Tag Archives: Danny Barrera

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 Tie San Antonio FC 1-1

Early goal from Emrah Klimenta and a strong defensive effort give Sacramento Republic FC a hard earned point in 1-1 draw with visiting San Antonio FC in front of sold out crowd at Papa Murphy’s Park. 

Sacramento Republic FC opened the scoring in the 19th minute. Both sides were locked in a back and forth battle before Emrah Klimenta and Danny Barrera linked up for the first goal. Klimenta surged out of the back line with the ball at his feet before finding Barrera in the attacking third. Klimenta continued his run and Barrera slid a through ball in front of Klimenta and gave him enough time and space to get a shot off. Klimenta struck his right-foot through the ball as he sent his one-timed effort past San Antonio FC keeper Lee Johnston and into the net for the 1-0 lead for Republic FC.

San Antonio FC answered shortly after in the 31st minute. Forward AJ Ajeakwa ran onto a through ball from Kris Tyrpak as he found space behind Republic FC’s defense. Ajeakwa seemed to be losing his balance and looked to be going to ground but the forward steadied himself just enough to flick a right-footed shot past Republic FC keeper Evan Newton and into the corner of the net to equalize for San Antonio FC.

Klimenta had a great chance to double up in the 34th minute when he found himself on the end of a Barrera corner kick. Klimenta’s initial shot was blocked, but he secured the rebound and sent a second shot on goal that forced Johnston to block it away. Klimenta was in position to snatch a second rebound and send a third shot on goal, only to have Johnston make another save to start the counterattack. The score would remain 1-1 going into halftime.

Newton was tested in the 60th minute when San Antonio gained ground on the right wing. Midfielder Billy Forbes attacked up the right side before he cut inside and picked his head up. Forbes whipped a left-footed strike on goal and Newton had to get to full stretch to make the save and push the shot away.

Not to be outdone, Johnston answered his call to action in the 72nd minute. Republic FC forward Wilson Kneeshaw sprinted past the defense and onto a lofted ball. Kneeshaw had only Johnston to beat as he sent the shot on goal. Johnston trapped the ball at his feet while going to the ground to make the crucial save.

Republic FC had two golden opportunities to take the lead go begging in the 79th and 87th minutes. Strong buildup play landed the ball at the feet of second-half substitute Gabe Gissie on the right wing. Gissie sent a perfectly driven low cross to the far post that glided past the defense and Johnston. Daniel Trickett-Smith was in prime position on the back post to redirect the ball into the empty net. Trickett-Smith missed the target and sent it just wide of the goal.

Trickett-Smith found redemption in the 87th minute with a perfect corner kick that found the head of Gissie. The midfielder headed the ball back across the face of goal to Jeremy Hall, who then sent his header right back to the center for Wilson Kneeshaw. Kneeshaw could not wrap his foot around the ball as his one-timed shot sailed just over the net and out of play, ending the in a 1-1 draw.

“I enjoyed watching us play tonight,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “I think tactically it worked. It was a wonderful goal for Emrah. I was very pleased with the work rate and the effort.“ 

Republic FC will take a three-week break from USL play as their next USL match will be Sunday, Jul. 23 against Seattle Sounders FC 2.  In the meantime, Republic FC will host CF Pachuca on Saturday, Jul. 15.  Kickoff is 8 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park.  Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Tie Rio Grande Valley FC Toros 0-0

Sacramento Republic FC and Rio Grande Valley FC Toros shared a point after battling to scoreless draw in front of a loud and proud crowd at Papa Murphy’s Park.

 After some back and forth action in the first 20 minutes of the match, Rio Grande Valley FC Toros nearly capitalized on a defensive miscue from Republic FC. Forward Jose Escalante charged down the left side of the field after a lofted through ball. Defender Elliott Hord tried to shield Escalante and let Republic FC keeper Evan Newton scoop up the ball in the box, but Escalante darted in front of Hord and flung his left foot at the ball, sending it right on goal. Newton was able to react quickly and get a glove on the shot to make the save, keeping the match scoreless early.

 Republic FC had their fair share of chances in the first half with strong play from Harry Williams, Sammy Ochoa and Tyler Blackwood. Williams was able to thread some nice through balls to the forwards and Ochoa nearly scored a screamer in the 25th minute, but it sailed high and wide. Blackwood came the closest in the 40th minute with a right-footed strike of his own, but Toros keeper Calle Brown read the shot well and parried it out of play for a corner.  The half ended in a 0-0 deadlock.

