Category Archives: Central Valley Sports

Dave Brundage Returning To Manage Sacramento River Cats In 2018

New pitching coach Steve Kline and fundamentals coach Nestor Rojas to join returning hitting coach Damon Minor

 WEST SACRAMENTO, CA The Sacramento River Cats, in conjunction with the San Francisco Giants, are thrilled to welcome back Dave Brundage for his second season as manager of the River Cats for the 2018 season.

Brundage will be joined by a few new faces for the 2018 season at Raley Field. While Damon Minor will return for his third season as the River Cats hitting coach, he will be joined by new pitching coach Steve Kline and fundamentals coach Nestor Rojas. The new training staff will be made up of athletic trainer David Getsoff and strength and conditioning coach Andy King. Travis Higgs will round out the club’s 2018 field staff, and will serve as bullpen catcher and team administrator.

An Oregon native, Brundage joined the River Cats in 2017 and compiled a 64-77 record in his 20th season as a minor league manager. Before coming to Sacramento, the veteran manager spent the previous four seasons with the International League’s Lehigh Valley IronPigs. In 2016, Brundage led the IronPigs to an 85-58 record, the second best mark in all of Triple-A baseball.

Brundage, 53, made his managerial debut in 1995 with the Riverside Pilots (Seattle Mariners Class A-Advanced) but has spent most of his managerial career at either the Double- or Triple-A levels. Prior to his four seasons with Lehigh Valley, Brundage helmed the Richmond/Gwinnett Braves for six seasons from 2007 through 2012. He made his Triple-A debut in 2006 with the Pacific Coast League’s Tacoma Rainiers. Brundage has a career record of 1,435-1,392 (.508) in 20 seasons as a manager including a 857-858 (.499) mark at the Triple-A level.

Drafted in the 4th round of the 1986 Amateur Draft out of Oregon State University, Brundage spent 10 seasons as a player in the Minor Leagues with the Phillies and Mariners organizations.

Minor, 43, returns to the River Cats for his third season as hitting coach. In his second year with the team, Minor worked closely with Triple-A newcomers and top Giants’ prospects Christian Arroyo, Chris Shaw, and Ryder Jones as they prepared for their Major League debuts.

A former Giant, Minor was drafted by San Francisco in 1996 and made his Major League debut in 2000. In 136 games over parts of four seasons, Minor hit .232 with 13 home runs. He set a career-high in 2002 when he played in 83 games and slugged 10 home runs, helping the Giants claim the National League pennant. While in the Giants farm system, he compiled a .277 batting average with 179 home runs and 648 RBI across nine seasons.

Kline, 45, joins the River Cats as pitching coach after serving in the same role for three seasons with the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels and nine seasons overall with the organization. While in Richmond, Kline helped in the development of several River Cats standouts, including Tyler Beede, Andrew Suarez, and Tyler Rogers. Kline led the Giants Double-A affiliate to a top-five pitching staff (in team ERA) in each of his three Eastern League seasons, including a league-leading 3.12 team ERA in 2015.

Kline completed his 11-year Major League career as a lefty reliever with the Giants in 2007. All told, he appeared in 796 MLB games with five different organizations. The Pennsylvania native was an 8th round selection by the Cleveland Indians in the 2003 draft out of the University of West Virginia. He set the single –season record for appearances (89) in 2001 while with St. Louis, and led the National League in games played as a pitcher for three consecutive seasons (1999-2001).

Rojas, 34, will join the River Cats as fundamentals coach after managing the Class-A Advanced San Jose Giants in 2017. Since retiring at the end of the 2010 season, Rojas immediately began his coaching career and has been a bright up-and-coming coaching talent in the Giants organization.  Rojas landed his first managerial job in 2013 at age 29 with the Arizona Rookie League Giants, and led them to a 41-14 record. Prospects (and future River Cats) Christian Arroyo and Ryder Jones each began their professional careers as teenagers under Rojas during that 2013 season.

A native of Venezuela, Rojas played for six seasons in the Giants organization, including two stints with Triple-A Fresno in 2009 and 2010.

Rounding out the field staff will be a new athletic training and strength and conditioning duo. David Getsoff will join the River Cats as the athletic trainer in his 10th season with the Giants Organization, while Andy King will be the River Cats strength and conditioning coach in what will be his fifth season with the Giants. Travis Higgs will return as the team’s bullpen catcher in 2018.

