Category Archives: Central Valley Sports

Sacramento Republic FC Falls to Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 1-0

Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC defeat Sacramento Republic FC 1-0 behind a 36th minute goal from Kevaughn Frater and a stout defensive performance.

 The match began with both teams feeling each other out, but Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, who needed a win or tie to keep their playoff hopes alive, pushed to find an early goal.  Despite the early pressure by the Switchbacks, it was Republic FC who would see the best early chance in the 27th minute.  Midfielder Villyan Bijev attacked through the middle of the field, reaching the top of the box before laying the ball wide to the left where Wilson Kneeshaw was making a run.  Kneeshaw attempted a right-footed shot, but a diving Switchbacks defender was there just in the nick of time to knock the ball out for a corner.

 The Switchbacks pressure would break through in the 36th minute on a play that started down the left side.  Defender Josh Suggs drove the ball down the side before cutting the ball back and sending a cross toward the back post.  Midfielder Kevaughn Frater chested the ball down and took a quick touch before firing a low shot past the defense and into the back post to put the Switchbacks ahead 1-0 going into the half.

 Looking to increase their lead, the Switchbacks would continue the attack early in the second half.  In the 53rd minute they had their best chance on a corner by Masta Kacher.  The midfielder’s looping pass went into the middle of the box where it was popped straight up in the air.  Frater tried to knock the ball toward the net, but it was punched out by Newton instead, but only as far as Shawn Chin who chested the ball down before hitting a long shot from around 30-yards out.  The ball started going toward the upper right corner but bent high and wide right, keeping the score 1-0.

 The Switchbacks almost doubled their lead again in the 76th minute.  The ball went long where both Akwafei Ajeakwa and Frater had beat the defense.  Frater brought the long ball down in a one-on-one with Newton and attempted to chip the Republic FC keeper, but Newton was quick to leap in the air and snag the ball to keep Republic FC in the match.

 Republic FC had their best chance of the half a minute into stoppage time. Kiffe’s corner went to the far post where Jeremy Hall jumped high to head the ball back into the middle.  Villyan Bijev made a run to that spot and was able to snap a header toward the goal, but Dan Jackson was quick to dive and make the save.

 Republic FC will finish their three-match road trip when they travel to face Reno 1868 FC on Saturday, Oct. 14.  With a win or a tie in that match Republic FC will clinch their fourth straight playoff appearance.  Republic FC would also clinch a playoff spot with a loss or a draw tonight by Orange County SC.  Kickoff for the match against Reno 1868 FC is 7:30 p.m. at Greater Nevada Field.  The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide.

Sacramento Republic FC Defender Emrah Klimenta And Forward Trevin Caesar Earn National Team Call-ups For World Cup Qualifying Matches

Klimenta earns his third call-up this season while Caesar earns his second.

 SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC defender Emrah Klimenta has been called up to the Montenegro National Team, while forward Trevin Caesar has been called up to the Trinidad and Tobago National Team.  Both players joined their national teams on Sunday and will remain with them through Oct. 10.  Both will also miss Republic FC’s matches against Orange County SC on Oct. 4 and Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Oct. 7.

 Klimenta and Caesar join midfielder Jeremy Hall as Republic FC players to receive international call-ups during their tenure with the club.  In addition, current forward Lamin Suma (Sierra Leone) and former Republic FC players Jake Gleeson (New Zealand), Kip Colvey (New Zealand), Justin Braun (USA), Carlton Cole (England), Kaleemullah (Pakistan) and Alvas Powell (Jamaica) have all represented their respective national teams, although not during their time with the club.

 This is the fourth national team call up for Klimenta. The defender previously joined the Montenegro National Team from May 20 – 29, 2016 for a friendly match against Turkey, from May 24 – Jun. 10 for a World Cup Qualifying Match against Armenia and from Aug. 27 – Sept. 5 for World Cup Qualifying Matches against Kazakhstan and Romania.

 Klimenta and the Montenegro National Team entered camp on Oct. 1 and will play in World Cup Qualifying Matches against Denmark on Oct. 5 and Poland on Oct. 8.  Klimenta will rejoin Republic FC on Oct. 10.

 Caesar will join Trinidad and Tobago National Team for the first time since joining Republic FC.  The forward was previously called up in late August, but due to Hurricane Harvey in Houston, was unable to get a flight to join the team. Caesar will join the national team for their World Cup Qualifying Matches against Mexico on Oct. 6 and the United States on Oct. 10.  Caesar will rejoin Republic FC on Oct. 11.

 For a full schedule and roster please visit SacRepublicFC.com.

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Defeat Phoenix Rising FC 2-0

Goals from Emrah Klimenta and Agustin Cazarez lift Sacramento Republic FC to a 2-0 victory over Phoenix Rising FC to break their eleven-match unbeaten streak.

 After both teams struggled to find an offensive flow in the beginning of the match, Sacramento Republic FC found their stride in the 16th minute. Forward Trevin Caesar attacked down the left side of the pitch before sending a low cross into the box for Sammy Ochoa, who slyly dummied the ball between his legs. Midfielder Villyan Bijev tracked the ball into the box before rifling a right-footed shot just wide of the near post. Moments after Bijev’s near miss, Caesar nearly broke loose on an empty net but Phoenix Rising FC keeper Josh Cohen came off his line to force Caesar out towards the sideline.

 Phoenix had a great chance of their own go begging in the 27th minute. Forward Chris Cortez sent a short cross into the box just in front of Republic FC keeper Evan Newton. Jason Johnson won the aerial battle and sent a looping header towards goal. Newton had to retreat back and fully outstretch for the header. The ball looked dangerous as it dipped and hit the top of the crossbar with Newton cleverly letting it go out of play as to not concede a corner kick. The match would stay scoreless through halftime.

 Republic FC captain Emrah Klimenta put his stamp on the match in the 49th minute. Phoenix midfielder Matt Watson was whistled and carded for a handball just outside the box. Klimenta stood over the spot from 20 yards out and curled a right-footed shot over the wall and past Cohen for the emphatic 1-0 lead for Republic FC.

 Agustin Cazarez would add a second goal for Republic FC in the 54th minute. Strong build-up play led Bijev up the left wing with the ball. Bijev coolly slid a pass into the middle before the defense could get to him and the ball found the feet of Cazarez. The Republic FC midfield mainstay settled the ball in front of him before sending a left-footed shot on frame that beat Cohen and hit the back of the net.

 Newton made a crucial save in the 77th minute to preserve the two-goal lead for his side. Gladson Awako sent a free kick cross into the box and through the traffic the ball fell loose in front of goal. Newton quickly pounced on the ball and stopped the Phoenix attack. Republic FC held off the last ditch efforts of Phoenix to secure the 2-0 victory and a vital 3 points in the final home match of the regular season.

 “We were resilient and we had great fight,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “This atmosphere felt like a playoff match with the support [from the fans]. The boys did the job and hopefully we can take a lot of belief from this performance. This was a true Republic performance.”

 Republic FC will begin a three-match road trip to end the season when they travel south to take on Orange County SC on Wednesday, Oct. 4.  Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Orange County Great Park.  The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Shut Out By Real Monarchs SLC 2-0

Real Monarchs SLC use two goals in the first five minutes of the second half and strong goalkeeping to shutout Sacramento Republic FC 2-0.

 The match began with back and forth play for both sides in the first 20 minutes. Trevin Caesar and Agustin Cazarez were active early for Republic FC and Chandler Hoffman nearly broke free multiple times for Real Monarchs SLC. Republic FC captain Emrah Klimenta did his part to keep Hoffman in check early.

 Republic FC keeper Evan Newton was also busy in the first half. Newton made three saves, two on dangerous long distance efforts from Juan Mare and Taylor Peay. Newton also made a key grab in the air on a threatening cross in the 25th minute from Hoffman. Newton and Republic FC did well to stifle the Monarchs attack to keep the match scoreless in the first half.

 The Monarchs came out firing to start the second half as they jumped on the score sheet twice in the first five minutes. Mare tallied the first goal in the 47th minute, tapping in his own rebound shot after Newton made the initial save.

 Hoffman scored the second in the 49th minute after receiving a perfect through ball from Max Lachowecki that beat the Republic FC defense. Hoffman lofted a one-touch chip shot up and over a charging Newton as it bounced into the open net for a Monarch two-goal lead.

 Sammy Ochoa and James Kiffe nearly linked up for a goal in the 57th minute. Kiffe attacked up his normal left wing, beating a defender before whipping in a left-footed cross. Ochoa made a strong near-post run but his redirected header missed the target wide. Ochoa was able to earn a penalty in the 90th minute but he could not put it away as he took the kick himself only to have it saved by Putna in stoppage time.

 “We let ourselves down early in the second half,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “It is going to be a fight to get into the playoffs but it is good for us to have a fight. We did a lot of things right and I am very positive for Saturday.”

 Republic FC will host Phoenix Rising FC in their final home match of the season on Saturday, Sept. 30.  Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park.  Tickets are available at SacRepublicFC.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Falls To Oklahoma City FC 3-1

Oklahoma City Energy FC use two early goals to defeat Sacramento Republic FC 3-1 at Papa Murphy’s Park.

 Energy FC started the match on the front foot, scoring just 45 seconds into the match. After a long ball down the right side found Jon Brown, the midfielder slid a cross into the box that Miguel Gonzalez ran over leaving Jose Angulo wide open in the middle of the box. The forward simply turned his right foot and redirected the cross past Dominik Jakubek putting Energy FC in the lead 1-0 early. It was the second consecutive match that an opponent scored in the first minute against Republic FC.

 Energy FC would double their lead just eight minutes later. This time it was Angulo returning the favor and finding Brown for the goal.  After a long throw in from Kyle Hyland, Angulo attacked down the middle of the pitch.  The forward got to about 25 yards from goal before sliding the ball to his right where Brown was positioned.  Brown took a touch before firing a right-footed shot on the ground that beat Jakubek and snuck inside the far post for a 2-0 lead for Energy FC before the 10-minute mark of the match.

 Republic FC settled down and looked more dangerous as the half rolled on.  In the 42nd minute they had their best look of the half with James Kiffe attacking down the left side.  The defender cut inside before sending a cross near the back post.  Energy FC defender Sam Fink headed the ball away, but only as far as Emrah Klimenta who was positioned perfectly to take possession.  Klimenta brought the ball down with a quick touch of his right foot before sending a strong strike on goal, but Cochran made a quick dive to his right and was able to deflect the ball away from danger, keeping the score 2-0 going into the half.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Sign Goalkeeper Jordan Martinez And Midfielder Oscar Govea

Sacramento Republic FC Defeats LA Galaxy II 2-1

Sacramento Republic FC use goals from Luis Espino and Villyan Bijev to erase an early deficit and defeat LA Galaxy II 2-1 in front of sold-out crowd at Papa Murphy’s Park.

 Los Dos started the match out with a bang. Forward Ethan Zubak scored in the first 10 seconds, a USL record for fastest goal, beating the previous held record of Jordan Hamilton’s 18th second strike for Wilmington Hammerheads FC in 2014. Midfielder Alejandro Covarrubias took the opening kickoff and sent it long to Zubak who headed the ball down and sent a dipping shot from about 25 yards out that went up and over Dominik Jakubek and into the back of the net.

 Republic FC would answer back with a goal in the 26th minute. Forward Sammy Ochoa attacked down the right side, getting all the way to the touchline. Ochoa dragged the ball back to his left foot and sent a curling cross to the far post. Midfielder Luis Espino, making his Republic FC debut tonight, went unmarked at the far post as he sent his header into the back of the net for the equalizer.  The score would remain 1-1 going into the half.

 Tyler Blackwood had a glorious chance to put Republic FC up a goal in the 59th minute when he used his speed to blow past the Los Dos defense. Blackwood took three touches towards keeper Eric Lopez, who had to come off his line to stop the attack. Blackwood blasted a low shot, but Lopez slid and deflected the breakaway chance out of harm’s way.

 Republic FC would find the go-ahead goal in the 61st minute. Midfielder Villyan Bijev had the ball at his feet in the center of the pitch, 25 yards away from goal. He picked his head up and curled a right-footed shot past the defenders in his way and a diving Lopez for his second goal for Republic FC and putting the home side ahead 2-1.

 Second-half substitute Harry Williams nearly added a third goal in the 89th minute. Williams ran onto a long through ball and beat the defense as he headed for goal. Lopez came rushing off his line to cut down the angle for Williams to shoot at. Williams sent a left-footed shot on goal, but Lopez went to ground to make the save. The match ended a few minutes later with Republic FC securing the three points with a 2-1 victory over their rivals LA Galaxy II.

 “We looked dangerous and we deserved to win,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle after the victory. “We have shown great character this season. To come back when you fall behind, it shows character and we’ve got that. There are no easy games in this league.”

 Republic FC continues their four-match home stand when they host Oklahoma City Energy FC on Saturday, Sept. 23.  Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park.  Tickets are available at SacRepublicFC.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

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

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 

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