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Sacramento Republic president explains decision to postpone game, next steps

Club navigates possible coronavirus exposure.

MLS: Fan Celebration Event D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

SACRAMENTO, California — Sacramento Republic FC postponed their game Wednesday against Orange County SC, not because of coronavirus tests on either team but because of coronavirus tests from a previous opponent.

Lineups were out and players were finishing up warm-ups when the announcement came down, but because LA Galaxy II, Sacramento’s previous opponent, postponed their own game Wednesday due to more than one positive coronavirus test, Sac Republic’s game was postponed as well as a precautionary move.

You may recall a similar situation happened to Sacramento Republic, in that their previous opponent, Reno 1868, had to postpone a game last week but Sac Republic went ahead with their game against Los Dos. When asked why this situation was different, Republic FC president Ben Gumpert told reporters the distinctions between the respective cases.

“This is why these protocols are in place,” Gumpert said. “The difference is, among other things, time. We had time to have two rounds of testing last time. All video is also reviewed, so you can see who had interaction with who, in terms of opponents as well. So there are a few things that were very different, that made us feel very safe that we were following not just the protocols but went above and beyond the protocols to play our last match. In this case we weren’t able to go above and beyond, we didn’t have the time and this is why we made this call.”

As for timing on rescheduling, considering the long trek Orange County SC had to take to get to the game, by bus, and the fact Sac Republic have a game scheduled Saturday against San Diego Loyal (who were set to play Los Dos Wednesday before that game was postponed and who themselves may or may not have any positive coronavirus tests at present), the rescheduled game is probably not going to be in the next few days, but Gumpert said it’s currently unclear when the game will be rescheduled.

“In terms of a new date for our match against Orange County, we do not have one yet but we are already in touch with the league to understand schedules and what would make sense, so that we can get it on the schedule as soon as possible,” he explained.

It’s also not yet clear given Sacramento and San Diego postponed their games, whether Saturday’s game will proceed or not as scheduled.

“In terms of future games, we will continue to follow the protocols. We will go through another round of testing, again, in the abundance of caution, to ensure that any future game, whether it’s this Saturday or any one, that we have removed as much risk as possible on behalf of our players and everyone. So we’ll continue to work through that, but that’s all I have at this time,” Gumpert added.

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