The date is March 29, 2014. Sacramento Republic FC are opening their first season on the road against another debut side, LA Galaxy II. The game ends in a 1-1 draw.
A Sacramento Republic player opened the scoring, in the 33rd minute, notching the club’s first goal in the process.
His name? Do you remember it?
It was, of course, Justin Braun, who scored a characteristic battler, headed in from close range on the second try off a corner kick.
Braun played two seasons with Sac Republic, in 2014-15, scoring 12 goals in 43 appearances, and of course, lifting the 2014 USL Pro championship with the expansion side. Since exiting Sacramento, Braun went on to a good three-year stint with Indy Eleven, and hasn’t played professionally since 2018, seeming to have settled back in his hometown of Salt Lake City and moving into post-playing life.
What brought Braun to Sactown in the first place? He was originally discovered by Preki when the coach was leading Chivas USA, and played nearly 100 games for the Goats. When Preki joined Sacramento, he brought one of his favorite players with him, and together they helped win a title.
He apparently remembers his stint in Sacramento fondly, giving SRFC well wishes after their MLS expansion bid was officially approved:
Here’s to Justin Braun, whose name will forever be written in Republic FC history books.
What do you think? What’s your favorite Justin Braun moment? Let’s chat about it in the comments below!