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 SacRepublicFC.com/matchday and updates will be provided via Twitter @SacRepublicFC or using #SACvOC.