Sacramento River Cats Annual River Cats Preseason Party Mar. 5

New season of River Cats baseball kicks off Sunday, March 5 at Raley Field

West Sacramento, CA – Opening Day may not be until April 6, but Sacramento River Cats fans will get a sneak peek of what’s to come on Sunday, March 5 at the annual River Cats Preseason Party at Raley Field. The event is noon to 3:00 pm and highlights new additions to the ballpark as well as treats fans to free food.

Raley Field will open its gates once again with some new changes for the 2017 season and fans at the Preseason Party will be the first to see what’s in store. All-new concession storefronts line the concourse and the Down on the Farm kids’ area has undergone a near-complete transformation.

The River Cats will host a special ribbon-cutting ceremony at 12:45 pm to officially open the fully-renovated Down on the Farm kids’ area. Down on the Farm has new Sacramento-themed play equipment and amenities for children to enjoy during family trips to the ballpark. In addition to these renovations, fans will be able to enjoy free hot dogs and sodas and go behind the scenes with the Raley Field clubhouse tour.

Another exciting feature of this year’s Preseason Party is batting practice on the field (weather permitting). Fans of all ages will have an opportunity to take batting practice down on the field just like pros. All donations made for batting practice will benefit the River Cats foundation. There will also be free activities for kids including arts and crafts, face painters, and more. St. Baldrick’s and Bell Brothers also return to the annual Preseason Party as they raise money in the fight against childhood cancer.

Not only will fans have the opportunity to get their first look at Raley Field, they’ll also be among the first to purchase individual game tickets. This includes tickets for premium games like Opening Night, Independence Day Eve, Fan Appreciation Day, all giveaway dates, and more. The Round Table Pizza Ticket Office will open at 12:00 pm and fans are encouraged to get their tickets now to avoid box office lines and sellouts during the season.

River Cats faithful can also gear up for the 2017 season by visiting the On Deck Shop at Raley Field. The On Deck Shop will have exclusive Preseason Party sales going on all day.

Season ticket plans are still available and fans are encouraged to schedule a tour to check out available seats by calling (916) 371-HITS (4487) or emailing tickets@rivercats.com.

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Falls To San Jose Earthquakes 4-1

Three late goals propel the San Jose Earthquakes past Sacramento Republic FC in the first of two preseason friendly matches.

The match began with both teams feeling each other out, but neither gaining a clear advantage. Republic FC would find the first great look at goal in the 7th minute when forward Tyler Blackwood stole a bad pass near the top of the box. Blackwood then had a one-on-one situation with Quakes goalkeeper David Bingham. Blackwood attempted to slide the ball to the far right corner of the goal, but Bingham was quick to the ground, deflecting the ball away from goal, but only as far as forward Trevin Caesar who was following the play on the right side of the box. Caesar then sent a centering pass to Sammy Ochoa who was in the middle of the box. Ochoa took his own shot on goal, but a Quakes defender was there to block the shot and clear it from danger, keeping the match scoreless.

The Quakes would strike first in the 15th minute. After multiple attempts to throw the ball in from the top of the far right side were thwarted by defender James Kiffe, Quakes defender Nick Lima found a streaking Tommy Thompson on the right side of the box. Thompson leaped to connect with the throw and sent his one-touch pass to the center of the box, finding midfielder Shea Salinas who fought off his mark and flicked the ball into the goal giving the Quakes a 1-0 lead which would hold until half.

Republic FC came out of the break with a renewed sense of energy and began to relentlessly pressure the Quakes backline in hopes of finding an equalizer. Republic FC found their chance in the 53rd minute. Jeremy Hall fought off his man while running down the right side of the box before sending a pass back to Danny Barrera who had found open space at the top right corner of the box. Barrera took a touch before sending a strike toward goal that was blocked by a sliding Anibal Godoy. The defender however was judged to have blocked the shot with his hand giving Republic FC a penalty. Newly-signed forward Sammy Ochoa stepped up and calmly placed the ball in the lower right corner as Bingham dove left, leveling the score 1-1.

Republic FC, playing in just their third preseason match of 2017, would make several substitutions following the goal, as Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle looked to try new lineups and formations before the start of the season.

In the 66th minute the Quakes would regain their lead. Substitute forward Darwin Ceren intercepted a pass in the middle the field. Ceren then played the ball down the middle of the field to midfielder Simon Dawkins who had found space. Dawkins drove the ball down the middle before sending a low shot to the left of the goal, just past the outstretched hand of substitute goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek, giving the Quakes 2-1 lead.

Despite a strong effort by Republic FC to equalize, the Quakes would add two late goals in the 79th and 90th minutes to ensure a 4-1 victory. Midfielder Jahmir Hyka would score the Quakes’ third goal after Godoy received a long ball on the right side and slid a pass to Hyka who was streaking down the middle of the box. Hyka redirected Godoy’s pass into the net for the 3-1 lead. Danny Hoesen would score the final goal of the match after receiving a long pass from Andres Imperiale in the middle of the field. Hoesen took a few touches before sending the ball into the bottom right corner giving the Quakes the 4-1 win.

Republic FC will return to action when they take on Sacramento State Men’s Soccer Team on Wednesday, Mar. 1 at Hornet Field. Kickoff is 3 p.m. Tickets are available on the Sacramento State athletics website.

Republic FC will return home on Mar. 4 when they take on FC Cincinnati at Bonney Field. Kickoff is 5:30 p.m. Tickets for the match are available at Ticketmaster.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC To Host Nor Cal Rival San Jose Earthquakes In Preseason Friendly On Mar. 22

Match will be the second of two meetings between the clubs in the 2017 preseason.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.Sacramento Republic FC will host the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday, Mar. 22, in the second of two 2017 preseason friendlies between the Northern California rivals. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Bonney Field. Tickets for the match go on sale Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 10 a.m.

“We look forward to bringing the Earthquakes to Sacramento for the third consecutive preseason,” said Republic FC President and Co-Founder Warren Smith. “After three years of affiliation, the real fun begins this year as we will look to propel our rivalry to the next level both this year and for years to come in the MLS.”

The two clubs will meet for their first friendly this preseason today, Feb. 25 at Avaya Stadium before completing their preseason home-and-home series on Mar. 22. This will be the third consecutive season that Republic FC has hosted San Jose with the Quakes winning each of the last two matches by a single goal.

Despite being rivals, the clubs have worked closely and were affiliates from 2014-2016. As a part of the affiliations multiple Earthquakes players were loaned to Republic FC, including Sacramento-area natives Tommy Thompson and Adam Jahn. Republic FC midfielder JJ Koval was also loaned to Republic FC on several occasions before eventually signing with the USL club prior to the 2016 season.

The two preseason friendlies will be the sixth and seventh meetings between Republic FC and the Quakes since 2014. The clubs have met in preseason friendlies as well as in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, most memorably in 2015 when the two clubs battled for 120 minutes only to have the match decided in penalties.

The match is a part of the 2017 Republic FC Season Ticket Package. Tickets will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28 on Ticketmaster.com. For more information on the 2017 season, visit SacRepublicFC.com.

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Sign Top 10 USL Goal-Scorer Sammy Ochoa

Ochoa led Tulsa Roughnecks FC in scoring in each of the last two seasons.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC have agreed to a contract with Sammy Ochoa for the 2017 USL season, pending league and federation approval. Ochoa was the leading scorer for Tulsa Roughnecks FC in each of the last two seasons.

“Sammy is an experienced, proven goal scorer,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “He is someone who has demonstrated a willingness and a desire to be with Republic FC, both in training and in our friendly matches to date. I am thrilled to have him and I think our fans will love the fact that when the ball is delivered into the box, nine times out of ten Ochoa will be there. His physical presence will be a valuable addition to our forward line.”

Ochoa has been an offensive force since coming into the USL in 2014. Ochoa led Wilmington Hammerheads FC in 2014 in goals and assists, scoring six goals and adding five assists in 25 appearances. Ochoa then moved to Tulsa Roughnecks FC where he led the club in scoring in both 2015 and 2016, scoring a combined 20 goals, adding nine assists.

Ochoa broke into professional soccer in 2006, playing with Mexican club Estudiantes Tecos before joining Seattle Sounders FC in 2011. The forward appeared in 17 MLS matches between 2011 and 2013, scoring three goals and adding an assist. Ochoa also made three playoff appearances with Sounders FC.

Republic FC will be in action again when they travel to San Jose to take on their Northern California rivals the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, Feb. 25. Kickoff is 2 p.m. The match will not be streamed, but updates will be available via Twitter @SacRepublicFC or using #SJvSAC.

Republic FC will return home on Mar. 4 when they take on FC Cincinnati at Bonney Field. Tickets for both the FC Cincinnati and Earthquakes matches are available at Ticketmaster.com.

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Defeats Sacramento Gold FC 5-0

Sacramento Republic FC earn a victory in first preseason friendly over Sacramento Gold FC, behind dominant five-goal performance.

Republic FC came out strong from the beginning, constantly pressuring the Gold’s backline. In just the 2nd minute Republic FC would open the scoring. Defender Elliott Hord received the ball on the right side of the field before rushing almost to the endline near the edge of the box. Hord then played the ball back to the middle of the box where forward Gabe Gissie gathered Hord’s pass and calmly slotted the ball back across goal into the right side of the net, putting Republic FC ahead 1-0.

Midfielder Daniel Trickett-Smith would double Republic FC’s lead shortly after in the 6th minute. After an encouraging attack near the middle of the box, forward Wilson Kneeshaw had his shot saved by a diving John Connolly. The ensuing rebound was batted around in the box before falling to Trickett-Smith who settled the ball and shot it into the open left side of the goal, putting Republic FC ahead 2-0.

Republic FC looked as if they might strike again in the 20th minute after Trickett-Smith recovered a loose ball at the top of the box. The midfielder drove right before sending a lofted shot across the goal and toward the left corner of the goal. The shot seemed destined for the back of the net, but it glanced off the crossbar and deflected harmlessly away from goal, keeping Republic FC’s lead at 2-0 going into the break.

The second half looked much like the first with Republic FC controlling most of the possession and pestering the Gold’s defense. In the 57th minute midfielder Agustin Cazarez worked the ball all the way down the left side of the pitch before laying the ball back to U-17/18 Academy midfielder Ryley Kraft. Kraft took a touch before sending a pass in to Christian Chaney who collected the pass, fought off a Gold defender and shot the ball into the top right side of the net, giving Republic FC the 3-0 lead.

In the 59th minute Republic FC would bring in a full team of reinforcements off the bench, providing an additional jolt of energy to the side. Shortly after subbing in, forward Tyler Blackwood was brought down in the box, after battling multiple Gold defenders, earning a penalty. In the 63rd minute, trialist Sammy Ochoa stepped up, fired the ball into the top left corner and, despite getting deflected by goalkeeper Sanaldo Carvahlo, found the back of the net, pushing Republic FC’s lead to 4-0.

Republic FC would tack on their fifth and final goal in the 81st minute. Substitute defender James Kiffe had the ball on the left side, just outside the box, before crossing the ball toward the near post. Carvahlo attempted to clear the ball with a punch, but instead re-directed the ball into the side netting, increasing Republic FC’s lead to 5-0.

“I am delighted with what we have done with the ball,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “In any game of football it is hard to find the back of the net, as we saw last season, so the intention was to add in that department and I think you can see that we have created chances and found the back of the net.”

Republic FC will play in their second preseason friendly of the season when they travel to San Jose to take on their Northern California rivals the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, Feb. 25. Kickoff is 2 p.m. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com. The match will not be streamed, but updates will be available via Twitter @SacRepublicFC or using #SJvSAC.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Faces Sacramento Gold FC

Sacramento Republic FC to face Sacramento Gold FC on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at American River College

SACRAMENTO, Calif. Sacramento Republic FC will take on Sacramento Gold FC (NPSL) in a preseason friendly match on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at American River College.  Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tickets for the match are $10 and are available online.  The match is being hosted by the Gold, with all proceeds benefitting the American River College soccer program. This is the first Republic FC preseason match in 2017 that is open to the public.

What:         Sacramento Republic FC vs Sacramento Gold FC 

When:         Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017

                          7 p.m. Kickoff

Where:       American River College Soccer Stadium

                         4700 College Oak Drive

                         Sacramento, CA 95841

Who:            Sacramento Republic FC

                         Sacramento Gold FC

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Sign New Deal With Coach Jack Del Rio

“The Raiders have torn up Jack Del Rio’s original contract and rewarded him with a new four-year deal. We are excited to continue building on the strong foundation that has been established and this is a significant step in achieving that goal.” – Raiders Owner Mark Davis

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Unveil Promotion Schedule For 2017 Season

West Sacramento, CA – The Sacramento River Cats are thrilled to announce the promotions schedule for the 2017 season, with the team’s home opener Thursday, April 6. The 2017 promotions schedule is loaded with premium giveaways, new theme nights, five specialty jerseys, and much more.

Over the course of the team’s 71 game home schedule, the River Cats will host 23 fireworks shows – one on every Orange Friday and Sutter Health Saturday plus another for our Independence Eve celebration. In addition, fans can look forward to five exciting giveaways, including a Johnny Cueto Giants shimmy bobblehead (April 21), a River Cats superhero jersey-cape (May 19), a River Cats reusable tote bag (June 9), a Buster PoseyBuster Hugs” blanket (July 28), and a “Moods of Madison Bumgarner” t-shirt (August 11).

Brand new for 2017 are four unique heritage nights, including Hispanic Heritage Night (April 21), Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Night (May 20), Irish/Scottish Heritage Night (May 26), and Italian Heritage Night (August 31). The River Cats will also host an Easter Brunch event (April 9), a Sactown-celebration with 916 Night (June 30), Equality Night presented by Lasher’s Elk Grove Subaru (July 7), and for the first time ever, make merry with Christmas in July on July 27. Also new for the 2017 season is Sactown Grown Night, a farm-to-fork-themed night to celebrate the region’s leading efforts in agricultural sustainability and healthy living (July 29).

