Tag Archives: Paul Buckle

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 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 

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

Sacramento Republic FC Defeat Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 1-0

Jeremy Hall’s 82nd minute penalty kick proves the difference

 Sacramento Republic FC quickly established their domination of possession, which would persist for most of the match. Trevin Caesar and Wilson Kneeshaw linked up in the 6th minute with Caesar setting up Kneeshaw for a shot in the box. Kneeshaw’s one timed shot went a just wide of the near post and out play. Agustin Cazarez had a shot sail just high of the crossbar in the 17th minute after good build up play gave him the opportunity.

 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 had their chances in the first half to claim an early lead, but they could not find the finishing touch. Thomas Sanner missed a golden opportunity to go ahead in the 23rd minute when he could not put his header on target inside the six-yard box. WFC2 had another solid chance to grab the first goal of the match in the 34th minute. Elliott Hord’s clearing header did not get out of the box and found the feet of Marco Bustos. The midfielder navigated his way through three Republic FC defenders before trying to get a shot on goal. Bustos lost his balance and went to ground in hopes of a foul being called, but none would come, leaving the match scoreless going into the half.

 Sammy Ochoa had his best chance on goal in the 57th minute. Tyler Blackwood was able to take his defender on and beat him to the touchline. Blackwood then slid the ball into the box where Ochoa was charging. Ochoa slid to tap the ball into the net but it got caught in his feet as he ended up in the goal and Vancouver cleared it out of harm’s way.

 Chris Christian nearly put Republic FC ahead in the 66th minute with his powerful header off a perfect free kick from Jeremy Hall. Christian got airborne in the box and snapped his header towards the far post but Vancouver keeper Spencer Richey made the save of the night, diving to his right to block Christian’s header off the line.

 Republic finally found the goal in the 82nd minute thanks to Blackwood and Hall. Blackwood was able to earn a penalty kick after being clipped by a defender just inside the box. Hall stepped up and put his penalty kick top shelf as he blasted it past Richey and into the back of the net. Hall’s goal would prove to be the decisive goal as Sacramento Republic FC earned the three points with a 1-0 victory over Vancouver.

 “We deserved it in the end,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “We got it right. We really did control the second half. I am very proud of the win and the run we are on.”

 Republic FC will travel to Portland to take on Timbers 2 on Sunday, Aug. 13 at Providence Park.  Kickoff is 2 p.m. The match will be broadcast on CW31 and streamed online at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide.

Match Recap Courtesy of the  Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

 Sacramento Republic FC Defeat Seattle Sounders FC 2 2-0

Sacramento Republic FC earn an important three points with commanding 2-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC 2 at Papa Murphy’s Park.

 Sacramento Republic FC capitalized on heavy early possession with a goal in the 16th minute. Strong buildup play led to forward Sammy Ochoa turning on the ball to find time, space and an open teammate. Ochoa picked his head up and found Trevin Caesar in the box. Caesar swung his right foot through the cross and blasted his volley through the hands of Seattle Sounders FC 2 keeper Sam Fowler, putting Republic FC ahead 1-0.

 S2 came within inches of an equalizer in the 26th minute when forward Irvin Parra sent a screaming right-footed shot from just outside the box. Parra’s strike went just wide of the far post. Parra linked up with Shandon Hopeau just moments later with a dangerous cross into the box. Parra sent a far-post cross that found the head of Hopeau rising above the Republic FC defense. Hopeau redirected his header back across the face of goal, but Republic FC keeper Evan Newton was in perfect position to block the shot away to preserve the 1-0 lead going into the half.

 Republic FC nearly doubled up their lead in the 51st minute when Wilson Kneeshaw wreaked havoc on the left wing. Kneeshaw danced through the defense before sliding a cross into the box for Tyler Blackwood, who was making a near post run. Blackwood trapped the ball at his feet and Blackwood poked the ball far post but Sam Fowler was able to make a diving save.

 Blackwood would put Republic FC up 2-0 with his wonder strike in the 60th minute. Newton’s goal kick sailed into the attacking zone for Sammy Ochoa, who flicked the header into the path of a streaking Blackwood. The speedy forward charged the S2 defense, getting all the way to the touchline. Blackwood seemed as though he was sending a cross towards the far post, but the ball beat Fowler and snuck in the side netting for the improbable second goal.

 Back and forth play from both sides led to some acrobatic and timely saves from Fowler and Newton. The keepers traded strong saves in the 71st and 72nd minutes, with Newton making numerous crucial stops. Both sides had minor chances in the final 20 minutes but the score line would hold for a 2-0 victory for Republic FC.

 “It’s important when you’re not at your very best that you find a way to win the game,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “We got in great positions. We need more and the players know that.”

 Republic FC will return to action on Saturday, Aug. 5, when they host Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2.  Kickoff is 8 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 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 Sign First Academy Product, 16-Year-Old Roberto Hategan

Hategan becomes the first player to be signed from Republic FC’s U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. Sacramento Republic FC have agreed to a two-year USL contract, with a club option for the 2019 season, with 16-year-old midfielder Roberto Hategan.  Hategan becomes the first player in Republic FC’s history to be signed directly from the club’s own U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

“Signing our first Academy player to a professional contract, especially at such a young age, shows just how much faith we have in Roberto,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “We look forward to developing him as a player and have faith in his potential.  This signing is another positive step for the club and would not be possible without the investment and shared vision of our ownership group, led by Kevin Nagle, to provide the talented youth of our region a pathway to the professional game.”

Hategan has scored 20 goals in the last two seasons playing with Republic FC’s Academy teams. In addition, the midfielder was honored with a call-up in April 2016 to the U.S. National Team U-16 Boys’ Team. Hategan appeared in two matches with the National Team, including an appearance in the Delle Nazioni Tournament against England. 

“Hategan highlights the immense talent in the Sacramento region and will be one of many future Academy signings,” said Republic FC Owner Kevin Nagle. “Today’s signing is not just an accomplishment for our Academy coaches and staff, but is a tribute to the strength of the youth competitive leagues in the region. We’ve always known Sacramento to be a leader in youth participation, but signings such as Roberto also reaffirm our club’s commitment to develop this talent and grow the beautiful game to support our team now and at the MLS level in the future.”   

Hategan played with San Juan Soccer Club prior to joining Republic FC’s Academy in the 2015-16 season.  Sacramento’s youth soccer programs have developed numerous talented players that have gone on to play in Major League Soccer, and professionally around the world, including current MLS players: Jalil Anibaba (Houston Dynamo), Connor Hallisey (Sporting KC), Niko Hansen (Columbus Crew) Ryan Hollingshead (FC Dallas), Cameron Iwasa (Sporting KC), Adam Jahn (Columbus Crew), Amobi Okugo (Portland Timbers) and Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes).

Current Republic FC goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek and former Republic FC players Iwasa, Thompson, Jahn and Matt LaGrassa are all players who grew up and played youth soccer in the Sacramento region before representing their hometown on the Republic FC roster. Hategan is the second Republic FC Academy player to sign a professional contract following Ryley Kraft who signed with Orlando City B prior to the start of this season.    

Hategan will be available for Republic FC’s next match on July 1 at Papa Murphy’s Park. Tickets for the match are available at SacRepublicFC.com. Kickoff is 8 p.m. To view the entire Republic FC roster, visit sacrepublicfc.com/republicfc-roster.

Press Release 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