All posts by Shawn Jonas

Sacramento Republic FC Sign Former Atlas FC Youth Player Luis Espino

Midfielder joins Republic FC for the remainder of the 2017 USL season.

 SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC have agreed to a USL contract with midfielder Luis Espino for the remainder of the club’s 2017 season.

 The signing of Luis is demonstrative of the good relationships that we have built with the CESIFUT Academy in Mexico,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “Since losing Danny Barrera to injury earlier this season, we have been looking for a number ten and I believe that Espino is just that player.  He is very creative with the ball at his feet and will be a valuable asset for us the rest of the season.”

 Espino joins Republic FC after spending the Clausura 2017 season with Atlas FC’s second division team and their U20s. The midfielder scored a goal in 15 appearances, including nine starts between the two teams.  Prior to joining Atlas, Espino played at Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas. In the 2015-16 season Espino scored two goals in 12 appearances, including 10 starts while helping Tuzos UAZ earn promotion to the second division in Mexico. Espino and fellow Republic FC teammate Carlos Rodriguez are both products of the CESIFUT Academy in Torreón, Mexico.

 Espino has joined the club and will be available for selection in Republic FC’s match versus LA Galaxy II on Saturday, Sept. 16.  Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park.  The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide.

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Sign Tavecchio; Place Janikowski On IR

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Oakland Raiders have signed K Giorgio Tavecchio to the active roster and placed K Sebastian Janikowski on the Reserve/Injured List, the club announced Saturday.

Tavecchio has spent time with the Raiders in the each of the last four preseasons, and has connected on a combined 9-of-11 field goal attempts in preseason action for the Silver and Black from 2014-17.

The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder had stints in training camp with the San Francisco 49ers (2012), Green Bay Packers (2013) and Lions (2014) prior to joining the Raiders in 2014. Tavecchio played in 46 games for at the University of California and finished his career with 256 points, ranking fifth on the school’s all-time scoring list and fourth among kickers. He converted 48-of-64 (75 percent) field goal attempts and 112-of-120 (93.3 percent) PATs during his three years, ranking third in both all-time made field goals and extra points made.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Sign Harris, Woodson-Luster

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed S Erik Harris and LB Xavier Woodson-Luster, the club announced Tuesday.

Harris joins the Raiders after spending the 2016 season with the New Orleans Saints, seeing action in four games. Prior to signing with New Orleans, Harris played three seasons (2013-15) for the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats, totaling 79 tackles, three interceptions, three sacks and four fumble recoveries in 42 games. Harris was waived by the Saints on Sept. 1, 2017.

Woodson-Luster rejoins the Raiders after being waived by the club on Sept. 2. He originally signed with Raiders as an undrafted free agent out of Arkansas State in May 2017 and spent training camp with the team. Woodson-Luster appeared in 47 games with 37 starts at Arkansas State, finishing his career as the school’s all-time leader with 293 tackles.

In corresponding moves, the Raiders have placed G/T Denver Kirkland and S Obi Melifonwu on the Reserve/Injured List.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Announce Practice Squad Signings

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed the following 10 players to their practice squad, the club announced Monday. C James Stone and DE Max Valles are the only practice squad signees that were not with the Raiders in training camp this year.

 Player                    Pos.    Ht.     Wt.    Exp.   College

Borders, Breon           CB       6-0      189     R          Duke

Brown, Fadol              DE       6-4      282     R          Mississippi

Brown, Pharaoh         TE        6-5      246     R          Oregon

Calhoun, Shilique        LB        6-4      250     2          Michigan State

Hatcher, Keon            WR      6-1      212     R          Arkansas

Hood, Elijah                RB       5-11    230     R          North Carolina

Simmons, Jordan        G         6-3      339     R          USC

Stone, James               C          6-3      290     3          Tennessee

Valles, Max                 DE       6-4      250     1          Virginia

Whitney, Isaac            WR      6-2      204     R          USC

Stone: Originally signed by the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent in May 2014…Spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons with the Falcons…Was waived by Atlanta after 2016 training camp…Signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a reserve/future free agent in January 2017…Waived by Buccaneers on Sept. 2…Career totals include 19 games played with 10 games started.

Valles: Was originally drafted by the Raiders in the sixth round (179th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft…Spent the majority of the 2015 season with the Raiders’ practice squad before being signed to the Bills’ active roster…Was on the Bills’ practice squad for the 2016 season…Waived by Bills on Sept. 2.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Ties Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 2-2

Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC equalize in stoppage time to earn a 2-2 draw with Sacramento Republic FC.

 James Kiffe, who made his 100th all-competitions appearance for Sacramento Republic FC in the match, and Tyler Blackwood, looked very dangerous on the left wing early and often. Kiffe hooked in numerous crosses for Blackwood in the box, including two corner kicks that made the Switchbacks nervously clear the ball away. Blackwood was rewarded for his strong play with an assist, when he slid a cross into the box in the 37th minute for Agustin Cazarez. The midfielder rifled a one-time left-footer through traffic and past Switchbacks keeper Moise Poutay for the first goal of the match.

 The Switchbacks wasted no time equalizing, scoring in the 38th minute.  Midfielder Masta Kacher received the ball in the middle of the pitch before sending it through to Luke Vercollone who had got in behind the defense. Vercollone’s shot beat Newton knotting the score at 1-1.

 Republic FC would reclaim the lead just before halftime after a goal kick by Poutay went right to Trevin Caesar who quickly attacked the goal. Caesar forced Poutay to come off his line before knocking a back-heel ball back to the center for Matt Wiesenfarth. The forward sent the ball past two defenders and into the open net putting Republic FC ahead 2-1 going into the half.  The goal was Wiesenfarth’s first as a professional.

 Blackwood continued to be a menace in the second half, causing problems for the right side of the Switchbacks defense. He nearly bagged a goal in the 58th minute on a cross from Caesar. Blackwood sent a powerful header towards the near post as it went just wide and out of play. Cazarez had a strong second half as well as he nearly scored again the 68th minute. From 30 yards out, Cazarez sent a left-footed shot screaming towards the far post that whistled just wide.

 The Switchbacks would find their second equalizer of the match in stoppage time of the second half. Kacher hooked a corner kick into the box at the far post where Pascal Eboussi leapt to redirect the header back on goal. The shot took a deflection and went up and over Newton and into the back of the net to tie the score at 2-2. The match would end soon after in a draw.

 “I expect better,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “We controlled the game for long spells, but we didn’t put the ball in the net with the chances we had. We absolutely deserved to win the game in terms of chances.”

 Republic FC will travel south to take on Rio Grande Valley FC Toros on Saturday, Sept. 9. Kickoff is 5:30 p.m. at H-E-B Park.  The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations 

Oakland Raiders Announce Transactions

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have made the following roster moves, the club announced Saturday. The transactions bring the Raiders to the NFL-mandated 53-player limit on their active roster.

WAIVED THE FOLLOWING PLAYERS:

Player                              Pos.    Ht.     Wt.    Exp.   College

Are, Kareem                            OL       6-6      325     R          Florida State

Atkinson III, George               RB       6-1      220     2          Notre Dame

Borders, Breon                       CB       6-0      189     R          Duke

Boyette, Paul                          DT       6-1      310     R          Texas

Brent, K.J.                               WR      6-3      200     1          Wake Forest

Briggs, Chauncey                    T          6-6      301     R          SMU

Brown, Fadol                          DE       6-4      282     R          Mississippi

Brown, Pharaoh                     TE        6-5      246     R          Oregon

Calhoun, Shilique                    LB        6-4      250     2          Michigan State

Cioffi, Anthony                       S          6-0      205     R          Rutgers

Crockett, John                        RB       6-0      215     2          North Dakota State

Durden, Kenneth                    CB       6-1      280     1          Youngstown State

East, Andrew                          LS        6-2      220     1          Vanderbilt

Enemkpali, IK                          LB/DE 6-1      260     4          Louisiana Tech

Harris, Najee                          LB        6-1      220     R          Wagner

Hatcher, Keon                        WR      6-1      212     R          Arkansas

Holmes, Gabe                         TE        6-5      255     3          Purdue

Hood, Elijah                            RB       5-11    230     R          North Carolina

Humes, Chris                          CB       6-0      201     R          Arkansas State

Jackson, Branden                   DL       6-4      270     1          Texas Tech

Jefferson, Rickey                    S          5-11    208     R          LSU

Johnson, Rufus                        LB/DE 6-5      280     1          Tarleton State

Lewis, LaTroy                         LB        6-3      254     R          Tennessee

McWilson, Marcus                 S          6-0      198     R          Kentucky

O’Malley, Ryan                       TE        6-6      260     2          Pennsylvania

Omoile, Oni                            G         6-2      310     1          Iowa State

Sheldon, Brady                       LB        6-5      230     R          Ferris State

Silberman, Ian                         G         6-5      305     2          Boston College

Simmons, Jordan                    G         6-3      339     R          USC

Tavecchio, Giorgio                 K          5-10    180     1          California

Whitney, Isaac                        WR      6-2      204     R          USC

Woodson-Luster, Xavier        LB        6-1      219     R          Arkansas State

Zamora, Ishmael                     WR      6-3      224     R          Baylor

RELEASED THE FOLLOWING PLAYER:

Player                              Pos.    Ht.     Wt.    Exp.   College

Helfet, Cooper                        TE        6-3      240     3          Duke

WAIVED/INJURED THE FOLLOWING PLAYER:

Player                              Pos.    Ht.     Wt.    Exp.   College

Mickens, Jaydon                     WR      5-10    175     1          Washington

WAIVED/NON-FOOTBALL INJURY THE FOLLOWING PLAYER:

Player                              Pos.    Ht.     Wt.    Exp.   College

Heeney, Ben                           LB        6-0      230     3          Kansas

PLACED THE FOLLOWING PLAYER ON THE RESERVE/INJURED LIST:

Player                              Pos.    Ht.     Wt.    Exp.   College

Jenkins, Jelani                         LB        6-0      240     5          Florida

Press Release Courtesy of the  Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Shawsome: ‘Cats Get Second Straight Walk-off Win

Shaw drives in winning run to defeat first-place El Paso 3-2 in 10 innings

West Sacramento, CA Chris Shaw gave the Sacramento River Cats (63-75) their second straight walk-off win as they downed the El Paso Chihuahuas (71-68) 3-2 in 10 innings Friday night at Raley Field.

Mac Williamson singled to start the 10th inning for Sacramento, his first hit of the night. One batter later, Chris Shaw doubled him home for his 47th RBI of the season and his first walk-off RBI of the year. With the win, the River Cats improved their record to 4-1 at home in extra-inning games. Sacramento has now won five straight games for the first time this season.

Right-hander Jose Flores (2-3, 3.47) will get the start in game two for Sacramento and is slated to face El Paso left-hander Dillon Overton (6-6, 7.09). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT) and the game can be heard live online at rivercats.com and on the air on ESPN 1320.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats  Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Win Third Straight, Beat 51s 6-1

Offense racks up 12 hits, Williamson homers for second straight night

West Sacramento, CA – The Sacramento River Cats (61-75) offense was firing on all cylinders Wednesday night. They jumped ahead early in the first inning and rolled to an easy 6-1 victory over the Las Vegas 51s (52-85).

Ryan Lollis got things started for the River Cats, driving in two with the bases loaded in the first frame. Mac Williamson highlighted the scoring, launching his second big fly in as many games over the center field wall in the fifth inning. As a team, the River Cats went 5-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

Sacramento starter Kraig Sitton gave the team a solid four innings in his second start this season, allowing just one hit and one run. The bullpen took it from there with Collin Balester tossing three scoreless frames to follow. Balester earned his first win of the year for his efforts.

Right-hander Casey Kelly (7-5, 4.55) will get the ball for the River Cats tomorrow night. He will square off against the 51s’ righty Robert Gsellman (0-0, 0.00). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT) and the game can be heard live online at rivercats.com and on the air on Money 105.5 FM.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Falls to Phoenix Rising FC 3-1

Forward Trevin Caesar scores his seventh goal of the season, but it was not enough as Republic FC fall 3-1 to Phoenix Rising FC in their third match in eight days.

The match started quickly for Phoenix Rising FC, getting their first shot just 30 seconds into the match.  On the opening kickoff, Jason Johnson took the ball down the left side before sending it back across to the middle of the box.  Midfielder Shaun Wright-Phillips swung and missed on his shot attempt, but Alessandro Riggi, who was following the play, collected the ball taking a touch to his right before unleashing a rocket on goal that went right over the crossbar.

 Phoenix would score soon after however, in the 10th minute.  Wright-Phillips had a corner on the left side, sending a driven ball toward the front post.  Forward Chris Cortez ran in front of the Republic FC defense and flicked the ball toward the back post.  Cortez’ header beat Republic FC keeper Evan Newton, hit the post and fell into the back of the net putting Phoenix ahead 1-0.

 Republic FC soon recovered, dominating a massive 65 percent of the possession in the first half.  Their best look at goal came in the 32nd minute.  After a few blocked attempts on goal, Emrah Klimenta collected the ball on the right side near the top of the box.  The defender took a touch before ripping a right-footed strike on goal that beat the keeper, but rolled just left of the goal, keeping the score 1-0 going into the half.

 The second half of the match saw a flurry of goals from both clubs.  In the 48th minute, Johnson again led a Phoenix attack, this time down the middle of the pitch.  Johnson took the ball near the top of the box before sending it out wide left for Cortez who was running alongside.  Cortez took a touch before sending it back to Johnson, whose one-touch left-footed shot tucked just inside the goal, putting Phoenix ahead 2-0. 

 Republic FC responded quickly however.  Defender James Kiffe had the ball wide right before crossing the ball into the box.  Substitute forward Matt Wiesenfarth chested the ball to his feet before sending it back to Agustin Cazarez. The midfielder took a strong left-footed shot from the top of the box, which was blocked by a diving Carl Woszczynski.  The Phoenix keeper saved the shot, but was unable to collect the ball as it rolled just out of his reach.  Substitute forward Trevin Caesar followed the play perfectly and tapped home the rebound for his club-leading seventh goal of the season, pulling Republic FC within a goal of Pheonix.

 Phoenix would score a quick response however, scoring in the 52nd minute. Wright-Phillips took a corner from the right side that threatened, but Newton was quick off his line, punching the ball away.  Newton’s punch went only as far as Cortez, however, who immediately sent a chipped cross back into the box after seeing that Newton was yet to recover from the punch. Peter Ramage skied high over the defense and headed the cross into the open goal for the 3-1 lead.

 Republic FC would work hard again to find another response with their best look on goal coming in the 78th minute. Defender Chris Christian took a free kick from about 35 yards from goal, sending a short pass to Cazarez who had found open space.  Cazarez then sent the ball into the box and to the feet of Caesar who rounded his man, who had gone to the ground, before striking a right-footed shot on goal, but the shot was just wide hitting the outside of the side netting.

 “We have been pretty water tight on set plays since I got here, but tonight we were not and we paid the price,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “It was unlike us, I can’t remember the last time we conceded three goals.”

 Republic FC will return home when they host Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Saturday, Sept. 2.  Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park.  There will also be fireworks following the match.  Tickets are available at SacRepublicFC.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

acramento River Cats Split Doubleheader In El Paso

Duggar and Calixte power game one, bats come up empty in game two

 El Paso, TX – The Sacramento River Cats (58-74) settled for a split in the weekend doubleheader with the El Paso Chihuahuas (66-67), as they fell 1-0 in game two after holding on for a 7-4 victory in game one.

In game one, Sacramento led from the very first batter as Steven Duggar hit a leadoff home run to put the River Cats up 1-0 in the first. Sacramento would jump out to a 7-0 lead after six innings before El Paso made it interesting late. Orlando Calixte added his 14th home run, and Jae Hwang, Conor Gillaspie, and Tim Federowicz each pitched in with multi-hit games.

The back end of the doubleheader gave us a pitcher’s duel as Roberto Gomez and Chris Huffman took a scoreless game into the fourth. The Chihuahuas broke through on an RBI-groundout by Nick Buss. That run would hold up for El Paso, as the River Cats managed just five hits and were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.

The River Cats will go for the series split tomorrow night as Sacramento right-hander Jose Flores (2-3, 2.97) will face off against El Paso righty Kyle Lloyd (1-4, 7.42). First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. (PT) and the game can be heard live online at rivercats.com. The game will also air starting at 5 p.m. (PT) on the air on Money 105.5.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations