Sac Republic FC: Matchday #1

 Sac Republic FC: Matchday #1

March 9th was the opening Night, at Papa Murphy Park, for the Sacramento Republic. First game of the season. It was a bit nippy that night as we weathered a few passing showers.

So, ok, 2019 is the inaugural year for tailgating at Papa Murphy Park. To celebrate this new feature of the park, my cousin Shap and I, did it up.

It was too early in the season/too cold/too rainy to actually get out there and commit to bbq’ing so we brought pre made Chando’s tacos to the tailgate.

Chando’s are the best in the city for street tacos. They’ll make my end of the year Five 5 list for certain. But yeah, we grubbed and then walked into the match.

Pyrotechnics added a little extra umph to the national anthem that night and before you know it the 2019 season was underway. Sacramento vs Salt Lake City’s Real Monarchs

So, let’s take a look at the goals:

Basically, the Real Monarchs pushed the back into an attacking position, they took it down the Republic’s right side of the field. Eliot Horde slipped up and they crossed it in front of goal, they passed it around and Blake got it at the top of the box. He hesitated a second and then made this run towards goal. Drew Skundrich was nearest to Blake and he stepped towards him clumsily clipped the side of his foot. Immediately, Blake feels the contact and he knows he’s got to make the most of it to earn this penalty, which he does. 

Real Monarch’s scored in the 35th minute when Jack Blake shot a low line drive from the penalty spot to the left of a diving Josh Cohen. The ball was just past his finger tips. After his goal Jack Blake ran to the sideline and bent to one knee and posed like an archer.

Real Monarchs- 1 and Sac Republic FC -0 as we head into half.

At half, the Republic had four shots, one on goal and possessed the ball 58%. Real Monarchs had six shots and two on target. And led one - nil.

Sacramento equalized in the 81st off of a Hars Chantzopolous goal. The goal, set up after Ray Saari earned a set piece outside the box. Saari sent the free kick into the box and it ping pongs it’s way back out to find Sam Werner. Werner passes it off to Mitch Taintor and then shuttles up field behind Mitch. Mitch receives it, hesitates and makes good on the give and go. Werner is in the clear at the edge of the penalty box and nearing the touch line and he sends the ball into the fracas. Hars finds the ball and smashes it into the back of the net.

Boom. Real Monarchs one and Sac Republic FC one. And that’s how the game would end. 

Statistically speaking, Sacramento controlled possession 66% of the game but only had twelve shots and five on target. Likewise, the Real Monarchs had twelve shots, five on target but only possessed the ball 34% of the game.


Player Ratings:

G - Josh Cohen 7.0 His efforts were central to the success of last season and tonight he continued it with decent outing. Reliable as always with steady hands, plucking goals out of the air. Other than the penalty kick, not really tested.

RB - Elliot Horde 6.5 Played frenetically up and down that right flank with good energy. It was good to see that versatility of offensively getting forward and making defensive stops.

CB - Dekel Keinan 8.0 Strong play out of the back. Dominant. Hardly put a foot wrong all night.

CB - Hars Chantzopolous 9.0 Welcome to the club, big fella! The international import that makes good. His creativeness out of the back wasn’t just limited to the lone goal for the team, he also provided creative passing out of the back which gave the team chances.

LB - Shannon Gomez 8.0 Hard working play down the left sideline. Heady play as he was never caught out of position.

CDM - Ray Saari 7.0 Played determined football. Destroyed a few players on the brink of starting dangerous plays.

CDM - Drew Skundrich  6.0 Ran the field all night like he was putting out fires across the field. Great motor, just an unfortunate step that cost him a penalty in the 35th.

LM - Villyan Bijev 7.0 What tonight proved is that were always an outlet pass away from a chance. The handful of times he got the ball and he just always had a chance.

RM - Tyler Blackwood 6.5 More successful than not at getting balls past defenders down that right wing. I think we’re just a bit unlucky that his tricks, drives, and hard work didn’t turn into a goal.

CAM - Cam Iwasa 6.5 I think this was my first time seeing Cam playing in that aggressive 10 role. Did s good job setting up offensive attacks and also tracking back defensively and putting pressure on the ball and leading players as they hunted in packs. Didn’t quite unleash his full potential in the game but, it’s coming.

CF - Stefano Bonomo 6.0 Found himself in promising positions all evening and just unlucky not to come up with anything. Great at laying the ball off for players.


LB - Mitchell Taintor 7.5 Part of that stellar defense that basically made it hard for Real Monarchs to get  off good shots. His athleticism and awareness allowed the team to transition to a three man back field and the team put felt the pressure to score late in the game. The assist to the assist man on the only goal of the night for the Republic.

RM - Sam Werner 8.0 The super sub that was the catalyst for the equalizing goal. Came in and provided the much needed energy to get the team going.

CDM - Hayden Partain Incomplete Extra time sub ‘substitution used to run time down as we closed the game.

Gabriel Corrie