Tag Archives: Warren Smith

Sacramento Republic FC Announces Facility Naming Rights Partnership With Papa Murphy’s For Their Facility And Home Pitch On The Grounds Of Cal Expo

Papa Murphy’s Park will be home pitch for USL club Sacramento Republic FC in multi-year deal.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC announced today the naming of its facility and home pitch as Papa Murphy’s Park. The multi-year partnership between Republic FC and Papa Murphy’s is rooted in shared core values by both organizations and common connection to the sport of soccer.

“We are thrilled to partner with Papa Murphy’s, a brand that is synonymous with families, quality and community,” said Republic FC President and Co-Founder Warren Smith. “Just as soccer and pizza gather people together, so does Papa Murphy’s Park. Our home pitch has always been an intimidating place for opponents and that will continue under the banner of Papa Murphy’s.”

Formerly known as the Bonney Field, Papa Murphy’s Park is a privately funded facility and private-public collaboration among Comcast Spectacor, Republic FC and Cal Expo. It opened in June 2014 with a capacity of 8,000 seats and later expanded in 2015 to its current capacity. The facility holds over 11,500 for sporting events and as high as 14,000 for concerts.

Located on the grounds of Cal Expo, Papa Murphy’s Park provides one of the largest grass pitches in the country for a professional soccer club and was the site of the 2014 USL Championship match. The pitch has also hosted the likes of international clubs CD Guadalajara, Atlas FC, Newcastle United F.C., Sunderland AFC, West Bromwich Albion F.C., Rangers F.C. and Liverpool FC U21. It has also been host to USA Rugby, Pro Rugby, various concerts including City of Trees and a Bernie Saunders rally of more than 14,000 in 2016. It has been the site of numerous attendance records for USL including sellouts of all but one regular season match for Republic FC.

“This is an incredible opportunity to partner with a growing sports enterprise that has huge potential for our brand and fits wonderfully into the Greater Sacramento area,” said Papa Murphy’s Co-op President Greg Wellington. “Republic FC couldn’t be a better partnership and we are looking forward to activating it on various levels over the coming years.”

The multi-year naming rights arrangement will consist of a variety of marketing elements beyond the naming of Papa Murphy’s Park. Papa Murphy’s will be featured on various marketing materials, advertising in broadcasts, signage at the site and in a series of promotions and events. In alignment with their core values and commitment to the Sacramento region, Papa Murphy’s and Republic FC will also be engaging in a variety of community activities that include but are not limited to underserved youth and families.

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC To Host Nor Cal Rival San Jose Earthquakes In Preseason Friendly On Mar. 22

Match will be the second of two meetings between the clubs in the 2017 preseason.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.Sacramento Republic FC will host the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday, Mar. 22, in the second of two 2017 preseason friendlies between the Northern California rivals. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Bonney Field. Tickets for the match go on sale Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 10 a.m.

“We look forward to bringing the Earthquakes to Sacramento for the third consecutive preseason,” said Republic FC President and Co-Founder Warren Smith. “After three years of affiliation, the real fun begins this year as we will look to propel our rivalry to the next level both this year and for years to come in the MLS.”

The two clubs will meet for their first friendly this preseason today, Feb. 25 at Avaya Stadium before completing their preseason home-and-home series on Mar. 22. This will be the third consecutive season that Republic FC has hosted San Jose with the Quakes winning each of the last two matches by a single goal.

Despite being rivals, the clubs have worked closely and were affiliates from 2014-2016. As a part of the affiliations multiple Earthquakes players were loaned to Republic FC, including Sacramento-area natives Tommy Thompson and Adam Jahn. Republic FC midfielder JJ Koval was also loaned to Republic FC on several occasions before eventually signing with the USL club prior to the 2016 season.

The two preseason friendlies will be the sixth and seventh meetings between Republic FC and the Quakes since 2014. The clubs have met in preseason friendlies as well as in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, most memorably in 2015 when the two clubs battled for 120 minutes only to have the match decided in penalties.

The match is a part of the 2017 Republic FC Season Ticket Package. Tickets will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28 on Ticketmaster.com. For more information on the 2017 season, visit SacRepublicFC.com.

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC To Host Colorado Rapids In Friendly Match On February 13

Friendly match will take place at Bonney Field and will be a part of the 2016 Season Ticket Package

SACRAMENTO, Calif.Sacramento Republic FC and the Colorado Rapids (MLS) will face off in a friendly match at Bonney Field on February 13, 2016. The match will be included in the Sacramento Republic FC season ticket package. Kickoff time will be announced at a later date.

“We are honored to host the Colorado Rapids, one of MLS’s most storied clubs and MLS Cup winner,” said Sacramento Republic FC President Warren Smith. “After hosting the Rapids reserve squad for the 2014 season, we are honored to now host their first team and compete at a higher level. This friendly not only provides our fans with the opportunity to watch Sacramento Republic FC play an MLS club, but supports the Rapids and our team as they prepare for the 2016 season.”

Founded in 1996, the Colorado Rapids were one of the original ten MLS franchises and have been one of the league’s most successful clubs, winning the MLS Cup in 2010, reaching the MLS Cup in 1997 and qualifying for the MLS playoffs in 12 of their 20 seasons. The Rapids also hosted the 2015 AT&T MLS All-Star Game this past July.

Sacramento Republic FC is an incredible organization and one of the best-run clubs in USL,” said Colorado Rapids President, Tim Hinchey. “It is essential that we begin our year on the right foot and I believe this friendly match will do just that. I am confident that Sacramento Republic FC will help us prepare as we look ahead towards the 2016 season.”

Sacramento Republic FC played the Colorado Rapids Reserves in the inaugural match at Bonney Field on June 20, 2014. Sacramento Republic FC came away with a 4-3 victory and Justin Braun scored the first Sacramento Republic FC goal in Bonney Field history. Five players from the Rapids Reserve team that played Sacramento Republic FC were members of the 2015 Rapids, including goal scorers Gabriel Torres, Charles Eloundou and Marlon Hairston who recorded an assist.

Today marks the third anniversary of the club’s founding. On December 3, 2012, the club and USL announced Sacramento as an expansion city. The club celebrates the anniversary each year with significant news or an event, including today’s announcement of the Rapids friendly.

Sacramento Republic FC will begin their 2016 training camp on February 1, 2016. Additional details on kick off times and tickets to be released in January 2016. For more information on the 2016 season, visit SacRepublicFC.com.

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Statement Regarding Rodrigo Lopez

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Earlier today, midfielder Rodrigo Lopez announced he will not be returning to Republic FC’s roster for the 2016 USL season. The club released the following statement regarding Lopez:

“I would like to thank RoRo for all that he has done to help us build our Indomitable Club, and we are grateful for all that he has done for us and the Sacramento community,” said President Warren Smith. “RoRo was chosen as our first player for a reason. We admired not just his talent on the pitch, but also his leadership, his strong work ethic and generosity of his time within the community. While we are saddened to lose RoRo, we are happy for him as he continues his growth as a player, and we look forward to watching him on the higher stage. RoRo will always be a part of the Sacramento Republic FC family and we wish him, Cristina and Roman all the best.”

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC

Title Changes For Sacramento Republic FC Football Personnel

Republic FC Head Coach Paul Buckle will assume technical director, Graham Smith to become director of football.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.  – Sacramento Republic FC has announced that Head Coach Paul Buckle will add the title and duties of club technical director. Graham Smith, the club’s current technical director will assume the new title of director of football. Assistant Coach Chris Malenab will take up a new role with the first team and academy as a video analyst. In addition to his role as video analyst, Malenab will lead the curriculum for Republic FC camps and clinics. The position changes will take place immediately.

“At this critical point of Republic FC’s maturation it is imperative that we give the title of head coach and technical director to Paul because of his vast experience not only as a head coach, but because of his extensive experience as a coaching educator,” said Republic FC President and Co-Founder Warren Smith. “This multifaceted responsibility will enable the Republic FC Academy staff to benefit in every way from his knowledge and coaching philosophy. His ability to form the bridge between the first team and youth is undoubted.”

Buckle was hired by the club following the departure of Preki, the club’s first head coach. He has since led Republic FC to a victory over Premier League side Sunderland AFC and won his first USL match 2-0 over Seattle Sounders FC 2. Buckle began his coaching career at the renowned Exeter City FC Academy before being appointed by Alex Inglethorpe (currently Liverpool FC academy director) as assistant manager for City’s first team. The second division English club’s academy is known for several high-profile signings, including, most recently, Matt Grimes to Swansea City for £1.75 million. In addition to his extensive managerial career in England, Buckle also led the Metropolitan Oval Academy in New York as technical director. Buckle’s extensive experience at all levels of the sport will apply in his new title as he will now oversee all first team roster changes, academy development and call-ups.

Smith was named the club’s first technical director in May 2013. The club’s on-field success is due in large part to Smith’s hiring of Republic FC coaching staff and signing of veteran MLS players Rodrigo Lopez and Justin Braun. Smith will continue many of his current responsibilities as director of football, including overseeing football personnel.

