The stands won’t be jam-packed full like we know they’ve always been when Sacramento Republic FC have been allowed to have fans in the stands in their history, but in 2021, there will be a start of a return to normal.
The club will be able to allow fans in the stands this year, after that was not permitted for all but the home opener in 2020. The rate of COVID vaccinations going up and equally as notably, the rate of COVID infections and deaths going down, means California is opening up in earnest now and there will indeed be fans back in the stands at Papa Murphy’s Park.
Republic FC head coach Mark Briggs told reporters at practice last week that he wants his team to be “nasty and horrible” on the field, and he hopes the fans will be inhospitable to opposing teams.
“We need you,” Briggs said, as quoted by KHTK. “We need the atmosphere to be bouncing…making (Papa Murphy’s Park) a horrible place to come. We need the fans to be on the opposition, to be booing the opposition. We need to make Papa Murphy’s as hostile as it possibly can be and a horrible place to come. When we score, when we are doing well, we need it to be the loudest place in California.”
Sac Republic still managed to be quite good in 2020 without fans, losing zero games at home and just three in total all season. But there were certainly games where the energy flagged on the field and where it looked like the players needed a boost.
Defender Jordan McCrary is looking forward to Sacramento fans back in the stands.
“I’m excited. It was interesting not playing with anyone in the stands but understandable. But this year it’s good that we can try to find safe ways for people to come into the stands and create that environment we love so much,” he said.
McCrary’s message for fans who will be attending in the current climate? Like his coach, he wants the fans to bring the energy.
“Be the normal Sacramento Republic fans that we all know, the TBB and all,” McCrary said. “Everybody come in, making loud noise, just being a pest in the stands to the other team. We love that environment, we thrive off it, we feel that vibe in the atmosphere. Bring that same energy that you always do.”
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