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cat’s 2018 Giant Pack Launches Online For Thanksgiving holiday

The best games, guaranteed giveaways, and Giants exhibition game presale

 West Sacramento, CA – The Giant Pack for the upcoming Sacramento River Cats season will be available for purchase with a special online-only offer starting Monday, November 20.

The fan-favorite Giant Pack includes a Senate level seat for each of the 13 biggest River Cats games of 2018 and is available next week for just $299 (an $800 value). The package will also be available over the phone and in person starting Monday, November 27.

Among the 13 games included in the 2018 Giant Pack are Opening Night (April 10), Mother’s Day (May 13), Independence Eve (July 3), Star Wars Night (July 14), Fan Appreciation Night (August 30), and more. A full list of included game dates is available online at

Fans who purchase the package are also guaranteed premium giveaway items for the 2018 season, including a limited edition Madison Bumgarner Sactown jersey t-shirt. The first 500 fans who purchase a 2018 Giant Pack will also have the opportunity to choose from assorted River Cats gifts, perfect for the holiday season. Gifts must be selected at Raley Field.

Giant pack buyers will also receive exclusive access to a presale for the 2018 exhibition game on March 24 at Raley Field between the Sacramento River Cats and the San Francisco Giants. Presale date has not yet been determined.

For more information, please call the River Cats ticket hotline at (916) 371-HITS (4487) or email

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Salute Veterans With Special Ticket Package

ACE Hardware partners to offer 5-game package to service members

 West Sacramento, CA – The Sacramento River Cats are proud to announce a special ticket package in celebration of Veterans Day. These Veterans Day Ticket Packages, presented by ACE Hardware, will be available exclusively to all former and active military personnel on Friday, November 10 and Saturday, November 11 at the Round Table Pizza Ticket Office at Raley Field.

The package is available in both a Senate level option or an Assembly level option and include five River Cats games for the 2018 season: Opening Night on April 10, Salute to First Responders on April 28, Salute to Armed Forces on May 26, Memorial Day on May 28, and Independence Eve on July 3.

In addition, each pack comes with either a River Cats-themed military challenge coin or a River Cats cap (while supplies last). Prices for the ticket package are $60 for the Assembly seating option with challenge coin and $90 for Senate seating and cap.

“The Sacramento River Cats want to say thank you to all former service members and those currently serving for their service and sacrifice. The Sacramento region has strong military ties, and recognizing these exemplary citizens by providing them a fun ballpark experience is something of which the River Cats and our partner ACE Hardware are very proud,” said River Cats general manager, Chip Maxson. “We look forward to seeing our veterans, active military, and their friends and family at Raley Field in 2018.”

This special package can be purchased by all former and active military personnel only on Friday, November 10, and Saturday, November 11 at the Round Table Pizza Ticket Office at Raley Field. The ticket office will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and again from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Please be prepared to show Military ID or proof of service at time of purchase.

For more information, please call the River Cats ticket hotline at (916) 371-HITS (4487) or email

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Midfielder Jeremy Hall Called Up To Puerto Rico Men’s National Team

Hall will play with the Puerto Rico National Team as they face Orlando City SC in a friendly match to raise money for United for Puerto Rico.

 SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC midfielder Jeremy Hall has been called up to the Puerto Rico National Team for their “Fuerza Puerto Rico” friendly match against Orlando City SC on Saturday, Nov. 4.

 Hall is the third Republic FC player to be called up to his respective national team this season, joining Emrah Klimenta (Montenegro) and Trevin Caesar (Trinidad and Tobago). This is the second call-up for Hall as a member of Republic FC, having been previously called up in 2016.

 The friendly match will be played at Orlando City Stadium and all proceeds from the match will go to United For Puerto Rico, an initiative that raises funds and aids recovery efforts for the island following the hurricanes that passed through this summer.  The match will also serve as the final match for Kaká as a member of Orlando City, the club’s first Designated Player and 2007 FIFA Player of the Year.

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Fall 1-0 To Swope Park Rangers In The Western Conference Semifinals

Swope Park Rangers came out dominating possession in the first five minutes, but it was the visiting Sacramento Republic FC that would earn the first scoring chance in the match after Jeremy Hall was clipped down right outside the box in the 6th minute, Emrah Klimenta and Chris Christian stood over the ball a yard outside the box. It was Klimenta who tried sending a right-footed shot up and over the wall, but could not clear the defenders as the ball was cleared away.

 The Rangers had two chances of their own in the 18th minute after Luis Espino blocked away Colton Storm’s cross for a corner kick for the home side. Lebo Moloto’s cross was dangerous in the middle of the box as James Musa tried to get a head to it but the Republic defense was able to narrowly clear it out for another corner kick. The second time around, Rangers defender Amer Didic went airborne and sent a powerful header back across goal but it hit the corner of the post before being cleared away for good.

 Republic FC’s best chances came in the 29th minute after a sloppy turnover from the Rangers defense. Forward Sammy Ochoa pounced on a lazy pass back to keeper Adrian Zendejas but the ball got caught under his feet and he couldn’t get a shot off before the defense recovered and cleared the ball away for a corner. James Kiffe’s ensuing far post corner sailed all the way through as Luis Espino and Christian both whiffed on simultaneous shots keeping the match scoreless into the half.

 The Rangers found the breakthrough goal just after halftime in the 46th minute. After a long, lopping ball led Rangers forward Tyler Pasher on towards goal, Pasher poked a shot that Republic FC keeper Evan Newton was able to parry. The Rangers star forward Kharlton Belmar pounced on the rebound chance and wasted no time in putting the go-ahead goal in the back of the net.

 Republic FC had their best chance in the 71st minute. Kiffe had the ball on the left side with space before sending a cross into the middle, but it was deflected.  The deflection went back to Villyan Bijev who hit the ball on the volley, but his shot went just wide left of the post keeping the match 1-0.

 Despite a flurry of chances for Republic FC in the last 20 minutes, they were unable to find an equalizer and Swope Park would win 1-0.  The loss ends the season for Republic FC.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Ties Reno 1868 FC 2-2

Sammy Ochoa’s brace helps earn Sacramento Republic FC a 2-2 draw with Reno 1868 FC and a point in their final USL regular season match. 

 The match started well for Sacramento Republic FC who came out strong and on the front foot. In just the 16th minute Republic FC would break through the Reno 1868 FC defense for the first goal of the match.  Defender James Kiffe brought the ball down the left side of the field near the edge of the box before sending in a cross to the middle of the box.  Forward Sammy Ochoa ran into the middle before leaping over two defenders and heading the ball down and past the keeper Matt Bersano, putting Republic FC ahead 1-0 early.

 Reno 1868 FC would find their equalizer near the halftime whistle in the 41st minute.  Midfielder Seth Casiple played the ball to Chris Wehan in the middle near the top of the box.  Wehan turned and played a one-two with forward Brent Richards who put the ball right back to the foot of Wehan for him to tap the ball past Evan Newton to level the score 1-1 going into the half.

 Reno started the second half quickly, taking the lead in the 51st minute.  A long ball, lofted ball into the middle connected with Richards who had beat Republic FC’s offside trap.  The forward went one-on-one with Newton, trying to slide a low shot past the onrushing keeper.  Newton was able to deflect Richard’s shot on his slide, but Antoine Hoppenot was following the play perfectly and poked the rebound past Newton and into the back of the net to put Reno ahead 2-1 early in the second half.

 Republic FC would respond to the goal, however, finding an equalizer of their own in the 67th minute.  A ball down the right side sprung substitute forward Wilson Kneeshaw free.  Kneeshaw carried the ball to almost the endline before sending a grounded cross in front of goal that was just out of the grasp of Bersano and found a sliding Ochoa, who redirected the ball on a slide to earn a brace and even the score at 2-2.

 Despite numerous chances for both sides, including a few attacks from Kneeshaw and a corner attempt by Reno that was batted around multiple times in the box, the match ended in a 2-2 draw. 

 Republic FC will await the result of the Oklahoma City Energy FC versus Seattle Sounders FC 2 match on Sunday, Oct. 15 to determine where they will play their USL Cup Western Conference Quarterfinal playoff match.  With an Energy FC win, tie or loss by one goal when scoring two or more goals, Republic FC will face Real Monarchs SLC.  If Energy FC lose by more then one goal, or lose by one goal, but fail to score two goals, Republic FC will face San Antonio FC in the first round.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

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

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

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

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

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations