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Let’s remember a guy: Former Sacramento Republic playmaker Danny Barrera

Checking in on the diminutive midfielder.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Real Salt Lake at Sacramento Republic Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Danny Barrera joined Sacramento Republic FC midway through the 2015 season, the California native already making his way through the various ranks of club soccer at a tender age.

The Southern California native played college soccer at UC Santa Barbara, and after a brief stint playing in Serbia, spent a fair amount of time at two SoCal clubs — now-USL League Two outfit Ventura County Fusion and amateur side Cal FC.

At the latter club, Barrera found his real lifeline in the pro game, as he was part of Eric Wynalda’s band of promising players at Cal FC who turned heads with a deep run in the 2012 U.S. Open Cup. From there, he played for a series of clubs in the NASL, before returning to Cal FC for the first part of the 2015 season.

And that’s when he signed with Sac Republic. Paul Buckle took an immediate shine to Barrera, a midfielder who had a knack for being at the back post, ready for the cross, and made him the captain.

Barrera flourished, finishing second in the league in assists in 2016 and being named USL All-League First team. All told, Sac Republic was Barrera’s home at the full-fledged pro level, playing 62 games across three seasons, scoring 6 goals and 15 assists for the club.

After leaving Sacramento following the 2017 season, Barrera played for Fresno FC (RIP) in 2018, notching a career high in games played, before joining up with another USL Championship side, Hartford Athletic, last June. Barrera was on the roster to begin this season, but Hartford’s first game of the year was postponed before the full league shutdown because of the coronavirus came.

Barrera is now 30. To date, his career highlight was that 2016 season with Sacramento, where he showed off his prowess as a playmaker, free kick taker, a scorer and a captain. Still, for a guy who had to pay his dues in semipro and amateur soccer, Barrera is a player who pulled himself up by his bootstraps, and who continues to blaze his trail through pro soccer, before, during and after his Sacramento Republic stint.

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