MLS, Diaz entered the offseason as the only experienced goalkeeper, but Grinwis’ signing seems to indicate Diaz is likely to return to a backup role, always at the ready but likely to be waiting in the wings.
Third string? Diego Ramos
Sac Republic academy player Diego Ramos has been present in preseason training and the 17-year-old was on an academy player first-team contract behind Diaz for a stretch in 2019. Expect a similar arrangement in 2020 if needed, giving Ramos an opportunity to train with the first team at times and serve as a de facto third-string, and signing a short-term academy contract if the team needs him to step in at a certain point.
How do you expect the goalkeeper situation to look in 2020 for Sacramento? Let’s chat about it in the comments below!