Two games into Sacramento Republic FC’s season, they’ve got two wins, so the start has been as good as expected, right?
Yes and no. The team is clearly happy about the points accumulated so far, but while they’ve tallied four goals and allowed just one in their opening two games, there’s still an understandable feeling that this remains a work in progress, particularly in attack.
“I thought we got into some really dangerous areas,” head coach Mark Briggs told reporters after Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Las Vegas Lights. “I thought our final pass, our final ball wasn’t to the level where it needs to be at, but you have to remember that these guys have been off for so long...they’ve been off for five months. It’s gonna take time for them to hit their peak level. And so we’ve got to be patient with them and while pushing them. But I do think we got in behind and we created a number of decent opportunities. We just didn’t have that final finish, that final hit the target, or that final ball, or that final run. And I felt that was just lacking a little bit.”
High standards considering Sac Republic scored three goals on the night? Perhaps, but that doesn’t really tell the story of the game state. While Republic FC took an early lead, Las Vegas pushed hard through the middle of the match and found an equalizer, only for Sacramento to capitalize late on a visibly fragile Las Vegas defense.
One of the stars on the night was Dariusz Formella, the forward scoring the opening goal and tallying the assist on the insurance goal. The Polish attacker was Sacramento’s only consistent scoring option in 2020, and he seems to be off to a good start in 2021, too.
Briggs has long been a booster for Formella and praised the player for his performance.
“Yeah, I thought he was fantastic,” said Briggs. “I thought the longer the game got went on, the better he got. And just, he showed his quality when he drives into the box and then he picks his head up and he passes a great ball to Jaime [Villarreal] and Jaime scores a simple goal. That’s a sign of a top quality player and Darek is exactly that, he’s a top quality player.
“I’ve got big expectations for him this season. And I think tonight he showed just a glimpse of what he’s capable of,” he added.
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