 Republic FC’s first solid chance of the second half came in the 68th minute. Captain Danny Barrera found space on the right wing and held up play to wait for his teammates to make runs. Blackwood sprinted into the box as Barrera sent a left-footed, in-swinging cross toward the streaking forward. Blackwood dropped his head to send a shot on goal, but the ball just missed his head as it hit him in the back and rolled out of play.

 Defender James Kiffe linked up with second-half substitute Christian Chaney in the 78th minute for a cross and header, but Chaney’s near-post run was defended well by Brown as he was able to make the save. Minutes later Republic FC kept the pressure on with a left-footed curling shot from Blackwood. Brown made the initial save, blocking it straight up in the air. Ochoa tracked the rebound and got airborne for a headed attempt on an open net. Unfortunately, Ochoa’s attempt missed the target as it hit the side netting and went out of play.

 Brown came up huge again in the 90th minute to make a save on a header from Chris Christian. Barrera sent in a left-footed free kick and Christian won the aerial battle for the ball as he redirected the ball on net. Brown was positioned perfectly as he caught the shot in midair before crashing to the ground, securing the save. Evan Newton, not to be outdone by his counterpart, made an equally impressive save in the dying moments of the match as he leapt in the air to block a dangerous free kick up and over the bar to keep the match scoreless, which it would stay until the final whistle.

 “We couldn’t quite finish,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle.  “We got the space but we just couldn’t find the net. It was our second consecutive shutout, which was good for us. I was pleased with the energy.”

 Republic FC will travel to Reno on Saturday, Jun. 10 to take on Reno 1868 FC in a rematch of the pair’s U.S. Open Cup match on Wednesday, May 31. The match will be aired live on CW31.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Defeat Red 1868 FC 2-0

Sacramento Republic FC advance to the Fourth Round of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup to face MLS side Real Salt Lake with a 2-0 victory over Reno 1868 FC.

 Sacramento Republic FC and Reno 1868 FC traded chances early in tonight’s Cal-Neva rivalry. Republic FC earned a corner kick in the opening moments of the match that Danny Barrera hit into the box with his left foot. Sammy Ochoa and Chris Christian both had chances on the ball and the latter won the header and sent it towards goal, only to have it blocked away by the defense.

Reno almost capitalized on a defensive miscue in the 5th minute but Republic FC defender Jeremy Hall was able to clear a shot off of the goal line. Seconds later, keeper Evan Newton recovered to his spot and was in good position to make a diving save on a rebound shot attempt.

Republic FC was handed a golden opportunity in the 11th minute when Trevin Caesar ran onto a through ball, after a tussle with a Reno defender, that left him with open space. Caesar faked a shot and pulled the ball across the oncoming defender and tried to slot his shot inside the far post. Caesar’s shot beat Reno keeper Russell Klabough, but pushed it just wide of the post.

Harry Williams and Trevin Caesar were able to link up in the 41st minute to produce the opening goal. Caesar found space in the middle of the pitch and sent a perfectly timed through ball between two defenders. Williams timed his run and ran onto the ball as Klabough rushed off of his line. Williams wasted no time in blasting a shot that snuck just under the crossbar for the 1-0 lead, which Republic FC carried into halftime.

Caesar put his name on the score sheet in the 59th minute when he used a Tyler Blackwood through ball to get past the defense. Caesar took the ball and poked it around the defender and used his speed to run past him. The move was successful and Caesar was able to beat Klabough with his strike to put Republic FC up 2-0. That score line would hold all the way through the final whistle, allowing Republic FC to move on to the next round of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

 “We’re on a run,“ said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “We moved the ball well and we snuffed out everything they had. I thought it was a totally complete performance.“

Republic FC will host MLS side Real Salt Lake in the Fourth Round of the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, Jun. 14.  Kickoff is 8 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park.  Tickets go on sale Friday, Jun. 2 at 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster.com.

Republic FC return to USL action when they host Rio Grande Valley FC Toros on Saturday, Jun. 3.  Kickoff is 8 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park.  Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Tie Seattle Sounders FC 2 2-2

Tyler Blackwood’s last second goal earns Sacramento Republic FC a point on the road as they draw 2-2 with Seattle Sounders FC 2. 

Sacramento Republic FC came out very strong against Seattle Sounders FC 2, pressing the S2 backline and dominating possession.  In the 12th minute Republic FC would have their first real chance of the match. Defender James Kiffe had the ball on the left side of the field before sliding the ball to forward Trevin Caesar at the top left corner of the box.  Caesar cut inside to beat the defender, freeing himself for a low shot toward the inside post, but S2 keeper Tyler Miller was quick to get down to keep the match scoreless early.

Republic FC would have another good chance in the 26th minute.  Kiffe was again involved in the play, this time battling Denso Ulysse on the left side.  The ball popped away from the two players in the corner, finding midfielder Agustin Cazarez who was trailing the play.  Cazarez sent a lofted cross toward the back post where it found Elliott Hord, but the defender’s ball across the front of the goal was grabbed by a diving Miller. 

S2 had their best chance of the half in the 38th minute.  Midfielder Ray Saari took the ball nearly the length of the field before laying the ball off to David Olsen at the top right corner of the box. Olsen took a bad touch on the pass, but was still able to send a cross on the volley.  Olsen’s cross toward the back post and Saari was able to connect with a header toward goal, but the ball went just over the bar keeping the match scoreless going into the half.

The second half started much the same way the first did, with Republic FC dominating both the possession and chances.  The constant pressure finally paid off in the 59th minute.  Midfielder Danny Barrera had the ball in the middle of the pitch and had enough space to lift his head up and pick up Caesar making a run down the middle.  Barrera played Caesar open and into a one-on-one situation with Miller.  Caesar chested the ball down before sending a strike that beat Miller and found the far side of the net, putting Republic FC ahead 1-0. 

S2 would equalize in the 78th minute.  Midfielder Zach Mathers was brought down on the right side of the field near the edge of the box, earning a free kick.  Mathers took the ensuing free kick, sending an arced ball toward the back post.  Defender Brian Nana-Sinkam was able to get behind his defender and head the ball past goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek and into the goal, leveling the score at 1-1.

In the 86th minute S2 looked to have sealed a victory.   Substitute midfielder Charles Bimbe-Renken, making his first appearances with S2, sent a cross from the far right side of the field toward the back post.  Midfielder David Olsen was able to get a head on Bimbe-Renken’s cross and nod the ball past the onrushing Jakubek and into the goal, putting S2 ahead 2-1.

Republic FC was able to find a very late equalizer on the last play of the match.  After a corner was not fully cleared by S2, the ball was played to the right and fell to Daniel Trickett-Smith.  The substitute midfielder played the ball to the left to Hord who took a second before sending the ball into the box.  The ball was knocked around in the box before Cazarez was able to tap the ball a few yards to his right where substitute forward Tyler Blackwood was waiting with an open look at goal.  Blackwood touched the ball down with his right foot before blasting a shot with his left that beat the keeper, salvaging a point for Republic FC.

Republic FC will return home on Wednesday, May 31, to take on Reno 1868 FC in the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.  Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park.  Tickets to the U.S. Open Cup match are available at Ticketmaster.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC  Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Defeat Tulsa Roughnecks FC 3-2

Sacramento Republic FC end their USL goalless and winless streaks as they come away with 3 points from a back and forth 3-2 victory over Tulsa Roughnecks FC at a sold-out Papa Murphy’s Park.

The Roughnecks came out strong in the opening moments of the match as they pounced on their first chance in the 7th minute. Running onto a perfectly weighted through ball, Roughnecks captain Juan Pablo Caffa got behind the Republic defense on the left wing. Caffa drew Republic FC keeper Dominik Jakubek out just a step before sliding the ball across the face of goal to an unmarked Joey Calistri. The midfielder calmly slotted a one-touch left-footed strike past a slow recovering Republic FC defense and Jakubek for the early 1-0 lead.

Republic FC equalized in the 29th minute in the form of a left-footed strike from captain Danny Barrera. The ball was played into the box and forward Sammy Ochoa was able to control it and lay it off for a charging Barrera. The midfielder took the chance in stride and beat Roughnecks keeper Fabián Cerda for the equalizer.

Republic FC wasted no time in jumping ahead in the 31st minute when defender James Kiffe was able to find Ochoa on a near post run. The big forward used his size to seal off the defender as he sent the flick header past a diving Cerda for the 2-1 lead. The two goals in three minutes broke a streak of 592 minutes without a goal for Republic FC in USL play.

The Roughnecks would find an equalizer of their own in the 67th minute. Republic FC defender Julius James was called for a handball in the box and Tulsa was awarded a penalty kick. The captain, Caffa, stepped up to the spot and coolly put his shot past a diving Jakubek who had guessed right.

Republic FC would pull ahead again in the 77th minute, this time for good as Republic FC would score directly off of a Barrera corner kick. Barrera sent a left-footed, out-swinging corner into the box to find an aerial Chris Christian. The Republic FC defender skied over everyone and sent a powerful header on frame. The Roughnecks defense was able to get a deflection on the shot but it was too powerful and ended up in the back of the net, giving the home side a 3-2 victory and a much needed 3 points.

“I’m delighted with the fight“, said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “It was a must win game for us. We didn’t start the game well enough but we showed great character and scored 3 goals.“

Republic FC will hit the road again for a match against Seattle Sounders FC 2 on Sunday, May 28.  Kickoff is 2 p.m. at Starfire Stadium.  The match will be broadcast live on CW31.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Fall To Real Monarchs SLC 2-0

Sacramento Republic FC end their second three-match road stretch of the season, falling 2-0 to Real Monarchs SLC at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

Real Monarchs SLC came out firing on all cylinders to start the game, putting constant pressure on Sacramento Republic FC’s backline and trying to get the early goal.  Despite a couple of chances and four corners in the first 15 minutes, Republic FC was able to weather the early storm and stay strong defensively.

In the 27th minute, Republic FC had their best chance of the half after forward Trevin Caesar was brought down mere inches outside of the box on the right side.  Midfielder Danny Barrera stepped up to take the free kick and drove a low shot toward the back post, but a Monarchs’ defender was able to stick his leg out just enough to deflect the ball.  The deflection however went right back to Barrera who attempted a one-touch strike on the rebound, but his attempt ended up far wide left of the post.

The Monarchs would break the tie in the 38th minute.  Midfielder Sebastian Velasquez played the ball wide to defender Max Lachowecki who was making an overlapping run on the left side.  Lachowecki sent a cross into the box that found Andrew Brody on the right side of the box.  Brody chested the ball down before sending a strike on goal, that goalkeeper Evan Newton was able to deflect, but the ball hit right off the face of defender Julius James and fell perfectly at the feet of Daniel Haber who was following the play.  Haber then blasted the ball into the roof of the net from about two yards away from goal, putting Real Monarchs ahead 1-0 going into the half.

Republic FC came out the stronger team to start the second half, putting pressure on the Monarch’s backline as they searched for an equalizer. Republic FC would see their best chance of the half in the 49th minute.  Midfielder Agustin Cazarez played a long ball from the middle of the field to the right side where substitute midfielder Elliott Hord was making a run.  Hord took the ball almost to the endline before sending a grounded cross toward the near post where forward Tyler Blackwood was making a run.  Blackwood’s shot was blocked by a sliding defender, but fell right to the feet of defender James Kiffe who was following the play.  Kiffe took a touch before taking a right-footed shot, but it went right to goalkeeper Connor Sparrow for the save. 

The Monarchs would double their lead in the 58th minute.  After a Republic FC corner, the ball was headed back and forth in Republic FC’s attacking half.  The Monarchs’ Kyle Curringa took the final header, that went all the way to the midfield where Chandler Hoffman flicked it on, putting Velasquez in a foot race with Republic FC’s defense. Velasquez won the race, going one-on-one with Newton and sliding a grounded shot past the keeper and into the far side of the goal, putting Real Monarchs up 2-0.

Cazarez had the best look for Republic FC to answer back with his shot in the 90th minute.  After a run by Blackwood was knocked out of bounds, Barrera sent a short corner to Cazarez who was wide open at the top right corner of the box, but the midfielder sent his strong shot just wide left and high of the goal.

 Republic FC will return home on Wednesday, May 17, when they enter the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in a Second Round match against FC Anahuac.  Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park.  Tickets are still available at Ticketmaster.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Falls to San Antonio FC 1-0

A 64th minute penalty kick proved to be the difference as Sacramento Republic FC fall 1-0 to San Antonio FC, extending San Antonio’s undefeated start to the season.

Republic FC started the match very strong, pressing San Antonio FC’s defense looking for a goal.  They had their best chance on goal in just the 18th minute after forward Sammy Ochoa stole the ball in the attacking third earning himself a one-on-one situation with San Antonio FC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo.  Ochoa looked to beat the keeper with a left footed shot, but Restrepo was there with a foot save.  The ball did bounce back in a dangerous area and found the feet of forward Wilson Kneeshaw in front of goal, but defender Stephen McCarthy was there to make a sliding tackle to clear the ball from danger.

The best chance of the first half for San Antonio FC came late in stoppage time, which seemed to extend long past the one-minute allotted.  Defender Ben Newnam stole the ball on the right side of the field and drove toward the touchline before sending in a high-arching cross. Newnam’s cross found the head of midfielder Rafa Castillo who sent a shot toward goal, but the ball went just over the bar keeping the match scoreless at the half.

 Republic FC again came out strong to start the second half, earning two corners and a free kick in the first three minutes.  Danny Barrera’s corner in the 48th minute found the head of Kneeshaw who sent the ball into the box where it was batted around before falling to the feet of midfielder Daniel Trickett-Smith.  The midfielder attempted a right-footed volley, but his shot sailed over the bar.

 Republic FC would have another chance in the 61st minute off a throw-in from the right side.  Barrera received the throw, turned to the middle before sending a cross into the box.  Trickett-Smith found space in the middle of the box, leaping high in the air to connect with Barrera’s cross, and sending a shot toward the lower right corner of the goal.  Restrepo read the header well and again was there to make the diving save.

 San Antonio FC would strike just minutes later.  In the 63rd minute, a San Antonio throw deep in Republic FC’s attacking third sprung a counter attack down the right side.  Kris Tyrpak led the attack down the right side before chipping the ball toward Akwafei Ajeakwa.  The substitute forward attempted to head the ball down, but was tripped up in the box, earning San Antonio a penalty. Castillo stepped up to take the ensuing penalty, firing a strike to the top right side of the goal that just beat the outstretched hand of Evan Newton who had guessed right.   The penalty put San Antonio FC ahead 1-0.

 Republic FC fought valiantly to find an equalizer and looked to have found it in the 84th minute. Midfielder Jeremy Hall played a long ball back into the box after a Republic FC corner kick was cleared to near midfield.  Hall’s long-ball found Emrah Klimenta who headed the ball across goal to Ochoa who was making a run down the middle of the box. Ochoa was able to get a foot on Klimenta’s cross, but Restrepo, who made four saves on the night, was again there for the save.

Republic FC complete their second three-match road stretch of the season when they travel to Salt Lake City to take on Real Monarchs SLC on Saturday, May 13.  Kickoff is 6:30 pm.  The match will be broadcast live on CW31.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Ties Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 0-0

Sacramento Republic FC end their three-match losing streak as they battle Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 to a scoreless draw in the first of three straight road matches. 

Sacramento Republic FC dominated much of the first half, controlling 55 percent of the possession and creating almost all of the chances. Republic FC forced Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 keeper Spencer Richey to make five saves in the first half, while Republic FC goalie Evan Newton was not required to make a single save.

Republic FC forced Richey to make his first save of the match in just the 6th minute.  Defender James Kiffe sent a free kick from near the centerline toward the top of the box that was cleared, but only as far midfielder Danny Barrera a few yards away.  Barrera nodded the ball down to Wilson Kneeshaw who touched the ball down before sending a shot on goal, but Richey was there for the save.

Republic FC would create three consecutive chances in the 13th, 15th and 16th minutes.  The first chance was created after a WFC2 giveaway in their half of the field.  Barrera intercepted the ball before playing forward Tyler Blackwood into a one-on-one situation with Richey.  Blackwood sent a low shot on goal, but he was unable to get the ball over the sliding Richey.  The second chance was again started by Barrera who laid the ball off to forward Sammy Ochoa who was at the top right corner of the box.  Ochoa unleashed a strike that looked destined for goal, but Richey was able to deflect the ball just enough that it skidded off the top of the bar and out.

The third chance for Republic FC came in the 16th minute after a cross by midfielder Agustin Cazarez was cleared.  Kiffe was sitting unmarked near the top left corner of the box and waited for the ball to make a perfect bounce before sending a left-footed curling volley toward goal, but a diving save by Richey kept the match scoreless, which would hold going into halftime. 

Republic FC continued to control the possession in the second half, holding 65 percent of the ball.  They would get their first chance of the second half in the 57th minute after Barrera again intercepted the ball in the middle of the pitch. The midfielder then played a through ball to Ochoa who did well to keep his man at bay before sending a low shot toward goal.  Ochoa’s shot beat the sliding Richey, but skipped just wide left of the goal keeping the match scoreless.

Despite being virtually untested in the first half, Newton was ready when called upon in both the 62nd and 72nd minutes.  The first chance came as David Norman Jr. made a run down the left side of the field.  The midfielder then hit a curling ball that found a streaking Gloire Amanda near the top of the box.  Amanda attempted a volleyed shot that looked destined for goal, but Newton was able to make a tremendous diving save.

The second chance for WFC2 also came from the right side, but this time it was Andy Thoma making a curled pass to the middle.  Substitute forward Thomas Sanner was open as he tried to redirect the pass with his right foot toward goal, but Newton was again there for the save, sliding in at the last second.

Republic FC had a few late chances at goal, but none better than a shot by Kiffe in the 77th minute.  Kiffe had found space on the left side of the field before hitting what looked to be a cross toward the box.  The ball, however took a different trajectory as it began to travel toward the top left corner of the goal.  Richey was quick to recover and knocked the ball over the bar and safely away for WFC2.

The draw ends a three-match losing streak for Republic FC and earns them valuable points on the road as they begin their second three-match road stretch of the season.  Republic FC will be back in action on Saturday, May 6 as they take on the USL Western Conference-leading San Antonio FC.  Kickoff is 5:30 p.m. at Toyota Field.  The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide and in the USLSoccer.com Match Center.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Fall To Portland Timbers 2 0-2

Goals from Villyan Bijev and Victor Arboleda help Portland Timbers 2 hand Sacramento Republic FC their first regular season home loss since Jul. 6, 2016.

Sacramento Republic FC and Portland Timbers 2 played a back and forth first half of the match. Republic FC came closest with a few scoring opportunities off set pieces. Midfielder Daniel Trickett-Smith nearly scored on a direct free kick in the 4th minute, but just couldn’t quite get the ball over the defensive wall. A few minutes later it was Trickett-Smith again, this time linking up with Republic FC captain Danny Barrera to try to beat the T2 defensive line with some layoff passes, but unfortunately the attack was again foiled by the T2 defense.

T2 would jump on the score sheet first in the 40th minute when they were awarded a penalty kick for a foul called in the box on Republic FC defender Jeremy Hall. Midfielder Vilyan Bijev calmly stepped up to the spot in front the imposing north bleacher and Tower Bridge Battalion, who were screaming down on him, and coolly sent a chipped penalty kick that beat Republic FC keeper Evan Newton and put the visitors in front 1-0 going into halftime.

Republic FC came out of halftime strong with a couple threatening crosses from defender James Kiffe, but neither was converted into a goal. Wilson Kneeshaw was able to get his head to one of Kiffe’s spectacular services a few minutes later, but just couldn’t steer it on frame. Trickett-Smith also had a chance for a strike in the 53rd minute after a perfect drop-off pass from forward Trevin Caesar, but the T2 defense was able to block the shot away.

T2 would add to their lead in the 68th minute after Newton came off his line to stop a streaking attack. Newton made the initial stop, but the rebound was collected by midfielder Victor Arboleda who took the ball a few touches to his right before sending a grounded shot into the bottom left corner of the goal giving T2 the 2-0 lead.

Republic FC nearly pulled one back in the 84th minute when defender Chris Christian sent a long-looping ball into the box which found the head of Trickett-Smith. The midfielder redirected a header on net, but T2 keeper Wade Hamilton stretched out to make a crucial save to essentially secure the visitors’ two-goal victory.

 “We gifted them the game,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “We had our chances in the match. It wasn’t about tactics; we just couldn’t put it in the back of the net. We were our own worst enemy.”

Republic FC begin another three-match road stretch on Saturday, Apr. 29 when they travel to take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2. Kickoff is 3 p.m. The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide and YouTube.com/USL.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations