All posts by Shawn Jonas

Oakland Raiders Announce Free Agent Signings

April 8, 2015 2:52 PM PT

Photo By Shawn Jonas

ALAMEDA, CALIFORNIA– The Oakland Raiders have re-signed the following 10 free agents, the club announced Tuesday.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

Player                         Pos.    Ht.    Wt.     Exp.      College

Asante, Larry            S       6-0    210       4        Nebraska
Holmes, Andre      WR    6-4    210       4        Hillsdale
King, Marquette     P       6-0    190       4        Fort Valley State
Ross, Brandian         S       6-1    190       4        Youngstown State
Streater, Rod          WR    6-3    195       4        Temple

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS

Player                            Pos.    Ht.    Wt.     Exp.     College

Autry, Denico            DE     6-5    275       2       Mississippi State
Leonhardt, Brian     TE      6-5    255       2       Bemidji State
McCants, Matt           T        6-6   310       3       Alabama-Birmingham
Olawale, Jamize  FB/RB  6-1   235       3       North Texas
Thorpe, Neiko          CB       6-1   200       3       Auburn

Streater: Enters his fourth season with the Raiders after making the team as an undrafted free agent in 2012…Missed the last 13 games of 2014 after being placed on the reserve/injured list with a foot injury…Posted 84 yards on nine receptions and one TD prior to the injury…Career totals include 35 games played with 19 starts, 108 receptions for 1,556 yards (14.4 avg.) and eight TDs…Led the team in receptions (60) and receiving yards (888) in 2013, setting career highs.

Asante: Enters second season with Oakland after playing in six games, starting two, in 2014 before suffering a season-ending injury…Career totals include 23 games played, two starts, 34 tackles (28 solo), one INT, one pass defensed and two forced fumbles…Tallied 23 tackles (18 solo) and one forced fumble last season…Appeared in five games with the Indianapolis Colts in 2013…Debuted with Tampa Bay in 2010, playing in 12 games for the Buccaneers over his first two NFL seasons…Originally drafted in the fifth round (160th overall) by the Cleveland Browns in 2010.

Autry: Returns for his second season after making the squad as an undrafted free agent in 2014…Spent six weeks on the practice squad before appearing in 10 games last season, totaling 13 tackles (eight solo)…Also notched two special teams tackles and one blocked punt…Blocked a punt against Seattle (11/2/14), resulting in the Raiders’ only special teams TD of the season.
Holmes: Enters third season with the Raiders after leading the team in receiving yards in 2014, posting career highs with 47 receptions for 693 yards (14.7 avg.) and four TDs…Career totals include 33 games played with 17 starts, 74 receptions for 1,135 yards (15.3 avg.) and five TDs…In 2013, appeared in 10 games, starting four, and caught 25 passes for 431 yards (17.2 avg.) with one TD…Played in seven games with the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie in 2012, catching two passes for 11 yards…Originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Minnesota Vikings in 2011.

King: Begins his third season as Oakland’s punter after signing with the Silver and Black as an undrafted free agent in 2012…Has appeared in 32 games with 193 punts for 9,037 yards (46.8 avg.), placing 54 punts placed inside the opponents’ 20-yard line and only 14 touchbacks…Set franchise records in 2014 with 109 punts and 4,930 yards…In 2013, became third punter in franchise history to lead the NFL in punting with a 48.9 average…Missed the 2012 campaign due to a foot injury.

Leonhardt: Enters his second year with the Silver and Black after making the team as an undrafted free agent in 2013…After spending his entire rookie campaign on the practice squad, played in 12 games, starting three, for the Raiders last season…Recorded six receptions for 35 yards (5.8 avg.) with one TD…Season cut short due to a concussion, landing him on the reserve/injured list for the 2014 season finale…Also contributed significantly on special teams, notching four tackles and one forced fumble.

McCants: Has appeared in 24 games, starting three, for the Raiders since joining the team’s practice squad prior to the beginning of the 2013 season…Originally selected by the New York Giants in the sixth round (201st overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft…Contributed primarily on special teams and as an extra offensive lineman in 2014, seeing action in 11 games…Made 13 appearances and started three games at right tackle in 2013…Spent majority of his rookie season on the Giants’ practice squad after being waived at the end of training camp.

Olawale: Rejoins Oakland for his fourth season with the club, contributing on offense and special teams…Career totals include 35 games played with one start, five carries for six yards (1.2 avg.), and 12 receptions for 81 yards (6.8 avg.) and two touchdowns…Appeared in all 16 games for the Raiders in 2014, posting five receptions for 18 yards (3.6 avg.) and his first two career touchdowns…Also finished second on the team with seven special teams stops…Originally entered the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys in 2012.

Ross: Returns for his fourth season with the Raiders…Has played in 43 games with 24 starts for Oakland over the last three seasons…Career totals include 183 tackles (119 solo), two INTs, two sacks, 14 passes defensed and two forced fumbles…Appeared in one game with the Miami Dolphins in 2014 after being waived by Oakland following training camp…Re-joined the Raiders prior to Week 4…Finished 2014 with 68 tackles (47), two INTs, eight passes defensed and one forced fumble in 13 games…Originally joined the Raiders after being signed off the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad in September 2012.

Thorpe: Re-joins the Raiders for his second season with the team…Played a key role on the team’s special teams unit in 2014…Posted two tackles (one solo) and three passes defensed on defense and six special teams stops…Career totals include 23 games played, six tackles (five solo) and three passes defensed…Joined the Raiders as a reserve/future signing in 2014…Played for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012 after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent.

The San Jose SaberCats Blow Past The Los Angeles Kiss 54-28

April 5, 2015 11:00PM PT

(San Jose, Calif.)– The San Jose SaberCats started fast and finished strong in their 2015 home opener.  The SaberCats fullback Odie Armstrong bulldozed his way into the end zone on the first possession and San Jose never took their foot off the gas.  The SaberCats blow past the Los Angeles Kiss 54-28, in front of 10,175 fans on Saturday night.

DSC04632Photo By Shawn Jonas

The Kiss struggled to move the ball on the SaberCats defense most of the evening. Despite a good kick return by Marcus Trice which gave the Kiss excellent field position on the five yard-line.  The Kiss could not move the ball on the SaberCats vaunted defense. Two sacks and five penalties later, Los Angeles turned the ball over on downs.

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Photo By Shawn Jonas

The SaberCats jumped out to a 20-0 in the first quarter after wide reciever Reggie Gray scored on a 10-yard touchdown reception, and 6’3″ 315 pound Offensive Lineman Rich Ranglin took a screen pass in for a 14-yard touchdown.

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Gray lead the SaberCats in week one and continued on that same path within  San Jose’s aerial attack. He  finished with 10 receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns.

DSC05077Photo By Shawn Jonas

Donovan Morgon got Los Angeles on the score board in the second quarter with a 33-yard touchdown reception from Adrian McPherson, cutting the San Jose lead to 20-7. The leading receiver for the Kiss was not done, as Morgan scored on a 42-yad reception to cut the SaberCats lead to 47-21. Morgan had five receptions for 141 yards and finished with three touchdown receptions for the second straight game.

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Photo by Shawn Jonas

Quarterback Erik Meyer played  another great game against the Kiss. He completed 20-of-31 passes for 222 yards, five touchdowns, and one interception. Meyer has completed at least one touchdown passes to four different receivers in the first two games.

“(Meyer) goes through his progressions and in our mind somebody is always going be open,” said Owner and Head Coach Darren Arbet.

The 27-7 lead was followed by a six-yard interception returned for a touchdown by David Hyland. Drawing from the ironman days of the past in the AFL, Hyland stepped in at wide receiver after Ben Nelson went down with an injury and scored on the other side of the ball as well. In his first appearance on offense since 2012, Hyland hauled in two receptions for 33 yards and a score to earn him J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game honors.

“The next man up is how we prepare every week; you have to know more than one position in this league,” said Hyland. “It’s kind of the old iron man game playing both offense and defense.”

The pass rush of San Jose overwhelmed Los Angeles’ offensive line, as McPherson was sacked six times and eventually was replaced by Brian Zbydniewski in the second half. With the game out of reach, Zbydniewski threw a pair of touchdowns to Morgan, completing 4-of-9 passes for 73 yards.

Virgil Gray took notice of the change, as he picked off Zbydniewski and returned it for a 27-yard touchdown. The off-season acquisition of Gray has been tremendous for the SaberCats secondary, as the playmaker has tallied an interception in both games this season.
Starting at defensive end for the second straight game, Luis Vasquez continued to dominate off of the edge. Vasquez totaled two-and-a-half sacks on the night, constantly disrupting the timing of the Kiss offense. Despite the team adding Donte Paige-
Moss and Rodney Fritz this off-season, the Arizona State Sun Devil is proving his worth in this top ranked defensive unit.

“This year is unfinished business,” said Vasquez. “Coming into this season it’s about what have you done for me lately and what can you do for us to win this game.”

With an aggressive unit that plays physical until the whistle blows, and the team still meshing with the newly acquired players, penalties have been a concern. San Jose committed 15 penalties that resulted in a loss of 92 yards.

“We are still making a lot of mistakes,” said coach Arbet. “It’s still early in the season, but that’s not the standard we want to be playing at.”

Sitting atop the Pacific Division, the SaberCats improved to 2-0 on the season and will travel to Tampa Bay for a showdown with the Storm (1-1) on Friday, April 10th.

DSC04415The San Jose Saber Kittens Pre-Game .  Photo By Shawn Jonas

 

 

Sacramento Republic FC Loses A HeartBreaker 2-1 To The Portland Timbers 2

April, 2, 2015 9:53PM

Courtesy of Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations,

Photo Courtesy:Portland Timbers 2

Former Republic FC loan player Steven Evans scored late goal to propel Timbers 2 to the 2-1 win.

The match started with both teams trying to maintain possession and control the midfield. Both sides had some good chances early but were unable to convert in the first half.

In the 41st minute Republic FC got their best look on goal in the first half when defender Emrah Klimenta sent a ball to midfielder Rodrigo Lopez in the middle of the field. Lopez trapped the ball and took two dribbles forward to the top of the box before sending a left-footed strike towards goal, but the ball sailed just over the crossbar.

Four minutes later, T2 got their best opportunity of the first half. In the 44th minute a poor clearance by Republic FC left T2 forward Schillo Tshuma open and behind the defense. Tshuma tried to chip the onrushing Patrick McLain but sent the ball just wide left of the goal, keeping the match at 0-0 going into the break.

Republic FC started the second half quickly, winning three corners in the first three minutes of the half. In the 48th minute forward Cameron Iwasa made a move to get behind the defense and had a one-on-one with T2 keeper and former Republic FC loan player Jake Gleeson but was unable to get the ball past the onrushing Gleeson.

In the 61st minute Republic FC was able to find a goal. Second half substitute Joaquin Rivas received the ball at the top of the box, behind the defense, settled the ball and sent a pass back to Iwasa who was running on the right side of Rivas. Iwasa was able to shoot the ball into an open net since Gleeson had rushed forward to block a possible shot from Rivas.

T2 took no time in finding an equalizer just a minute later, made the score 1-1. Defender Taylor Peay ran the ball up the right side of the field and sent a low cross to forward Kharlton Belmar who was behind the defense. Belmar then poked the ball past McLain who was not able to react in time to save the ball.

In the 87th minute Republic FC cleared a weak shot by T2, but the clear went right to the feet of Steven Evans at the top of the box. Evans ran onto the ball and with his first touch sent a rocket into the top right corner of the box and put T2 ahead 2-1.

“It felt good to get the first one out of the way and see the ball go in the net,” said Iwasa of his first professional goal. “Overall the result was definitely disappointing especially giving up the lead and then giving up the late winner as well. We had our chances and could have put the game away but didn’t take advantage of them.”

Republic FC will return home to take on LA Galaxy II at their Bonney Field Opening Night on Saturday, April 11. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. The match is sold out, but fans may purchase tickets to the next Republic FC match, on April 15, at Ticketmaster.com.

Portland Timbers 2 2:1 Sacramento Republic FC
USL Match
Merlo Field – Portland, OR
April 2, 2015 – Attendance: 2,501

Scoring Summary: SRFC – Cameron Iwasa (Joaquin Rivas) 61, POR – Kharlton Belmar (Taylor Peay) 62, Steven Evans 87.

Misconduct Summary: SRFC – Derek Foran (caution) 35, Mickey Daly (caution) 59; POR – Taylor Peay (caution) 69.

Sacramento Republic FC – Patrick McLain; Emrah Klimenta, Mickey Daly, Derek Foran, James Kiffe; Octavio Guzman, Ivan Mirković, Gabe Gonzalez (Joaquin Rivas 59), Rodrigo Lopez; Cameron Iwasa (Adnan Gabeljic 77), David Estrada.

Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek, Agustin Cazarez, Gabe Gissie, Alfonso Motagalvan.

Stats: Shots: 11, Shots on Goal: 5, Saves: 2, Fouls: 9, Corner Kicks: 8, Offside: 5.

Portland Timbers 2 – Jake Gleeson; Taylor Peay, Harrison Delbridge, Rennico Clarke, Andy Thoma; Tim Payne, Blair Gavin (Matt Rose 85), Nick Besler; Rundell Winchester (Steven Evans 77), Kharlton Belmar (Fatawu Safiu 71), Schillo Tshuma

Subs Not Used:

Stats: Shots: 7, Shots on Goal: 4, Saves: 4, Fouls: 18, Corner Kicks: 4, Offside: 3.

The Oakland Raiders Sign Veteran Tackle J’Marcus Webb

April 2, 2015 11:07 AM

Courtesy of The Oakland Raiders Media PR

ALAMEDA, California – The Oakland Raiders have signed free agent T J’Marcus Webb, the club announced Thursday.

Webb joins the Raiders following stints with the Chicago Bears (2010-12) and Minnesota Vikings (2013-14). His career totals include 55 games played with 45 starts, and two postseason starts. As a rookie, he started 12 games at right tackle before switching to left tackle in his second season, where he started all 32 games for the Bears from 2011-12.

In two seasons with Minnesota, including the 2013 campaign under Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave when he served in the same role with the Vikings, the 6-foot-7, 333-pounder appeared in nine games with one start. Following the 2013 season, Webb signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as an unrestricted free agent. He was released by the Chiefs following their 2014 training camp, later rejoining the Vikings in November of last year and playing in one game for Minnesota last season.

The Fort Worth, Texas, native was originally drafted by Chicago in the seventh round (218th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. Webb’s collegiate career included stints at three different schools, beginning at the University of Texas in 2006, where he helped the Longhorns to a 10-3 record and an Alamo Bowl victory. Webb then spent one season at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, before transferring to West Texas A&M, where he started 24-of-25 games at left tackle from 2008-09.

The Oakland Raiders Release Veteran Defensive Tackle Antonio Smith

March 31, 2015 1:00PM

Photo by Shawn Jonas

Alameda, California –The Oakland Raiders announce have they released veteran defensive tackle Antonio Smith Tuesday afternoon.

The Raiders 33-year-old had 20 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble in 16 games in 2014. Smith has missed just one game since the 2005 season.

The Raiders save $4 million against the salary cap without any dead money associated with the transaction. Smith was set to enter the latter half of a two-year $9 million contract with $4 million in guaranteed money paid last season.

The Raiders added free agent Dan Williams to the interior defensive line, already manned by second-year pro Justin Ellis. Both players are known as run stuffers on the inside.

Smith would have complimented Ellis and Williams at the three technique.

C.J. Wilson was re-signed last week, he has the ability to play all four positions on the defensive line. He played defensive end last year. Wilson is expected to mover around under new head coach Jack Del Rio and defensive coordinator Ken Norton.

The Raiders should add another player in this group possibly through the 2015 NFL draft. USC’s Leonard Williams would be a great addition, although he isn’t expected to still be there when the Raiders draft at the #4 .

Photo Credit By Shawn Jonas

Antonio Smith giving thanks and enjoys a moment after breaking the longest losing streak by a single player. 2013 Houston Texans 14 games, and 2014 Oakland Raiders 10 games for a total of 24 straight losses. NFL record.

The San Jose SaberCats Take Down The Expansion Las Vegas Outlaws In Season Opener 59-41

March 30, 11:15 PM

Courtesy Of The San Jose SaberCats Media Relations

Las Vegas, Nevada – The San Jose SaberCats (1-0) rode a colossal first half to defeat the Las Vegas Outlaws (0-1) 59-41 at the Thomas & Mack Center Monday night.

Taking the ball under center, SaberCats’ quarterback Erik Meyer looked across the middle of the field and found the always reliable Ben Nelson for a 14-yard first down, his first completed pass as a SaberCat. The SaberCats shook off the season opener jitters en route to a 21-0 first quarter lead. The SaberCats got on the board first, when Odie Armstrong took the handoff in for a two yard touchdown. Meyer followed that with 32-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Gray, after an offside penalty on Outlaws’ defensive end Terrance Carter allowed for a free play.

On the Outlaw’s opening drive, SaberCats defensive backs Virgil Gray and Eric Crocker were both flagged for defensive holding in the secondary. The ball hawking Gray found his redemption though, picking off Outlaws’ quarterback J.J. Raterink in the end zone two plays later. On the ensuing two Outlaw possessions, Gray and the rest of the SaberCats’ defense forced a turnover-on-downs, including a goal-line run stop.

On the contrary, Meyer led the San Jose offense on six straight first half scoring drives. The former Spokane Shock duo of Meyer and wide receiver Adron Tennell were officially reacquainted, as Tennell hauled in a one-handed reception, as he crashed over the boards for a 29-yard touchdown, giving the SaberCats a 21-0 first quarter lead. Tennell hauled in five receptions for 84 yards in his SaberCats debut.
In his debut with San Jose, the 2013 AFL Most Valuable Player distributed the ball around, throwing for 294 yards on 18-of-29 passes and six touchdowns, while tossing at least one touchdown pass to each of his four receivers. Gray led all SaberCat receivers with seven receptions for 89 yards.

The ageless wonder, SaberCats’ wide receiver Ben Nelson got into the fray as well, catching two first half touchdowns from Meyer, to bring his AFL career total to 172 touchdown receptions. Nelson totaled four receptions for 60 yards.

Scoring the first points for the Outlaws’ franchise, Raterink was able to run in two touchdowns to cut the SaberCats lead to 42-13 at halftime. The Outlaws’ maneuvered the ball into the redzone on five separate occasions in the first half, but only capitalized twice.

On the opening drive of the second half, the Outlaws marched down the field and scored when Las Vegas native, Tysson Poots, caught a four yard touchdown reception from Raterink, his first of three touchdowns on the night. Poots finished with seven receptions and 123 yards to lead all receivers. After the SaberCats offense surrendered their first turnover on downs, the defense answered the call. After defensive end Luis Vasquez stripped Raterink, David Hyland scooped up the ball and was tripped up at the five yard line. The SaberCats would extend their lead to 49-20 after Meyer found Tennell for the second time in the end zone. There was a bit of a scare for the SaberCats after the pass, when Meyer was taken down by a host of Outlaw defenders and was seen icing his hand between possessions.

Similar to the 2014 season, where he took over for starting quarterback Russ Michna, Nathan Stanley assumed the role from Meyer but was unable to find the same immediate success. Coming off of the edge, Terrance Carter sacked Stanley on fourth down to force a turnover. Taking over on downs, Raterink connected with rookie wide receiver LaDon Hudson on a seven yard touchdown pass, to bring the Outlaws to their closest mark at 49-34.

After the SaberCats recovered an onside kick and scored on Armstrong’s second rushing touchdown, the Outlaw’s answered when Poots climbed the ladder, snagged a one-handed reception, broke a tackle and raced into the end zone. The score cut the SaberCats lead to 56-41 midway through the fourth quarter. After Meyer returned to the lineup, the SaberCats extended their lead to 59-41 on the leg of 2014 AFL Kicker of the Year Nich Pertuit, who connected on a 25-yard field goal.

Despite being outscored 17-28 in the second half, San Jose held on thanks in large part to the arm of Erik Meyer and their havoc creating, opportunistic defense. .

ABOUT THE SAN JOSE SABERCATS
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 thesanjosesabercats.com 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.
-THIS IS SABERCATS COUNTRY-

The Oakland Raiders Officially Announce Re-Signing of Defensive Lineman C. J. Wilson

March 30 1:49 PM

Courtesy of The Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Photo By Shawn Jonas

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have re-signed DL C.J. Wilson, the club announced Monday.

Wilson returns to the Raiders after spending the 2014 campaign with the Silver and Black. In tying a career high with 16 appearances, he started seven games and totaled 34 tackles (22 solo), two sacks and one forced fumble. His career totals include 66 games played with 18 starts, 137 tackles (76 solo), 5.5 sacks, one fumble recovery and one pass defensed.

DSC09640Photo By Shawn Jonas 

The 6-foot-3, 300-pounder joined the Raiders last offseason after spending the previous four seasons with the Green Bay Packers, playing in 50 games for the team. Wilson played a key role on Green Bay’s defensive line during their Super Bowl run in 2010, playing in all four games – including starting Super Bowl XLV – and totaling six tackles (five solo) and one sack.

The Pinetown, N.C., native was originally selected by the Packers in the seventh round (230th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft out of East Carolina. He finished his four-year career with 192 tackles and 27 sacks and was named the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 and 2009, his junior and senior seasons.

Sacramento Republic FC Takes Down Los Angeles Galaxy II 3-2

March 28, 2015 10:37 PM

Courtesy of Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Photo Courtesy : The LA Galaxy II

Match Recap: Sacramento Republic FC 3, LA Galaxy II 2

Rodrigo Lopez scores match-winning goal late in stoppage time to propel Republic FC to their second straight stoppage-time win over LA Galaxy II, a 3-2 victory.

The match started quickly with both side coming out strong and pressing the defenses. In just the 8th minute LA Galaxy II would put themselves ahead on a free kick. Midfielder Raul Mendiola, on loan from LA Galaxy, squared up a 25-yard free kick from the right side of the pitch. The in-swinger found the head of defender Daniel Steres, who flicked the ball into the right side of the net to put Los Dos ahead 1-0.

Republic FC took no time in responding, quickly making plays on the counterattack in an attempt to equalize. In the 12th minute, Republic FC forward David Estrada was taken down in the box, setting up a penalty. Midfielder Octavio Guzman calmly stepped up to the spot, then sent an elevated shot into the left side of the net and past the outstretched hand of Los Dos keeper, Clement Diop, who had guessed right. The penalty evened the score 1-1.

12 minutes later, Republic FC earned a second penalty kick in the 24th minute when forward Cameron Iwasa was fouled in the box, earning Republic FC their second penalty. Guzman again stepped up to the spot and, after a quick stutter-step toward the left side, sent an elevated ball into the left side of the net, this time fooling Diop, who dove to the right. The half would end with Republic FC leading 2-1.

The match continued at a high pace in the second half, with both sides eager for another goal. In the 66th minute, Mendiola would again set up a Los Dos goal, this time in the run of play. Mendiola received a perfect pass up the right side of the pitch and send a low cross in front of the goal where it met the foot of Travis Bowen, who was able to poke the ball past the Republic FC defense and equalize the match to 2-2.

The final 24 minutes of the match were a flurry, with each side trying to find a winning goal and capitalize on mistakes in the other side’s defensive third. It wasn’t until the final minute of stoppage time that Republic FC would find their winning goal. A lofted pass ahead to Estrada set up the match-winner. Estrada, who streaked up the far side of the pitch with the ball with second-half substitution Rodrigo Lopez nearby. The pair exploited the two-on-one situation as Estrada sent a perfect square ball across the face of goal to an oncoming Lopez, who simply tapped the ball into the net from about three yards out to clinch the 3-2 victory for Republic FC.

The win is the first for Republic FC in the 2015 USL season and their fifth all-time against Los Dos. Republic FC won’t have long to think about the win however as they play Portland Timbers 2 on Thursday, April 2 in the first matchup against the former affiliates. The match will take place at Merlo Field on the campus of the University of Portland. Kickoff is 7:00 p.m.

LA Galaxy II 2:3 Sacramento Republic FC
USL Match
StubHub Center – Carson, CA
March 28, 2015 – Attendance: 1,292

Scoring Summary: LA – Daniel Steres (Raul Mendiola) 8, Travis Bowen (Raul Mendiola) 66; SRFC – Octavio Guzman (penalty) 13, Octavio Guzman (penalty) 25, Rodrigo Lopez (David Estrada) 90.

Misconduct Summary: LA – Alejandro Covarrubias (caution) 22, Andre Auras (caution) 35, Jason Bli (caution) 37; SRFC – Joaquin Rivas (caution) 54, Octavio Guzman (caution) 77, Ivan Mirković (caution) 84.

Sacramento Republic FC – Patrick McLain; Emrah Klimenta, Mickey Daly, Derek Foran, James Kiffe; Gabe Gonzalez (Adnan Gabeljic 69), Ivan Mirković, Octavio Guzman, Joaquin Rivas (Gabe Gissie 64); Cameron Iwasa (Rodrigo Lopez 58), David Estrada .

Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek, Agustin Cazarez, Alfonso Motagalvan

Stats: Shots: 17, Shots on Goal: 7, Saves: 1, Fouls: 18, Corner Kicks: 5, Offside: 7.

LA Galaxy II – Clint Diop; Daniel Steres, Lee Nishanian, Jason Bli (David Romney 81), Joe Franco; Andre Auras (Elijah Martin 58), Raul Mendiola, Jaime Villarreal (Ryo Fujii 45), Alejandro Covarrubias (Kainoa Bailey 73); Adonis Amaya (Jack McBean 58), Travis Bowen.

Subs Not Used: Nick Shackleford.

Stats: Shots: 6, Shots on Goal: 3, Saves: 2, Fouls: 4, Corner Kicks: 1, Offside: 1.

Sacramento Republic FC Fall In Opener To The Seattle Sounders FC 2 4-2

March 21, 2015 10:46 PM

Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media

Photo Courtesy of Prost America

Sacramento Republic FC drop their first match of the USL 2015 season following six second-half goals, including four for S2.

The match started slowly for both sides, which is not unheard of for the first match of the season. Republic FC soon got into a rhythm and became the stronger side for the remainder of the half, constantly challenging the S2 defense.

In just the 3rd minute, Republic FC saw one of their best chances when newly signed forward David Estrada found a streaking Gabe Gonzalez on the right side of the box. Gonzalez sent a quick cross to the back post where Justin Braun was waiting, but the cross went just over his head.

Republic FC were at it again in the 22nd minute, when Estrada found James Kiffe wide open in the middle of the field. Kiffe balanced himself at the left corner of the box and took a strong shot that beat the keeper but skipped harmlessly off the side netting. The match was scoreless at the half.

The second half began quick and stayed that way. In the 49th minute, S2 struck first when forward Andy Craven received the ball in the middle of the field from Damion Lowe. Craven took the ball down then fought off Republic FC defender Mickey Daly before flicking a chip shot over a leaping Patrick McLain, putting S2 up 1-0.

Republic FC seemed energized by the goal and found the equalizer in the 64th minute. Midfielder Octavio Guzman took a corner for Republic FC that was deflected back to him. Guzman then sent the ball back in front of the net where it was deflected a few more times before finding Braun at the top of the box. Braun sent a low liner into the bottom left side of the net to even the score 1-1.

Just six minutes later, forward Sam Garza subbed on for S2 and on his first touch of the match put S2 ahead 2-1. Garza received a pass near the middle of the field from Pablo Rossi, chested the ball down then fired a shot past McLain.

Five minutes later S2 struck again, this time off a free kick. In the 74th minute Republic FC defender Kiffe received a yellow card, setting up a free kick about 25 yards out. In the 75th minute Rossi stepped up and sent the free kick bending over the wall and into the upper left corner of the net putting S2 ahead 3-1.

In the 89th minute S2 would find the net for the fourth and final time of the night when midfielder Victor Mansaray beat the Republic FC defense down the left side of the field. Mansaray then send a low cross to Cristian Roldan at the right side of the box who sent the ball past McLain, putting S2 up 4-1.

One minute into stoppage time Republic FC would salvage a final goal from a free kick. Guzman stepped up to the ball from about 5 yards outside of the box and sent a knuckleball the outsretched hand of Charlie Lyon and into the top right corner of the box. The match would end with a score of 4-2 in favor of S2.

“We weren’t as good as we could have been,” said Republic FC head coach Preki. “We have to find a way to regroup and get better.”

Republic FC will be back in action on Saturday, March 28 when they take on LA Galaxy II at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Match will be stream live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday.

Seattle Sounders FC 2 4:2 Sacramento Republic FC
USL League Match
Starfire Stadium – Tukwila, WA
March 21, 2015 – Attendance: 2,951

Scoring Summary: SEA – Andy Craven (Damion Lowe) 49, Sam Garza (Pablo Rossi) 70, Pablo Rossi 75, Cristian Roldan (Victor Mansaray) 89; SRFC – Justin Braun 64, Octavio Guzman 90

Misconduct Summary: SRFC – Justin Braun (caution) 59, Derek Foran (caution) 65, James Kiffe (caution) 74

Sacramento Republic FC – Patrick McLain; Emrah Klimenta, Mickey Daly, Derek Foran, James Kiffe; Octavio Guzman, Ivan Mirković, Gabe Gonzalez, Joaquin Rivas (Cameron Iwasa 72); Justin Braun, David Estrada (Adnan Gabeljic 84).

Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek, Gabe Gissie, Alfonso Motagalvan.

Stats: Shots: 8, Shots on Goal: 2, Saves: 3, Fouls: 15, Corner Kicks: 5, Offside: 2.

Seattle Sounders FC 2 – Charlie Lyon; Oniel Fisher (Aaron Long 45), James Ockford, Damion Lowe, Dylan Remick; Victor Mansaray, Amadou Sanyang (Cristian Roldan 63), Giuliano Frano, Aaron Kovar (Sam Garza 69); Pablo Rossi (Darwin Jones 86), Andrew Craven (Duncan McCormick 75).

Subs Not Used: Saif Kerawala, Nicholas Miele,

Stats: Shots: 12, Shots on Goal: 7, Saves: 0, Fouls: 9, Corner Kicks: 3, Offside: 2.

The Oakland Raiders Add Free Agent Running Back Trent Richardson

March 17, 2015 10:03 AM PT

Shawn Jonas

Alameda, California – The Oakland Raiders signs free agent Running Back Trent Richardson. In old-school Raiders fashion, the former third overall draft pick, Richardson gets that much needed fresh start. This is an Al Davis type of move, nothing to lose.

A native of Pensacola, Florida, Richardson was originally selected by the Cleveland Browns in the first round (third overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Alabama. In helping the Crimson Tide capture national championships in 2009 and 2011, Richardson played in 38 games, totaling 3,130 rushing yards on 540 attempts (5.8 avg.) with 35 touchdowns. He left Alabama near the top of the school’s major rushing categories, including rushing yards (fifth), rushing touchdowns (third) and rushing average (second).

Richardson, 24, has played in 46 games with 37 starts over three seasons with the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts. His career totals include 614 carries for 2,032 yards (3.3 avg.) and 17 touchdowns to go along with 113 receptions for 912 yards (8.1 avg.) and two touchdowns.

Last season in Indianapolis, Richardson played in 15 games with 12 starts and finished with 159 carries for 519 yards (3.3 avg.) and three touchdowns. He also added 229 receiving yards on 27 receptions.

The 5-foot-9, 225-pounder rushed for 950 yards on 267 carries with 11 touchdowns as a rookie with the Browns in 2012. His 950 rushing yards set a Cleveland single-season rookie franchise record, passing Jim Brown’s previous mark of 942 set in 1957. Richardson did so by playing the majority of the year with broken ribs.

Richardson entered the NFL as one of the most heralded running backs in years after a successful college career at Alabama. Richardson is one of three backs since 1996 to go in the top three picks in the draft, joining No. 2 overall picks Reggie Bush in 2006 and Ronnie Brown in 2005.

Cleveland traded Richardson to Indianapolis after just two games in the 2013 season for a first-round pick. Thought to be the final piece needed to solidify an offense led by star quarterback Andrew Luck, Richardson never fit in with the Colts.

Richardson was inactive for a divisional playoff game against Denver and was suspended for the AFC championship game against New England because he didn’t contact the team when his girlfriend had pregnancy complications, and he missed mandatory functions.

That suspension voided his contract, the Colts argued. Richardson has filed a grievance to recover $3 million in salary.

”From the beginning, trying to fit into their program, it was different for me,” he said. ”For me, it was more of me being an all-time blocker. There’s nothing wrong with blocking, but I still want to be able to help the team in different types of ways. I don’t look at it as a bad thing. I just think it was a bad marriage.”

The Raiders needed to upgrade a running game that was the least productive in the NFL in 2014. Richardson was brought in to compete with Latavius Murray, who showed promise last season by rushing for 424 yards on 82 carries (5.1avg.) in limited action. The Raiders won three of their last six games with Murray getting the bulk of the carries, over Darren McFadden.

Last week Oakland added free-agent acquisition Roy Helu. Helu is expected to be more of a third down back and he’ll be used in passing situations.

One of the most needed upgrades for the Raiders this off season is to get Derek Carr more weapons, and to bolster the running game.  Former Chiefs Center Rodney Hudson was alsobrought in to help improve the offensive line.

Carr put this out on twitter to his new teammate.

Screenshot_2015-03-18-00-18-54-1

It looks as if Jack Del Rio is creating that three headed monster that many NFL teams do in this modern era of the game. Thunder and Lightning so to speak. Richardson is that physical runner possible short-yardage goaline back between the tackles. Murray is a big back, but has that 4.4 speed which is deceiving. An upright runner with subtle moves that gets him into the open field. Helu is a very good receiver and does well in pass protection. The knock on Richardson with the Colts, he wasn’t good in pass protection and he didn’t have enough of a burst to get thru the hole.

With Murray and Helu never being the featured back in their young NFL careers, Richardson will push the competition at the position. If Richardson can be the back he was his rookie year, the three headed monster looks complete.

Richardson believes he can earn the starting role in Oakland after going over the playbook with coach Jack Del Rio on Monday night. Richardson said the offense is similar to what he ran in college at Alabama.

Richardson: ”He just said there is just a lot of opportunity out here,” Richardson said. ”He said he isn’t going to promise me anything, but if I come in and work, I can be that bell cow.”

The Oakland Raiders Media Conference Call Q & A

Q: When you got cut from the Colts, you had some quotes saying that you expect to be the starter elsewhere. Is that the mindset coming into Oakland?

Richardson: “Most definitely. If a guy is coming in and doesn’t expect to be a starter, why is that guy here? For me, I expect to be a starter wherever I’m at. I just can’t wait for the opportunity.”

Q: Why didn’t it work out in Indianapolis?

Richardson: “From the beginning, trying to fit into their program, it was different for me. For me, it was more of me being an all-time blocker. There’s nothing wrong with blocking, but I still want to be able to help the team in different types of ways. I don’t look at it as a bad thing. I just think it was a bad marriage. With that, I don’t blame the O-line or anybody else. At the end of the day, I can still get better and I’m going to be working my tail off and trying to be the best running back now.”

Q: When did all of this start to happen with the Raiders?

Richardson: “Really, I got up here last night, yesterday. I had a real good chat with them. We went over the offense and saw a lot of stuff that I saw in college. I know this playbook already, especially when it comes to the run. I know what they expect and how they’re going to spread the field, putting me in a position to be successful. With that, in talking to [Head] Coach [Jack Del Rio], he just said there is just a lot of opportunity out here. He said he isn’t going to promise me anything, but if I come in and work, I can be that bell cow.”

Q: After not averaging four yards a carry over your NFL career, do you think that this is a system that can change that?

Richardson: “Most definitely. In my first season, I think it was something close to it, but it is what it is. I played the whole season with broken ribs, and I rushed for like 950 and I played 14 games. Last year, just in Indy, that system just didn’t fit me. When I got there, started off kind of early this year, it was going good and then I ended up getting hurt and then stuff just kind of bagged off. Just looking back on it, that’s a taste that you never want to get in your mouth again. Hopefully this is my last stop, and I’m going to do whatever I can to make this my last stop. Until I’m ready to walk away from the game, I don’t want to leave here.”

Q: After having so much success in college, have the last few seasons been humbling for you?

Richardson: “Most definitely. The very first humbling experience I had was getting traded. I spent the whole year, just wondering, why in the world and how in the world did I get traded. Looking back at it, even if they said it was a business move, in my head, it’s still some type of, ‘OK, you still got traded.’ With that, these last few years, it’s been very humbling, being able to play with Ahmad Bradshaw and be able to play with guys like Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis and Andrew [Luck]. It just takes you back to the basics, you’ve just got to be able to just perform, no matter what. With that, I just go back to my old pedigree. I had the Julio [Jones], the Mark Ingram, the AJ McCarron and the Eddie Lacy all on one team. It’s just big for me to get back to the basics.”

Q: Are you aware of the Raiders reputation of being a place where guys come to jump start their careers and is that appealing at all?

Richardson: “Yeah, I didn’t really look at it like that though. I’m just coming in and looking for this opportunity. Not saying that I’ve got to start over, but right now, it’s just a fresh start for me. It’s something that I can build off of and know that I can lose. With my mindset and the chip that’s on my shoulder, it’s no looking back.”

Q: Does it blow you away that a guy, Chris Borland, your age would retire?

Richardson: “Yeah, it does, but in some ways, it doesn’t. Mental-wise, that’s all this game is. Physically, I think that when you get to this level you can play it, but mentally, when you sit and think about stuff or your mind is not into it, that can tear you down as a man. A lot of football players don’t realize stuff until it’s gone. Once you realize that – I’ve been playing football my whole life. I’ve been playing football since I was six years old. Coach asked me this yesterday, he said, ‘Trent, how long have you been playing football?’ I said, ‘Coach, I’ve been playing since six years old.’ He said, ‘So, what would you do without football? At your age, what would you do without football?’ It kind of hit me to where, ‘Yeah, you’re right, coach.’ That’s something that you don’t expect, that you don’t hear from everybody.”