Sacramento Republic are gearing up for their first-ever game against San Diego Loyal on Saturday night in San Diego. Ahead of the game, three things we’re watching for in the matchup:
Bouncing back from a loss
The obvious storyline here is whether Sacramento can come back from their 1-0 loss to LA Galaxy II a week ago and turn the page right away with another road game in Southern California. That game was frustrating on a lot of levels for Sac Republic — good defense aside from the singular breakdown, a plethora of scoring chances but no payoff — and if they can post a win here, that will help them forget about the loss in short order.
San Diego aren’t pushovers themselves, but in watching them one gets the sense they are still trying to build cohesion as a group at this point. It’s entirely possible that Landon Donovan’s team will be a tough test here. But Sacramento can certainly break through, if they can play well in this game.
Take those chances
Again, I think the defense is rounding into form, and the attack is still a work in progress. Perhaps part of that is because Mark Briggs has been rotating his attacking group — and with a lot of games scheduled to come, it’s not a bad idea to rotate — but perhaps some stability will help the group in this case. It will be interesting to see if Briggs uses the same XI he was going to use for Wednesday’s game, or if there will be changes, either based on what’s happened since then or the matchup itself. I think most fans want to see Cameron Iwasa starting again, but we’ll see if he gets the nod in San Diego.
Will the game happen?
Listen, it seems like the game will happen, but after Wednesday...you never know. I’m being lighthearted here, but it’s not a joke. Hopefully there are no positive coronavirus cases, the game will go on, and the long trip to San Diego will have not been merely to see the California roadside. Here’s hoping we don’t have any other weird nights like Wednesday’s sudden postponement, but if it’s about health, that obviously comes first.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.