In wrapping up our look at the Sacramento Republic roster heading into the 2020 season, forward is the easiest position to look at, believe it or not. While there are just two players rostered in goal for SRFC, there are also just two pure forwards on the roster as well. Expect the midfield to play a big role in attack in 2020, and for academy products to perhaps get some run, but the two guys on the roster up top are top talents in the USL Championship.
Returning for his fifth season in Sacramento, Iwasa is coming off another top-line campaign, in which he finished tied for fifth in the USL Championship Golden Boot with 17 league goals last year. At 26, he’s in the prime of his career and will be expected to do a great deal of the heavy lifting again this year, and as long as he stays healthy his consistency indicates that’s a safe bet. Iwasa hasn’t scored 20 in a season yet, and that’s not easy to do in this league (typically only around two players do this in the league each season), but that is a worthwhile goal, to see if he can push himself. All in all, Iwasa’s return is huge for Sacramento, and hopefully he can put together another stellar campaign.
The newcomer this year is a very exciting one, as Belmar joins up after a year at Nashville SC. The 27-year-old possesses considerable experience around the league, having played for Swope Park Rangers and Portland Timbers 2 in addition to Nashville. Like Iwasa, Belmar had a cup of coffee at Sporting Kansas City as well, so he’s a player with the interest of MLS teams, while having above-average USL talent and putting together a good track record in this league.
Belmar is a streaky player, and has three double-digit scoring seasons in USL in his history, but he’ll likely be looked to be someone who can be fairly reliable while being the second option to score. If he can get to double-digits this year, and Iwasa is scoring regularly, too, then Sacramento could have one of the top forward corps in the league.
Above all, the big concern heading into the season is that there are two pure forwards on the roster, but if both stay healthy and in form, it may be a best-case scenario situation, having two good strikers who will get plenty of run on the field. And if they click, then SRFC could be set up very well indeed in 2020.
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