The Sacramento Republic FC Falls To Real Monarch SLC 1-0

4/29 8:58 PM PT 

Match Recap: Real Monarchs SLC 1, Sacramento Republic FC 0

Sacramento Republic FC loses 1-0 in tight match against Real Monarchs SLC. Republic FC drops back-to-back matches for just the second time in the history of the franchise.

Republic FC started the match as the aggressor getting their first strong look on goal in just the fourth minute. Defender Derek Foran played a ball up the right side of the field where Emrah Klimenta and David Estrada play the ball back and forth setting up a shot that was blocked away by a Monarchs defender.

The Monarchs would control the last 15 minutes of the half testing Republic FC goalkeeper Patrick McLain multiple times. The best chance of the half for the Monarchs was in the 35th minute when midfielder Fito Ovalle hit a strong through ball toward the feet of Max Rauhofer who had snuck behind the defense, but McLain was able to slide in a take the ball away. The half ended scoreless.

Republic FC looked strong again coming out of the locker room, getting their best chance on goal in the 53rd minute. Klimenta took the ball down the right side before sending a low cross into the box. The cross was meant for Estrada who was streaking toward the middle but Estrada and a defender collided allowing the ball to slide to a wide-open Rodrigo Lopez. Lopez struck a low shot toward the right corner of the goal but Real Monarchs goalkeeper Lalo Fernandez was able to save the shot.

The Monarchs would break the tie in the 67th minute. A long cross by John Stertzer was blocked away right to the waiting feet of Fito Ovalle, who took a strong shot toward the left side of the goal. Forward Max Rauhofer then deflected the shot into the goal putting Real Monarchs up 1-0.

Republic FC battled hard to get an equalizer but in the 87th minute the Monarchs looked like they might double their lead. Substitute forward Emery Welshman beat the defense down the pitch and got a one-on-one opportunity with McLain who again was up to the challenge. McLain deflected the shot into the air and then saved the ensuing rebound shot to keep Republic FC in the game.

Republic FC had their best chance at an equalizer in the 89th minute when defender Agustin Cazarez sent a cross to the back post. Klimenta got up over the defender at the back post and was able to nod the ball down toward goal but Fernandez was there to save the ball, keeping the score 1-0.

“I don’t know what it was, we were just flat tonight,” said Republic FC goalkeeper McLain following the match. “The next 10 days will be a good time for us to reflect on ourselves and figure things out as a team.”

Republic FC had to finish the match without starting defender Foran, who was subbed out in the 51st minute following a hard foul in the middle of the field. Midfielder Ivan Mirković also left the match early in the 66th minute following a collision with a Monarchs player. Until being subbed out Mirković had played every minute of Republic FC’s USL season.

This is the first and only time since April 2014 that Republic FC has lost back-to-back matches. Republic FC will have a chance to break this streak when they return home to face Seattle Sounders FC 2 on Saturday, May 9. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Bonney Field.

Real Monarchs SLC 1:0 Sacramento Republic FC
USL Match
Bonney Field – Sacramento, CA
April 29, 2015 – Attendance: 2,477

Scoring Summary: SLC – Max Rauhofer (Fito Ovalle) 67.

Misconduct Summary: SLC – Max Rauhofer (caution) 51; SRFC – Justin Braun (caution) 56, Max Alvarez (caution) 65.

Sacramento Republic FC – Patrick McLain; Emrah Klimenta, Nemanja Vuković, Derek Foran (Alfonso Motagalvan 51), Agustin Cazarez; Ivan Mirković (Zev Taublieb 66), Octavio Guzman (Gabe Gonzalez 81), Rodrigo Lopez, David Estrada (Joaquin Rivas 70); Justin Braun, Thomas Stewart (Max Alvarez 62).

Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek, Gilberto.

Stats: Shots: 6, Shots on Goal: 3, Saves: 5, Fouls: 10, Corner Kicks: 4, Offside: 3.

Real Monarchs SLC – Lalo Fernandez; Jordan Murrell, Phanuel Kavita, Emilio Orozco, Riley McGovern; Fito Ovalle, Ricardo Velazco (Lucas Baldin 78), Alec Sundly (John Stertzer 66); Maikon Orellana (Emery Welshman 72), Max Rauhofer (Coco Navarro 83), Eti Tavares (Darian Copeland 89).

Subs Not Used: Victor Rodriguez, Garrett Losee.

Stats: Shots: 15, Shots on Goal: 6, Saves: 3, Fouls: 14, Corner Kicks: 2, Offside: 3.

San Jose SaberCats Dominate Division Rival Portland Thunder 64-45 To Remain Undefeated (5-0,1-0)

April 25, 2015 11:23 PM PT

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIAThe San Jose SaberCats (5-0, 1-0) defeated the Portland Thunder (2-3, 1-1) 64-45, Saturday Night at the SAP Center, in front of 7,125 fans on “Feed the Community Night”.

The SaberCats went up early and poured it on often, but needed to hold off a late rally by the Thunder to remain unbeaten. With the defense continuing to be the backbone for San Jose, the offense was able to take advantage of great field position and blown coverage by Portland to jump out to a commanding 37-6 lead with three minutes remaining in the second quarter.

Quarterback Erik Meyer found receiver Darius Reynolds early in the first quarter, as Reynolds fought his way through a pass interference call, for a 20-yard touchdown catch. Meyer completed 20-of-30 passes for 283 yards and followed his eight touchdown passes last week with seven against the Thunder on Saturday.



DSC05350Photos by Shawn Jonas

An immediate impact since joining the team two weeks ago against the Tampa Bay Storm, SaberCats receiver D.J. Stephens continued to shine. Stephens led the SaberCats with 10 receptions for 171 yards and three touchdowns, including deep routes for scores of 35 and 43 yards.


Photo by Shawn Jonas

“Any one of our receivers can up 100-plus yards any week,” said receiver Reggie Gray. “We just go out there and play to the best of our abilities and take turns.”

With no regard for his safety, Thunder wide receiver Perez Ashford hauled in a 13-yard touchdown reception while flipping over the boards to cut the San Jose lead to 10, at 16-6 as the first quarter came to an end. Ashford was a bright spot for the Thunder, grabbing six receptions for 78 yards and the one touchdown.




Photos by Shawn Jonas

Pacing the league-leading defense for San Jose was defensive back Ken Fontenette. Fontenette, the team’s leading tackler, added an interception off of an errant Kyle Rowley pass intended for Howard in the second quarter, leading to a nine-yard touchdown reception by Gray. Continuing their defensive prowess, David Hyland also had an interception in the fourth quarter, as the SaberCats defense prevented the Thunder offense from connecting on four of its five third down conversions.

“In order to be one of the best defensives in the league you have to play physical,” said Fontenette. “Rowley makes his reads really quick. We knew if we could anticipate the routes they run, he would throw it to a spot and we could make a play on the ball.”

In the second quarter, Thunder receiver Jamar Howard fell over the wall into the crowd injuring himself and was unable to return to action. The league leader in touchdown receptions (13), finished with two receptions for 25 yards.

Acquired earlier this week, Portland’s Jared Perry grabbed a 26-yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone, his first of the season. His score made it 37-12. Perry, the 2012 AFL Rookie of the Year, finished with six receptions for 54 yards and the touchdown.

With less than a minute remaining in the first half, Quincy Butler intercepted a Meyer pass to give Portland great field position. The Thunder were able to benefit from the turnover, and scored on a one-yard touchdown run by John Martinez, bringing the SaberCats lead to 44-19 at halftime.

Portland came out strong in the third quarter, first on an eight yard touchdown reception by V’Keon Lacey, and again on the ensuing kickoff when Osagie Odiase, a rookie out of Sacramento State University, recovered the fumble in the end zone to bring Portland’s deficit to 51-32 at the end of the third quarter. Lacey hauled in eight receptions for 77 yards and led the Thunder with two touchdowns.



Photos by Shawn Jonas

 For the second straight week, “Big Play” Reggie Gray ran back a kickoff for a touchdown, this time for 56-yards. He had his second receiving touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter, an 11-yard strike from Meyer to put San Jose ahead, 58-32. Gray finished with 70 receiving yards and three total touchdowns.

“We all can be number one guys on team but we all come together on this team and make it a cohesive unit,” said Gray.

San Jose is off to its best start since starting 4-0 in 2002, when they won the first franchise ArenaBowl Championship. The SaberCats will travel to Arizona next Saturday May 2nd, in a National Conference showdown with the Rattlers.


Photo By Shawn Jonas

Offensive Player of the Game- SJ WR D.J. Stephens
Defensive Player of the Game- SJ DB Ken Fontenette
J Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game- SJ WR D.J. Stephens
Cutters Catch of the Game- SJ WR D.J. Stephens 43-yard touchdown
AFL Highlight of the Game- SJ WR Reggie Gray kickoff return for a touchdown





Photos by Shawn Jonas

Game Recap: Courtesy of the San Jose SaberCats Media relations


The ArenaBowl XVI, XVIII and XXI champion San Jose SaberCats finished their 19th season in the AFL with a Pacific Division Title after making their return in 2011. Fans and sponsors can go to or call 408-673-3400 to sign up to receive the latest news and updates about the SaberCats, as well as to purchase 2015 season tickets. Make sure to follow the SaberCats on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news on the team.

Sacramento Republic FC Falls 2-1 To Orange County Blues FC

April 24, 2015 10:15 PM PT

 Courtesy of Sacramento Republic FC Media Relation

Match Recap: Sacramento Republic FC 1, Orange County Blues FC 2

A relentless Republic FC attack could not equalize late despite Orange County Blues FC being down a man.

Sacramento Republic FC started quickly the scoring in the 7th minute. Defender James Kiffe beat his man down the left side of the pitch and then promptly sent the ball low and into the box where forward Justin Braun slid and sent a one-touch left-footed flick shot into the back of the net for the early 1-0 lead.

Orange County Blues FC would answer with a goal in the 43rd minute. Forward Denzel Slager got behind the defense with speed and got a one-on-one situation with Republic FC keeper Patrick McLain. Slager’s strong shot got the ball past McLain even with the keeper getting a hand to it, capitalizing on the counterattack opportunity. The match would remain tied 1-1 going into the half.

The Blues wasted no time and in the 46th minute took the lead. The Blues got the ball into the box and after a weak deflection just outside the box. Midfielder Didier Crettenand charged and sent a one-touch screamer past McLain for the 2-1 lead.

Sacramento Republic FC gained an advantage in the 60th minute when Blues midfielder Luka Petričević was sent off with a straight red card after a hard tackle. Republic FC would pressure The Blues for the final half hour of the match but, unfortunately would not be able to capitalize on a number of late chances including an unmarked shot from captain Justin Braun that sailed over the crossbar and out of play.

“It’s good to be back,” said Republic FC forward Thomas Stewart, playing in his first USL match in 2015 after offseason surgery. “It’s a feeling of relief, coming back quicker than I expected. Unfortunately, we lost that game.”

Republic FC will be back in action on Wednesday, April 29 when they take on Real Monarch SLC in Salt Lake City, Utah. The match will be streamed live on

Sacramento Republic FC 1:2 Orange County Blues FC
USL Match
Bonney Field – Sacramento, CA
April 23, 2015 – Attendance: 11,242

Scoring Summary: SRFC – Justin Braun (James Kiffe) 7; OCB – Denzel Slager (Didier Crettenand) 38, Didier Crettenand 45

Misconduct Summary: OCB – Romeo Filipovic (caution) 41, Christopher Ramirez (caution) 53, Luka Petricevic (ejection) 60, Jacob Barron (caution) 83; SRFC – Justin Braun (caution) 88

Orange County Blues FC – Pepe Miranda; Josh Suggs, Romeo Filipovic, Brenton Griffiths, Jimmy Turner, Luka Petricevic, Didier Crettenand, Junior Burgos (Jacob Barron 55), Denzel Slager, Nikola Ilich, Christofer Ramirez (Amani Walker 84).

Subs Not Used: Billy Thompson, Alberto Navarro, Seung Ju Kim, Jiovanni Santana, Christopher Santana

Stats: Shots: 9, Shots on Goal: 3, Saves: 3, Fouls: 13, Corner Kicks: 1, Offside: 3.

Sacramento Republic FC – Patrick McLain; Emrah Klimenta, Mickey Daly (Derek Foran 36), Nemanja Vuković, James Kiffe (Agustin Cazarez 45); Max Alvarez (Gilberto 45), Ivan Mirković, Octavio Guzman (Thomas Stewart 64), Rodrigo Lopez; David Estrada, Justin Braun.

Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek, Zev Taublieb, Joaquin Rivas.

Stats: Shots: 11, Shots on Goal: 4, Saves: 1, Fouls: 6, Corner Kicks: 5, Offside: 3.

Match Preview: Sacramento Republic FC vs Orange County Blues FC

Match Preview: Sacramento Republic FC vs Orange County Blues FC

Courtesy Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations.

April 24, 2015; 7:30 p.m. PST Kickoff

Sacramento Republic FC (4-2-0, 12 pts) host Orange County Blues FC (2-1-0, 6 pts) on Friday, April 24 at Bonney Field.  Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.  Gates open at 6:00 p.m. 

The match will be the first meeting this season between Republic FC and Orange County Blues FC. Republic FC is 3-1-0 all-time against The Blues.  Last season, the two sides met four times with the home team winning 2-1 in the first three matchups before Republic FC defeated The Blues 6-1 at Anteater Stadium in the final matchup of the 2014 season.  

Republic FC enter the match on a three-match winning streak.  During the streak, Republic FC has outscored opponents 8-1.  This continues their dominant play at Bonney Field where they have outscored opponents 29-9 in USL regular season matches since the field opened.  Republic FC is 11-1-1 all-time at Bonney Field in USL regular season matches and has outscored opponents 29-9 in the 13 matches, including seven shutouts.  


Photo by Shawn Jonas

Republic FC midfielder Rodrigo Lopez has been in great form lately, scoring four goals in his last three matches. He has a league-leading five goals in USL play and  won USL Player of the Week after scoring three goals and recording an assist in two matches last week.   Lopez also pushed his Bonney Field goal total to 12, most of any single player and three more than opposing teams have scored, combined.


Republic FC goalkeeper Patrick McLain, who appeared in 15 matches for The Blues last season, has also been in good form lately.  McLain has recorded two straight shutouts while gathering eight saves in those two matches.  He has also allowed just one goal in the last three matches making his home GAA 0.33.

Midfielder Zev Taublieb scored his first professional goal against Portland Timbers 2 on April 18.  Taublieb has now recorded firsts in each of his first three appearances.  Taublieb made his first professional appearance against LA Galaxy II on April 11, his first professional start against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 on April 15 and then scored his first professional goal against Portland Timbers 2 on April 18.

Orange County Blues FC come into the match on a two-match win streak.  The Blues shutout the previously unbeaten Arizona United SC, 3-0, in their last match on April 18.  The Blues only loss this season was a 2-1 loss to Arizona United SC on March 28, a match that ended controversially when it looked as if an Arizona player touched the ball in the box during stoppage time.

Forward Christofer Ramirez leads The Blues attack scoring two goals in three matches.  Ramirez is currently on loan to The Blues from C.D. Atlético Marte, an El Salvadorian Primera División, the highest division in El Salvador.  Midfielder Didier Crettenand has also been a strong part of The Blues attack, recording two of the club’s five assists.  

Orange County goalkeeper Pepe Miranda has also been a large part of the clubs early season success.  Miranda has started both the shutouts recorded by The Blues this season, making three saves in the process.  Miranda’s 0.00 GAA is the best in the USL.

Both sides enter the match on impressive defensive streaks.  Republic FC enters the match having not allowed a goal in 212 consecutive minutes, their third longest streak in franchise history.  The Blues are on a 247-minute shutout streak.  Both teams are in the top three for shutout streaks this season, with only the Richmond Kickers, currently on a 325-minute streak, having a longer streak.

The match will be live streamed at and updates will be provided via Twitter @SacRepublicFC or using #SACvOC.


Oakland Raiders 2015 Schedule Announcement

April 21, 5:04 PM PT

Courtesy Of Oakland Raiders Media Relations

ALAMEDA, California – The Oakland Raiders’ 2015 regular-season schedule is below, as the National Football League announced Tuesday.

DSC06132Photo by Shawn Jonas

Date Opponent Time (PT) TV

Sun., Sept. 13 CINCINNATI BENGALS 1:25 p.m. CBS
Sun., Sept. 20 BALTIMORE RAVENS 1:05 p.m. CBS
Sun., Sept. 27 at Cleveland Browns 10:00 a.m. CBS
Sun., Oct. 4 at Chicago Bears 10:00 a.m. CBS
Sun., Oct. 11 DENVER BRONCOS 1:25 p.m. CBS
Sun., Oct. 18 Bye Week
Sun., Oct. 25 at San Diego Chargers 1:05 p.m. CBS
Sun., Nov. 1 NEW YORK JETS 1:05 p.m. CBS
Sun., Nov. 8 at Pittsburgh Steelers 10:00 a.m. CBS
Sun., Nov. 15 MINNESOTA VIKINGS 1:05 p.m. FOX
Sun., Nov. 22 at Detroit Lions 10:00 a.m. CBS
Sun., Nov. 29 at Tennessee Titans 10:00 a.m. CBS
Sun., Dec. 6 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 1:05 p.m. CBS
Sun., Dec. 13 at Denver Broncos 1:05 p.m. CBS
Sun., Dec. 20 GREEN BAY PACKERS 1:05 p.m. FOX
Thu., Dec. 24 SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 5:25 p.m. NFL Network
Sun., Jan. 3, 2016 at Kansas City Chiefs 10:00 a.m. CBS

San Jose SaberCats vs. Portland Thunder Game Preview 4/25

April 21, 4:11PM PT

Photo By Shawn Jonas

Courtesy of The San Jose Saber Cats Media Relations

San Jose, California – The San Jose SaberCats (4-0) return home after a two-game road trip in Florida to host the Portland Thunder (2-2) at the SAP Center on Saturday, April 25th.

The showdown will be the first of three Pacific Division matchups between San Jose and Portland and will be the first division game for the SaberCats this season. Thus far, the Thunder is 1-0 in the division after defeating Spokane 47-43 in week three.

Unique to the conception that offense rules the Arena Football League, this battle will be won on the defensive side of the ball. The two teams are ranked in the top four of the Arena Football League in scoring defense, with San Jose the top-ranked unit.

Coming off a 68-48 victory over the Jacksonville Sharks last week, the SaberCats are clicking on both sides of the ball. In his best performance this season, quarterback Erik Meyer completed 19-of-30 passes for eight touchdowns against the Sharks. Although he has been able to grasp and orchestrate the offense, Meyer’s efficiency will be tested against a very capable Portland secondary.

The young defensive back duo of Okechu Okoroha and Osagie Odiase were off to a good start before running into Nick Davila and the rest of the defending three-time ArenaBowl Champion Arizona Rattlers. After giving up an average of 44.7 points per game against its first three opponents, the Thunder were rocked last week, surrendering 65 points to Arizona, with Davila throwing for 319 yards and nine touchdowns.

As the Rattlers best receivers, Rod Windsor and Kerry Reed had a combined 24 receptions for 262 yards and nine touchdown receptions (six for Windsor). The road doesn’t get any easier for Portland, who will have a group of athletic and talented receivers they will hope to contain in San Jose.

In his second game as a SaberCats, wide receiver D.J. Stephens had three receptions for 84 yards and a 39-yard touchdown reception against the Sharks. Stephens has scored three total touchdowns in his first two games in San Jose and is averaging 82.0 yards receiving per game. His contributions to the offense have allowed San Jose to possess the deepest receiver core in the league.
Reggie Gray, the team’s leading receiver also made a tremendous impact on special teams last week against the Sharks, returning a kickoff 58 yards for a touchdown. Gray leads the team with 31 receptions for 301 yards and six touchdowns, but his ability to impact the game on special teams and provide favorable field position for San Jose is just as paramount.

Jack linebacker David Hyland’s productivity has been the biggest surprise to start the season for San Jose. Currently, he is second on team in tackles, leads the team with three fumble recoveries and has a pair of interceptions. Roaming in the middle of the defense, Hyland’s instincts and play making ability has propelled the SaberCats to the top of the ranks defensively in the league.

One of the best jack linebackers in the AFL, Portland’s Bryce Peila has picked up where he left off last season. Peila, who was named First-Team All-Arena last season, has already been named AFL Defensive Player of the Week in week three and has 15 tackles with two interceptions and a fumble recovery. To go along with Peila’s success is defensive lineman Marquis Jackson. Jackson leads the AFL with four sacks and also leads the Thunder with seven pass breakups. San Jose has had some issues containing elite pass rushers and the focus for its offensive line will be on Jackson to keep Meyer upright.

Enough credit cannot go to the San Jose’s defensive line, which is another major reason to fear the teeth of the SaberCats stout defense. As a unit, the four man rotation has totaled 13 sacks to lead the AFL. Luis Vasquez, Jason Stewart, Donte Paige-Moss and Rodney Fritz have been a menace for opposing offensive lines and their ability to get pressure on the quarterback has allowed the secondary to capitalize on turnovers. Working as a cohesive unit, the SaberCats defense will look to remain the best in the league under the guidance of defensive coordinator Cedric Walker.

For the Thunder to have a chance offensively, wide receiver Jamar Howard will have to continue the streak he has been on. Last week against Arizona, he had nine receptions 138 yards and four touchdowns as the Thunder’s leading man. On the season, Howard has 585 receiving yards and his 13 touchdown receptions lead the AFL.

Lining up on the opposite side of Howard, receiver V’Keon Lacey has been able to exploit when opposing secondary’s focus on Howard. Last week he hauled in eight receptions for 108 yards and two touchdowns to bring his season totals to 27 receptions for 307 yards and five touchdowns. Lacey will have to find his way against the physical SaberCats trio in the secondary of Clevan Thomas, Eric Crocker and Ken Fontenette.

Quarterback Kyle Rowley has had some high and low spots this season. In his sixth season in the AFL, Rowley is ranked in the top five in passing yards (1,034) but also has a league-high five interceptions in four games. With San Jose’s defense leading the AFL with six interceptions and two returned for a touchdown, Rowley will have to be at his best to give Portland a chance to knockoff the undefeated SaberCats.

These two Pacific Division foes boast two of the top head coaches as well. SaberCats Head Coach Darren Arbet is ranked second all-time in regular season wins (156) While Thunder Head Coach Mike Hohensee ranks third (155).

The SaberCats are 3-0 in games against the Thunder, with San Jose winning 64-27 at home in the last meeting on May 17th of last season.
The ArenaBowl XVI, XVIII and XXI champion San Jose SaberCats finished their 19th season in the AFL with a Pacific Division Title after making their return in 2011. Fans and sponsors can go to or call 408-673-3400 to sign up to receive the latest news and updates about the SaberCats, as well as to purchase 2015 season tickets. Make sure to follow the SaberCats on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news on the team.

Oakland Raiders – New Players, New Numbers

April 20, 2015 3:00 PMPT

New season, new players, new numbers. Find out what jersey numbers players will be rocking for the voluntary veteran mini-camp.

It’s a new season with new players and new jersey numbers at Raiders HQ.

While these numbers are not necessarily permanent for the season, the following are what you’ll see when the players take the field for voluntary veteran mini-camp this week.
No. 2 – P Steven Clark
No. 6 – K Giorgio Tavecchio
No. 9 – QB Christian Ponder
No. 10 – WR Seth Roberts (previously wore No. 15)
No. 15 – WR Michael Crabtree
No. 16 – WR Jeremy Gallon
No. 20 – S Nate Allen
No. 23 – S Jonathan Dowling (the second-year player is switching from No. 41)
No. 26 – RB Roy Helu, Jr.
No. 30 – RB Terrance Cobb
No. 33 – RB Trent Richardson
No. 40 – DB Vernon Kearney
No. 41 – CB James Dockery
No. 46 – LB Justin Jackson
No. 48 – LB Spencer Hadley (switching from No. 50)
No. 50 – LB Curtis Lofton
No. 53 – LB Malcolm Smith
No. 61 – C Rodney Hudson
No. 64 – DT Kona Schwenke
No. 76 – J’Marcus Webb
No. 86 – TE Lee Smith
No. 90 – DT Dan Williams

Who’s next? The 2015 NFL Draft is less than two weeks away!

Sacramento Republic FC’s Rodrigo Lopez Gets Hurt In 82nd Minute In 3-0 Win Versus Portland Timbers 2

April 19, 2015 12:01 AM PT

Sacramento Republic FC’s Rodrigo Lopez has been on fire as of late. He scored both goals in the previous game against the Vancouver White Caps FC 2. Including a goal that was shot from behind midfield. The video of the goal went viral world wide.


 Photos by Shawn Jonas

Lopez scored again in the 13th minute versus the Portland Timbers 2. He put Republic FC ahead 1-0. Lopez took the ball from midfield to just outside the box before his low strike deflected off a sliding Harrison Delbridge and into the upper right corner of the goal.



Photos By Shawn Jonas

He then collected an assist while lofting a free kick to Defender Mickey Daly  who headed it past Jake Gleeson for the 2-0 lead in the 37th minute.

The savvy veteran Lopez has been making a very tough game look easy as of late.

Sacramento went into half-time with a 2-0 lead.


Photo by Shawn Jonas

The real drama came in the 81st/82nd minute.  Rookie midfielder Zev Taublieb scored his first professional goal when he sent a rebound past Gleeson, giving Republic FC a 3-0 lead.

Before the goal Lopez collided with a Timbers 2 player on the west sideline around midfield. The ball had went elsewhere and Sacramento controlled. Lopez got up and limped over to the Timbers bench and laid on the pitch for a little while. He tried stretching and loosening his left leg.

Play had continued without him.  Braun had broke free about midfield and then a Timbers 2 defender broke up the play and sent it back to Republic FC’s side of the field.

Lopez was still on the ground and was slowly trying to get up and test the leg. He was in pain and trying to see how much weight he could put on the leg.

In the meanwhile Sacramento regained control and started moving the ball to midfield. Lopez seeing the action worked his way back into the field of play, but he had a noticeable limp. He received a pass and drove the ball towards the goal, not at full speed, he passed the ball to an open Republic FC player who took shot on goal and then Taublieb scored on the rebound.

After the goal Sacramento subsituted Gabe Gonzalez for Lopez.  Lopez never returned.  Republic FC was up 3-0 and there was only minutes remaining. No reason for him to come back in.

The trainer worked on Lopez trying to stretch out his hamstring or hip. After the trainer worked on him, Lopez got up and seemed to struggle when he put weight on the left leg.

I tried to get clarification post-game about the injury, but was told the ice was believed to be precautionary.

The injury seemed to be more than that.  Due to the score and the time of the game it was convenient timing.

Possibly, it’s nothing that won’t heal over the next 6 days. Right now, it’s pure speculation. What the injury is? I don’t know, but with Hamstrings, Quads, and Hip Flexors many times it take a few weeks of complete rest for those injuries to heal.

Post game Lopez had a big bag of ice on his upper thigh and hip area. He did greet numerous players and signed many autographs for fans,   all while slightly limping with the ice on.

If its really a problem we should hear something about missed practices as it gets closer to Sacramento’s next game.

The good news for Sacramento and Lopez, they don’t play again until Friday the 24th against the Orange County Blues FC .

UPDATE:  Rodrigo Lopez posted on a message on his Facebook. 

All is well. Contusion!

Sacramento Republic FC Shut Out Portland Timbers 2 3-0; USL’s New Western Conference Leader

April 18, 2015 10:37 PM PT

Sacramento Republic FC won for the third time in as many matches, shutting out Portland Timbers 2, 3-0, in front of a sold-out crowd of 11,242 at Bonney Field on Saturday night.

Tonights win puts the Republic FC into the lead in the USL’s Western Conference at (4-2).


DSC02736                                               Photo by Shawn Jonas

Republic FC started slow but soon regained their form and in the 13th minute put Republic FC ahead 1-0. Rodrigo Lopez took the ball from midfield to just outside the box before his low strike deflected off a sliding Harrison Delbridge and into the upper right corner.

Sacramento continued to apply pressure, with former Republic FC loan goalkeeper, Jake Gleeson the only thing keeping Republic FC from extending its lead, saving a strong attempt from midfielder Max Alvarez in the 16th minute.



DSC03042                                          Photos By Shawn Jonas

Defender Mickey Daly doubled the lead for Sacramento in the 37th minute, heading in a lofted set-piece from Lopez past a diving Gleeson. The goal put Republic FC up 2-0.


                                              Photo by Shawn Jonas

T2’s best chance for a goal came in the 41st minute, with successive strikes by forward Fatawu testing Republic FC goalkeeper Patrick McLain for the first time. But, McLain stood strong keeping Republic FC ahead 2-0 at halftime.

Republic FC continued to control possession in the attacking third and almost put the game out of reach in the 64th minute as Octavio Guzman’s volley from an Alvarez corner-kick sailed inches over the crossbar.


                                         Photo by Shawn Jonas

In the 82nd minute rookie midfielder Zev Taublieb scored his first professional goal when he sent a rebound past Gleeson, giving Republic FC a 3-0 lead.

“I don’t think it’s hit me yet,” Taublieb said on scoring his first goal. “It’s been an incredible experience, I really owe it to the coaches for giving me a shot.”

Republic FC will be back in action again when they take on Orange County Blues FC on Friday, April 24 at Bonney Field. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.

Sacramento Republic FC 3:0 Portland Timbers 2
USL Match
Bonney Field – Sacramento, CA
April 18, 2015 – Attendance: 11,242 (sellout)

Scoring Summary: SRFC – Rodrigo Lopez 13; SRFC – Mickey Daly (Rodrigo Lopez) 37; SRFC – Zev Taublieb 82

Misconduct Summary: SRFC – Ivan Mirković (caution) 44; Justin Braun (caution) 56; Max Alvarez (caution) 66.

Portland Timbers 2 – Jake Gleeson; Andy Thoma; Harrison Delbridge; Anthony Manning; Taylor Peay; Blair Gavin; Nick Besler (Tim Payne 45); Schillo Tshuma (Steven Evans 77); Fatawu; Rundell Winchester (Matt Rose 77); Kharlton Belmar.

Subs Not Used: Justin Luthy; Seth Casiple; Rennico Clarke.

Stats: Shots: 8, Shots on Goal: 3, Saves: 4, Fouls: 10, Corner Kicks: ,4 Offside: 5.

Sacramento Republic FC – Patrick McClain; James Kiffe; Mickey Daly; Nemanja Vuković; Emrah Klimenta; Ivan Mirković; Octavio Guzman (Cameron Iwasa 88); Max Alvarez (Zev Taublieb 67); Rodrigo Lopez (Gabe Gonzalez 83); Justin Braun; David Estrada.

Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek; Alfonso Motagalvan; Joaquin Rivas; Gabe Gonzalez; Agustin Cazarez

Stats: Shots: 13, Shots on Goal: 7, Saves: 3, Fouls: 8, Corner Kicks: 5, Offside: 2.

The San Jose SaberCats Remain Unbeaten Take Down The Jacksonville Sharks 68-48

April 17, 2015 8:13 PM PT

Courtesy Of The SaberCats Media Relations

Jacksonville, Florida – The San Jose SaberCats (4-0) remained undefeated after taking down the Jacksonville Sharks (0-4) 68-48, Friday at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida.
AFL All-Time leading rusher, fullback Derrick Ross bulldozed his way into the end zone on the first drive to give the Sharks an early 7-0 lead. Ross, who was acquired for the Philadelphia Soul this off-season, continued to be focal point for the offense. He finished with 11 rushes for 35 yards and a season-high four touchdowns. Ross continues to be the go-to player within the five yard line of the red zone for Jacksonville. On the night, he also eclipsed a milestone with his 150th rushing touchdown for his AFL career.

Continuing his impact play, jack linebacker David Hyland snuffed out a pass play and picked off the Tommy Grady pass at the Jacksonville seven yard line, his second interception of the season. Hyland continues to excess at the jack linebacker spot for San Jose and led the team in tackles with 14. Reggie Gray was able to extend the San Jose lead to 14-7, after hauling in a five yard touchdown reception. As the SaberCats leading receiver this season, “Big Play” Reggie Gray finished with nine receptions for 80 yards and three touchdowns.

As the Arena Football League’s leading receiver, Anthony “Tiger” Jones demonstrated his abilities early an often. Jones finished with seven receptions for 100 yards, but was unable to add to his league-high 10 receiving touchdowns.

SaberCats quarterback Erik Meyer threw for a season –high eight touchdowns, completing 19-of-30 completions for 246 yards.

Odie Armstrong, an avid Madden video gamer, pressed the B-button on the Xbox (O on the PlayStation) and spun into the end zone for a four-yard touchdown run, to give San Jose a 21-7 lead in the second quarter. Armstrong added to his rushing touchdown total with five on the season.

With his return to the starting lineup, SaberCats’ receiver Adron Tennell, the 2013 AFL Wide Receiver of the Year, made an immediate impact. He finished with five receptions for 65 yards and four of those going for touchdowns.

In the Second quarter, Sharks’ receiver Joe Hills hauled in multiple receptions, matriculating the offense down to the goaline, with Ross able to do what he does best and rumble in for a one-yard touchdown run to cut the SaberCats lead to 21-14. Hills led the Sharks with 14 receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown.

After a great performance in his first game as a SaberCat last week, receiver D.J. Stephens continued to shine for San Jose. Stephens caught a 33-yard pass from Meyer and was brought down just a yard shy of the end zone. Unfortunately, defensive end Joe Skyes, a member of the SaberCats last season, jumped in on a botched snap and forced a fumble that was eventually recovered by Jacksonville. Following the fumble recovery, Jones sacrificed life and limb to haul in a 30-yard reception while flying over the boards to set up a Ross touchdown run.

With a Darius Reynolds reception bringing the SaberCats down to the four yard line, Meyer found Gray in the end zone on fourth down, as San Jose led 28-24 at halftime.

Following a Joe Hills touchdown reception by the Sharks, Gray was able to grab the kickoff and returned it 58-yards for a touchdown, the first on the season for San Jose, who responded immediately and pushed out to a 48-38 fourth quarter lead.

It did not take long for Jacksonville to answer, as receiver Jerod Harvery grabbed an 18-yard touchdown, his first touchdown reception of the season to make it a 48-45 San Jose lead.
With eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Meyer found Stephens in the back of the end zone. In his second game with San Jose, Stephens finished with three receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown.

On the ensuing kickoff, SaberCats defensive end Donte Paige-Moss was able to recover the ball off of the uprights to provide the San Jose offense with the ball at the eight yard line. The recovery was culminated by a Gray touchdown reception to give the SaberCats a 62-45 with 3:46 remaining.

A late interception by defensive back Erik Crocker sealed the win for San Jose, who will be back at home in the SAP Center to host the Portland Thunder on Saturday April, 25th.

The ArenaBowl XVI, XVIII and XXI champion San Jose SaberCats finished their 19th season in the AFL with a Pacific Division Title after making their return in 2011. Fans and sponsors can go to or call 408-673-3400 to sign up to receive the latest news and updates about the SaberCats, as well as to purchase 2015 season tickets. Make sure to follow the SaberCats on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news on the team.