Coming on in the 89th minute, and entering for Dariusz Formella, Rafael Jauregui made his debut in the USL for Sacramento Republic Sunday in their 1-0 win over Reno 1868. Jauregui signed a USL Academy contract with the Republic last month. At 15 years old, this makes him the youngest player to represent the Republic in the USL. (Man, what was I doing at 15??)
However, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen him. Last year, we saw him make his first-team debut in a friendly against the Club America U-20s. These appearances were earned through great performances in the Republic Academy, as well as the US Youth National Team. Since coming into the academy in 2017, he has scored 32 goals in 82 matches. He was also called up for the 2019 Concacaf Championship, where he scored twice, making it to the semi-finals of the competition.
After the game, when asked about what he was thinking when coming onto the field, Jauregui replied, “Of course I was very nervous, but I get nervous with every game, even with the academy games. This one was double that. It was very nerve-racking, but once you get your first touch on the field, it sort of goes away. And then you’re focused. I got focused after that.”
The midfielder will look to continue to make appearances and contribute to the Republic. His next chance is this Saturday away at Los Dos.
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