Category Archives: Central Valley Sports

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

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

Sacramento River Cats Silenced By El Paso In 6-1 Loss

Four-run eighth inning dooms River Cats

El Paso, TX – The Sacramento River Cats (57-73) were within one run of the El Paso Chihuahuas (65-66) heading into the eighth inning, but their chances slipped away late as they fell 6-1.

The River Cats seemed to have gotten out of the eighth inning unscathed until home plate umpire Ronnie Teague overturned an out call at first base which gave El Paso another chance. The Chihuahuas took advantage, pushing four runs across off Sacramento right-hander Tyler Rogers to put the game out of reach.

Left-hander Matt Gage was terrific over his six frames tonight for the River Cats, allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out six. Trevor Brown knocked in Sacramento’s lone run in the fourth inning, driving in Jae-Gyun Hwang for his ninth RBI of the year.

Game two tomorrow night will feature Sacramento right-hander Casey Kelly (6-5, 4.47) up against El Paso left-hander Dillon Overton (6-5, 6.80). First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. (PT) and the game can be heard live online at rivercats.com. The game will also air starting at 7 pm on the air on ESPN 1320.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations