In a game in which it very much looked like a season opener, Sacramento Republic FC still came away with what they wanted on Friday: a victory.
The club had a tricky first game of the 2021 USL Championship season, on the road at LA Galaxy II, who beat them in the same venue in 2020, but this time Sac Republic prevailed, with a late goal pushing them to a 1-0 win.
Mission accomplished, even if the style points weren’t necessarily there.
“I think it was a great three points,” Republic FC head coach Mark Briggs said after the match. “It wasn’t a very good performance. We all know that. But at the end of the day, we’re walking away with three points. And that’s what we came here for. The sign of a good team is to still be able to win when you’re [not] performing best.”
Briggs used a slew of newcomers on the night against LA, with one of them, substitute Tucker Bone, scoring the all-important winner in the final 10 minutes.
“Credit to Tucker,” said Briggs. “He’s been doing that on the training field and he was disappointed not to start – all three of [Bone, Dariusz Formella and Luis Felipe] were – and they’ve come on and they’ve impacted the game.”
For his part, Bone appeared to have some delayed emotions in reflecting on the moment, as the Sacramento kid who scored on his debut for his hometown club.
“You saying that just now is the first time I’ve internalized it,” he said after the game. “You know, your job as a professional is to go out there and provide what your team needs. And I was fortunate to be able to do that tonight. Thinking that it was from our hometown club, it makes me feel that much better. So it’s gonna be a fun weekend to look back on it, you know, celebrate that of the first three points of the season. But I got to keep my head down, as well as the rest of the team, because we definitely have a lot to improve on.”
The good news for the team that felt they didn’t play great against Galaxy II is that they have just under two weeks to prepare for their home opener, May 12 against Las Vegas Lights FC.
But Bone admitted it’s a lot easier to gear up for the next game when the team has three points in hand to start the season.
“It’s huge. It sets the tone, but like I said, we have a lot to improve on. I thought Galaxy had a pretty good performance tonight. To be honest, they were they were looking better than we were in terms of their sharpness and stuff and for us to not perform that well... like I said, we have things to work on. It means we’re a team that can battle it out and fight in those matches where maybe we’re not performing as well,” Bone said.
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