Sactown Grown Night also features one of the season’s five specialty jerseys: a nod to the area’s agricultural prominence. The team’s other specialty jerseys include a moving, fan-inspired jersey celebrating our local military members for Salute to Armed Forces (May 6), a vintage comic-themed jersey for Comic Cat night (June 17), a patriotic jersey for Independence Eve (July 3), and a peach jersey in the style of the Rockford Peaches of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (September 2).

Returning for 2017 are Orange Fridays. Fans are encouraged to break out their River Cats – or San Francisco Giants – orange and attend a pregame party featuring live music and drink specials before the team takes the field in orange Sactown jerseys. This year, Orange Fridays will also feature postgame fireworks shows, a new addition for the 2017 season.

Also returning are Raley’s Wellness Wednesdays (featuring activities such as yoga or cross training on the field, a riverfront bike ride, and more) and Thirsty Thursdays featuring the Tito’s Trolley.

Additional highlights include Bark in the Ballpark (April 23), Fin Fest (June 9), STAR WARS® Night (July 8), Princess & Pirate Night (August 19), Frank ‘N Stein Oktoberfest (September 1), and Fan Appreciation Night (September 3) among many others.

Single-game tickets go on sale at noon on Sunday, March 5 at the Round Table Pizza Ticket Office at Raley Field with an 11 a.m. advance opening for River Cats Season Ticket Members. An online presale will be available on Wednesday, March 1.

More details on all of the upcoming season’s promotions can be found online at rivercats.com/promotions. Promotions and dates are always subject to change.

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Khalil Mack Named Associated Press Defensive Player Of The Year

ALAMEDA, Calif.Oakland Raiders DE Khalil Mack was named the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year, the National Football League announced Saturday at the Sixth Annual NFL Honors from the Wortham Theater Center in Houston, Texas.

The honor marks the second time in franchise history that a Raider has won the award, as Mack joins CB Lester Hayes, who won the award in 1980. Mack was also named the Pro Football Writers of America’s Defensive Player of the Year last month.

This season, Mack finished with 77 tackles (56 solo), 11 sacks, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, one interception returned for a touchdown and four passes defensed on the way to earning his second consecutive Pro Bowl selection. Mack was also named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team and the PFWA All-NFL Team this year.

The third-year pro turned in another outstanding campaign, dominating opposing offenses in both the run and passing game. He was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month in November after posting 13 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one interception and two passes defensed, helping the Raiders go 3-0 in November. He also earned two AFC Defensive Player of the Week Awards (Week 9 vs. Denver and Week 12 vs. Carolina), while becoming the first player since 2009 to record a sack, interception returned for a touchdown, forced fumble and fumble recovery in the same game when he accomplished the feat in Week 12 against the Carolina Panthers.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Oakland Raiders To Host New England In Mexico City In 2017

NFL Returns to Mexico

Building off the tremendous success of the 2016 game in Mexico, the NFL will return to Mexico City in 2017 when the Oakland Raiders host the New England Patriots at Estadio Azteca, NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL announced today at his press conference in Houston in advance of Super Bowl LI.

The date and time of the game will be determined in conjunction with the release of the NFL schedule this spring. The game in Mexico is the fifth international game confirmed for 2017, adding to the four previously announced games in London, and a testament to the NFL’s increased commitment to growing the game beyond the borders of the United States.

“We have a tremendous fan base in Mexico,” Goodell said. “Their passion for football is inspiring, and we look forward to another memorable game in Mexico City between two great teams next season.”

The Raiders will play in Mexico for the second consecutive season after earning a 27-20 win over the Houston Texans on November 21 before a sellout crowd of 76,473 in the first-ever Monday Night Football game played outside of the United States.
“The Raiders are excited to return to Estadio Azteca and represent the National Football League once again on an international stage,” said Raiders Owner MARK DAVIS. “We enjoyed tremendous support from the Raider Nation in Mexico in 2016 and look forward to experiencing that great passion again this year.”

The Patriots will play their first-ever regular-season game in Mexico.
“The largest crowd the Patriots have played in front of was in Mexico City in 1998,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO ROBERT KRAFT. “It was a great experience and I am looking forward to our return. I know that we have a lot of passionate Patriots fans in Mexico. We have had plenty of success in international games and I attribute that to our tremendous fan support in those venues. I look forward to meeting some of our fantastic fans and enjoying the food and culture there in the fall.”

Fans interested in receiving information about tickets for the game, which will go on sale this summer, should register their interest at www.nfl.com/mexico/registration. Season ticket members of Oakland and New England will receive information directly from the clubs once tickets are ready for sale.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations