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Sacramento Republic Football Club is an American professional soccer team based in Sacramento, California. It plays in the Western Conference of the USL Championship. Co-founded by Warren Smith and Joe Wagoner in 2012, the team started to play in 2014 at Hughes Stadium, a 20,231 seat stadium. They moved mid-season to their current home at Papa Murphy's Park. Since then, Republic FC won the 2014 USL championship and made the playoffs four times.

Sacramento Republic FC
Sacramento Republic FC.svg
Full nameSacramento Republic Football Club
Nickname(s)Republic
Founded2012 (7 years ago) (2012)
StadiumPapa Murphy's Park
Capacity11,569
OwnerSac Soccer & Entertainment Holdings, LLC
Chairman and CEOKevin M. Nagle
Head CoachSimon Elliott
LeagueUSL Championship
20182nd, Western Conference
Playoffs: Conference Quarterfinals
WebsiteClub website
Current season

With fan support and attendance, the team prepared an expansion bid for Major League Soccer, which was submitted in January 2017. On May 15, 2017, MLS bid proponent Sac Soccer & Entertainment Holdings, led by Kevin Nagle, officially acquired Sacramento Republic FC from president and co-founder Warren Smith.[1] The team is working with the city of Sacramento to build a $226 million stadium in the large Railyards urban infill project.[2]

HistoryEdit

On December 3, 2012, USL Pro announced that a Sacramento expansion team would join the league for the 2014 season.[3] On July 15, 2013, Predrag "Preki" Radosavljević was announced as head coach of the new franchise.[4] The official name of the team and team shield were decided by fan vote. On July 18, 2013, the franchise officially announced the team name Sacramento Republic FC during the first annual Sacramento Soccer Day.[5] As of April 2015, the team had sold more than 9,500 season-tickets.[6]

2014: First-year championshipEdit

 
Republic huddle before second half of a friendly against Atlas FC

Republic FC made their home debut on April 26, 2014 at Hughes Stadium, losing 2–1 to the Harrisburg City Islanders, before a sellout crowd of 20,231.[7] This figure nearly doubled the previous USL regular season single game attendance record of 10,697.[8] The following match, a 2–1 win over Orange County Blues FC, drew a slightly smaller crowd of 17,414. Eventually, all their home games were sellouts except this one.[9]

Republic FC inaugurated their new 8,000 seat, soccer-specific stadium, Bonney Field at Cal Expo, on June 20, 2014. They defeated the Colorado Rapids Reserve team 4–3. Mike Fucito scored the winning goal in the 84th minute.[10]

On July 27, 2014, the team broke the USL regular season attendance record of 112,748, previously set by Orlando City SC. Their total attendance was 182,107 (158,107 regular season; 24,000 in the playoffs).[11]

Republic FC finished the regular season in 2nd place behind Orlando City SC with a 17-win, 4-tie and 7-loss record. They defeated the Wilmington Hammerheads 4–1 in the Quarterfinals. Rodrigo López scored a hat trick, including the game winner in stoppage time, to defeat LA Galaxy II 3–2 in the Semifinals. Sacramento won the USL Championship by defeating the Harrisburg City Islanders 2–0 on goals from Octavio Guzman and Thomas Stewart. López was named the Championship MVP.[12][13] Preki was named Coach of the Year. Nemanja Vuković was named Defender of the Year. Both López and Vuković were named to the All-League First Team.[14]

2015–presentEdit

Republic FC's second season saw them play in an expanded Bonney Field. 2015 also saw the business arm of the NFL side San Francisco 49ers and also NBA side Sacramento Kings venture into soccer, investing in Sacramento Republic in January 2015 with future plans should the club venture into the MLS as a franchise.[15]

Sacramento lost their first game of the season 4–2 away to Seattle Sounders FC 2.[16] They soon picked up form and saw them beat Sonoma County Sol and Chula Vista FC 4–2 and 7–3 respectively in the US Open Cup to reach the Fourth Round two years running.[17][18][19] On July 7, the Republic announced that Head-Coach Preki would be leaving and was being replaced by Paul Buckle.[20] Buckle's first game with the Republic was a friendly with Premier League side Sunderland on July 14, which Sacramento won 1–0.[21]

Sacramento placed fourth in the USL Western Conference standings after a season-concluding draw with conference champions Orange County Blues.[22][23] The Republic qualified for playoffs for the second consecutive year, losing to LA Galaxy II 1–0 in the first round.[24]

On January 22, 2019, billionaire Ron Burkle, the lead investor in the Pittsburgh Penguins ice hockey team since 1999, was announced as the Sacramento Republic's lead investor to satisfy MLS requirements.[25]

Colors and crestEdit

Republic FC's colors are old glory red, maple, and egg shell. The club crest is a classic shield that honors the Bear Flag, taking several colors from the flag itself. The crest also carries an image of a California grizzly bear, which is found on the state's flag and is California's official state animal, along with a nautical star, which is representative of, and in the same color as, the star on the Bear Flag. Below the bear is the motto of the city of Sacramento, "Urbs Indomita", in Latin meaning "Indomitable City".[26]

KitEdit

The club released the design of their inaugural home and away shirts on December 5, 2013. The kit manufacturer was Italian sportswear company Lotto, with UC Davis Children’s Hospital as the shirt sponsor through the 2016 season. The home kit’s dominant color is the club’s signature color “Old Glory Red,” and the away shirt is primarily white. Both Lotto kits featured a diagonal stripe of dark maroon, with the club crest positioned on the left side of the wearer’s chest. The club’s motto, “Urbs Indomita,” was printed on the right sleeve.[27] The third kit, unveiled before the 2015 season and US Open Cup, featured horizontal eggshell and white stripes and a star over the crest to commemorate the previous season's USL Championship.[28]

On November 21, 2015, Republic FC announced a new partnership with Nike and unveiled new home and away kits for the 2016 USL season. The home kit is once again "Old Glory Red," while the away kit is now white and gray. Both designs omit the diagonal stripe in favor of vertical patterns. The new designs feature "Urbs Indomita" written on the back neckline.[29]

UC Davis Children's Hospital, the kit sponsor since the club's inception and one of Republic FC's first corporate partners, renewed their sponsorship on July 22, 2016 for USL play beyond the year 2016. Moreover, UC Davis Health Systems announced it would become the shirt sponsor in MLS should Republic receive an expansion bid.[30]

SponsorshipEdit

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt partner
2014–2015 Lotto UC Davis Children's Hospital
2016 Nike
2017– UC Davis Health

SupportersEdit

 
Tower Bridge Battalion

Republic FC draws fans from a large region of Northern California, with many fans traveling from the eastern areas of the bay and as far north as Redding to watch matches.

The club's independent supporters' group is called the Tower Bridge Battalion.[31] The group gets their name from the Tower Bridge, a central structure in downtown Sacramento that connects Sacramento proper to West Sacramento. The Tower Bridge Battalion occupies one area of the team's home stadium. Several chants have been coordinated for the Tower Bridge Battalion, which they yell throughout the match. Common instruments used by the Battalion are large drums, megaphones, and other noise-making items. The group has several coordinators that help to keep the crowd in unison during the match.[32][33]

The Tower Bridge Battalion have been central in organizing fan support of a Major League Soccer expansion team in Sacramento. On September 19, 2014, the Battalion led a crowd of thousands through the streets in downtown Sacramento designed to showcase the area's fanbase for MLS officials.[34]

StadiumEdit

When the club was originally proposed, officials had planned on using Hughes Stadium, a 20,311 seater, open, multi-purpose stadium at Sacramento City College.[35] On November 14, 2013, however, it was announced that Republic FC planned to play in a new 8,000 seat soccer-specific stadium being built on the grounds of Cal Expo.[36] The proposed stadium would be funded and owned by Ovations Food Service and, if approved, was expected to be completed in time for the first match of the 2014 USL season.[37] Because the new stadium at Cal Expo was not completed in time for the start of 2014 season matches, the club played its initial 2014 matches at Hughes Stadium.[35] The new stadium was named Bonney Field, following a sponsorship deal for naming rights with Bonney Plumbing, Heating, Air and Rooter Service.

On June 20, 2014, the club played its inaugural match at the completed Bonney Field against the Colorado Rapids Reserves, winning the match 4–3. The game drew a sellout crowd of 8,000, significantly lower than the regular crowds at Hughes Stadium due to the smaller size of Bonney, but this number still remains very high for regular season USL Pro matches.

In January 2015, expansion efforts at Bonney Field began to increase the seating at the stadium.[38] Capacity for 2015 was expanded to 11,442,[39] with added seats in the north endline and east sideline. In March 2017, Papa Murphy's Holdings, Inc. acquired the naming rights to the stadium, and Bonney Field was renamed Papa Murphy’s Park.

As part of team owners’ efforts for the club to join MLS as an expansion team, Republic FC has announced intentions to build a 20,000 seat soccer-specific stadium in Downtown Sacramento.[40] In August 2015, Republic FC announced the hiring of HNTB Corp as lead architects of the stadium project, which will be on the former site of the Sacramento Railyards. (HNTB previously designed two Northern California venues, Raley Field in Sacramento and Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.)[41]

The concept design of the new stadium, based in part on fan input from a web survey and a series of workshops, was unveiled on December 1, 2015.[42][43] Though designed with a closed bowl, the stadium will have separate stands on different sides to create a unique character for each one, an homage to classic English stadia like St James' Park. To meet the designer's stated goal of creating MLS's best home court advantage, the seating will feature the steepest grade in the MLS in and an untiered east side reminiscent of Westfalenstadion's Yellow Wall.[44] On December 1, the evening of the design unveil, the Sacramento City Council voted 8–0 to approve a term sheet promoting construction of the 25,000-seat venue, with a target 2018 completion date if the club is accepted into MLS. The stadium is estimated to cost $226 million, and will be privately financed.[45]

Players and technical staffEdit

First team rosterEdit

As of July 18, 2019[46]
No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth (on loan from Minnesota United)   United States
2 Defender Shannon Gomez   Trinidad and Tobago
4 Defender Mitchell Taintor   United States
5 Defender Matt Mahoney   United States
6 Defender Charalampos Chantzopoulos   Germany
7 Midfielder Hayden Partain   United States
9 Forward Dariusz Formella   Poland
10 Midfielder Keven Alemán   Canada
11 Midfielder Sam Werner   United States
12 Midfielder Drew Skundrich   United States
15 Defender Juan Barahona   El Salvador
18 Goalkeeper Rafael Díaz   Dominican Republic
20 Midfielder Villyan Bijev   Bulgaria
21 Defender Dekel Keinan   Israel
23 Forward Thomas Enevoldsen   Denmark
24 Midfielder Jaime Villarreal   United States
25 Midfielder Ray Saari   United States
26 Defender Elliott Hord   United States
29 Forward Stefano Bonomo   United States
30 Defender Jordan McCrary   United States
31 Forward Cameron Iwasa   United States
46 Midfielder Mario Penagos ([A])   United States
47 Defender Hayden Sargis ([A])   United States
48 Defender Eddy Berumen ([A])   United States
  1. ^ Sacramento Republic FC Academy player

Technical staffEdit

As of December 12, 2018[citation needed]
Position Name
General Manager   Todd Dunivant
Head Coach   Simon Elliott
Head Assistant Coach   Benjamin Ziemer
Goalkeeper Coach   Romuald Peiser
Strength and Conditioning Coach   Luke Rayfield
Head Athletic Trainer   Aung Aye

Team recordsEdit

Year-by-yearEdit

As of September 12, 2019
Season USL Championship Standings USL Championship U.S. Open Cup Top scorer
P W L D GF GA Pts PPG Player Goals
2014 28 17 7 4 49 28 55 1.96 2nd Champions 4R   Thomas Stewart 11
2015 28 13 8 7 43 31 46 1.64 4th, Western Conference 1R 4R   Rodrigo Lopez 10
2016 30 14 6 10 43 27 52 1.73 1st, Western Conference QF 3R   Cameron Iwasa 12
2017 32 13 12 7 45 43 46 1.44 8th, Western Conference SF 5R   Sammy Ochoa 8
2018 34 19 7 8 47 32 65 1.91 2nd, Western Conference QF 5R   Cameron Iwasa 17
2019 27 12 11 4 40 30 40 1.48 4th, Western TBD 4R   Cameron Iwasa 13

Head coachesEdit

As of September 12, 2019
  • Includes USL Regular season, USL Play-offs and U.S. Lamar Hunt Open Cup
Sacramento Republic FC Coaching Stats
Coach Nationality Start End Games Win Loss Draw Win %
Preki[47]   United States July 15, 2013 July 11, 2015 56 33 16 7 058.93
Paul Buckle   England July 12, 2015 February 1, 2018 65 30 17 18 046.15
Simon Elliott   New Zealand February 1, 2018 Present 69 36 21 12 052.17

Average AttendancesEdit

As of September 11, 2019
Sacramento Republic FC Average Attendances
Year Reg. Season Play-offs
2014 11,293 (USL Record) 8,000
2015 11,329 (USL Record) 11,442
2016 11,514 10,926
2017 11,569
2018 11,311 11,569
2017 10,386

Club CaptainsEdit

Sacramento Republic FC Club Captains
Dates Player Nationality
2014–2015 Justin Braun   United States
2016–2017 Danny Barrera   Colombia
2018 Jeremy Hall   Puerto Rico

HonorsEdit

USL Championship

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Brisendine, Steve. "Sacramento ownership group, Republic FC reach agreement for unified MLS bid". MLS. Major League Soccer. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  2. ^ Lillis, Ryan; Kaiser, Dale. "Sacramento council OKs preliminary term sheet for soccer stadium". The Sacramento Bee. McClatchy Corp. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  3. ^ "Sacramento lands minor league soccer franchise". Sacramento Bee. December 3, 2012. Archived from the original on December 4, 2012. Retrieved December 4, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ "Preki resurfaces as the man to help lead Sacramento toward MLS". Major League Soccer. July 15, 2013.
  5. ^ "New soccer franchise to be called Sacramento Republic FC". Sacramento Bee. July 18, 2013. Archived from the original on January 7, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ "Republic FC reaches season ticket cap at 9,500", Sacramento Bee, June 11, 2015.
  7. ^ "Republic FC loses home opener before sellout crowd at Hughes Stadium" Archived April 27, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Sacramento Bee, April 27, 2014.
  8. ^ "Sacramento Republic FC opener sells out, sets league record" Archived May 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Sacramento Bee, April 25, 2014.
  9. ^ "Sacramento pleases large crowd with win " Archived May 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Sacramento Bee, May 3, 2014.
  10. ^ "Republic FC thrills sell-out crowd at new Bonney Field", Soccer America, June 21, 2014.
  11. ^ "Sacramento Republic FC sets USL attendance record", Sacramento Bee, July 28, 2014.
  12. ^ "Championship might indicate MLS readiness for Republic FC". Sacramento Bee. September 27, 2014. Archived from the original on September 28, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  13. ^ "Republic FC Claims USL PRO Championship". United Soccer Leagues (USL). September 27, 2014. Archived from the original on October 18, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  14. ^ "USL PRO Awards Winners Announced". United Soccer Leagues (USL). September 26, 2014. Archived from the original on October 4, 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  15. ^ "Sacramento Republic FC strengthens bid for MLS franchise with new investors from NBA, NFL". SB Nation. January 31, 2015.
  16. ^ "Match Report: Sacramento Republic". Sacramento Republic. Archived from the original on March 25, 2015. Retrieved May 28, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  17. ^ "Match Report: Sacramento Republic". Sacramento Republic. Archived from the original on May 28, 2015. Retrieved May 28, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  18. ^ "Match Report: Sacramento Republic". Sacramento Republic. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  19. ^ "Cup Draw: US Open Cup". Sacramento Republic. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  20. ^ "Republic Announce Preki Accepts Position in UK". Sacramento Republic FC. July 7, 2015. Archived from the original on August 10, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help).
  21. ^ "Match Report: Sacramento Republic". Sacramento Republic. July 14, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  22. ^ "2015 Standings". United Soccer League. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  23. ^ "Match Report: Sacramento Republic". Sacramento Republic. September 22, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  24. ^ "Match Report: Sacramento Republic". Sacramento Republic. September 26, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  25. ^ Carlisle, Jeff (January 22, 2019). "Sacramento Republic's MLS hopes get boost as Ron Burkle agrees to take over team". ESPN. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  26. ^ "Know Your Crest". Sacramento Republic FC. Archived from the original on December 26, 2013. Retrieved December 16, 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  27. ^ "Republic FC Unveils Inaugural Season Kit with UC Davis Children's Hospital". Sacramento Republic FC. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
  28. ^ "Sacramento Republic FC Unveil Third Kit for 2015 Season". Sacramento Republic FC. May 7, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  29. ^ "Sacramento Republic FC and Nike Partner on 2016 Kit". Sacramento Republic FC. November 21, 2015. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  30. ^ "Sacramento Republic soccer makes big sponsorship deal with UC Davis". Sacramento Bee. July 22, 2016.
  31. ^ "Tower Bridge Battalion ready for supporting role at Republic FC's home opener". Sacramento Bee. April 23, 2014.
  32. ^ "Millennials kick up soccer's popularity". Marketplace.org.
  33. ^ [1][dead link]
  34. ^ "Sacramento Republic FC fans turnout for MLS". Kcra.com.
  35. ^ a b "Play and Practice Location". Sacramento Republic FC. Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  36. ^ "New 8,000-seat soccer stadium at Cal Expo planned to open by March". Sacramento Bee. November 14, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
  37. ^ "Cal Expo, Ovations Fanfare and Sacramento Republic FC Jointly Announce Request to Extend Negotiations on Proposed Multi-use Facility". CalExpo. Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  38. ^ "Bonney Field Expansion Project Begins". CBS Sacramento. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  39. ^ "Austin Stuns Republic FC". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  40. ^ "Sacramento soccer franchise has ambitious goal". Sacramento Bee. November 28, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  41. ^ "Sacramento Republic FC hires architect for MLS Stadium". Sacramento Bee. August 19, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  42. ^ "Sacramento Republic FC wants fan input for downtown stadium". Sacramento Bee. August 14, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  43. ^ "Concept designs unveiled for new Sacramento MLS stadium". Sacramento Republic FC. December 1, 2015. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  44. ^ "A stadium built for the world's game". Sacramento Republic FC. December 1, 2015. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
  45. ^ "Sacramento council OKs preliminary term sheet for soccer stadium". Sacramento Bee. December 1, 2015. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  46. ^ "2019 Roster". Sacramento Republic FC. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  47. ^ Rivera, Kristopher (July 19, 2013). "A Great Show of Support". Sacramento Bee.

External linksEdit