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Returning Sacramento Republic players aim to be platform for title-winning 2021

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Team pushing for more in Briggs’ second season in charge.

Courtesy of Republic Fc.

Sacramento Republic FC reached the playoffs in an unprecedented 2020 season, but a heartbreaking extra time loss, on a handball, ended their season before they could make a deep postseason run.

In year two of the Mark Briggs era at the club, they’re gearing up for the upcoming 2021 season, and a point of emphasis early on is the returning players setting the tempo for the group.

“Obviously we’ve got a lot of new players coming in, so it’s important we establish that culture, that environment that we want from day one,” Briggs told reporters last week during media availability at training camp. “I’ve been very impressed with not only the new guys and their attitude and their mentality, but the guys we had last year. They seem to have stepped it up a level and understand now me a little bit better, understand what I want, and they’re carrying that out. That’s always a good way to start things off.”

11 players return from the 2020 roster, across all position groups. Meanwhile, eight newcomers have been signed. But with Sac Republic aiming for another USL Championship title, they aren’t taking any days off.

“It definitely feels like we’re building off where we left off last year,” said forward Kharlton Belmar, one of the returning players. “I think there’s a core group of us from this last group that left the end of the season very hungry, and looking forward to the challenge of winning trophies this year. That’s what we set out to do and I think all offseason we talked about it and you saw the signings that we brought in. They’re all top-quality players. Our main focus here is winning, and winning trophies and that’s what we’re going to do.”

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