Malenab joined Republic FC as an assistant coach prior to the club’s first season. Malenab will transition to the video analyst position in which he will break down film of Republic FC matches and practices as well as prepare film studies of opponents. In addition to his video analyst role, Malenab will work to enhance Republic FC Camps and Clinics, presented by Raley’s, through the development of curriculum, implementation of club philosophies and creation of environments that allow local youth to have first team experiences.

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

San Jose SaberCats Ground Spokane Shock 55-26;11th Straight Win, Remain Undefeated

All photos by Shawn Jonas

SAN JOSE, Calif.– The San Jose SaberCats (11-0) remain unbeaten, as they defeated visiting Pacific Division foe, the Spokane Shock (3-7), 55-26 on Friday night.

“The game tonight was a hard fought game,” said Owner and Head Coach Darren Arbet. “They hung in there, continued to grind and got it done.”

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The SaberCats got off to a quick start, taking two plays to score with quarterback Erik Meyer running into the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown to give San Jose an early 7-0 lead. Meyer completed 27-of-39 passes for 260 yards and five touchdowns, while adding two more scores on the ground. With great field position set up by a 39-yard kickoff return from Anthony Amos, the Shock capped its opening drive off with a quarterback run of its own, as Warren Smith snuck in for the 1-yard touchdown. Meyer completed 27-of-39 passes for 260 yards and five touchdowns, while adding two more scores on the ground.

“If the coverage tightens up a little bit, (Erik) is able to move around and then we go through the scrambling drill,” said receiver Reggie Gray. “It goes back to pop warner, once the quarterback is moving around; forget what is going on, just get open.”

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Striking again, San Jose answered with a 13-yard pass from Meyer to Gray, as the SaberCats held a 14-6 edge in the first quarter. Gray, the AFL Week 9 Most Valuable Player, finished with 10 receptions for 122 yards and two touchdowns to lead the SaberCats.

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Late in the first half, Jeremy Kelley hauled in a 7-yard touchdown reception from Meyer, the first of his AFL career, giving San Jose a 28-13 advantage. Kelley added a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, finishing with three receptions for 17 yards and two touchdowns.

Driving down to the seven yard line, Spokane had an opportunity to score on the last play of the first half, but Ken Fontenette broke up a pass from Smith and the 28-13 mark would stand at halftime. Fontenette, the AFL Week 10 MVP, led all defenders with 15 tackles and is currently leading the AFL in total tackles.

“(Ken) is smart, he’s competitive every day and every down,” said Arbet. “He is just a competitive guy and it carries over to the football field and he’s playing really well right now.”

Spokane was without its leading pass rusher, James Ruffin, on its defensive front; however, it was the secondary for the Shock that was able to play great coverage on the SaberCats’ receivers.
Still, the resilient SaberCats leaned on their ferocious defense to hold an advantage throughout the game. Relying on its depth, San Jose at one point even used receiver Darius Reynolds at the linebacker spot for a brief stint.

“The defense played well,” said Arbet. “We played a lot of different guys on defense and when they got in there, they stepped up and did what they had to do.”

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Leading the way for the Shock was receiver Anthony Amos, who hauled in a 24-yard touchdown pass from Smith in the second quarter, finishing with a team-high 11 receptions for 121 yards and the score. In his second start against the SaberCats’ top-ranked defense, Smith completed 23-of-41 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns through the air (one on the ground).

Falling over the boards in the corner of the end zone, Spokane receiver Nick Truesdell used his entire six-foot-seven-inch frame to haul in a 4-yard touchdown reception, as Spokane minimized the San Jose lead to 35-20 with 13:41 remaining in the fourth quarter. Coming off a four touchdown performance against the Arizona Rattlers last week, Truesdell was limited against San Jose’s prolific secondary, grabbing just five receptions for 32 yards and one touchdown.

“Anytime you can hold a team under 40 points in arena football, it’s almost unheard of,” said Fontenette. “For us to continue to do that really shows where we are going.”

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The SaberCats answered, with an 18-yard pass from Meyer to Gray, setting up Odie Armstrong for a 2-yard touchdown run, as San Jose pulled ahead 42-20. After trading touchdowns, the Shock held possession, trailing 49-26 with four minutes remaining, but the drive was halted when Mike Williams intercepted a Smith pass in the end zone, ultimately sealing the victory for the SaberCats.

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Mike Williams started in the box, then at defensive back and at the end, he got an interception to close the game out,” said Arbet.

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For San Jose, its next game will be at home in the SAP Center, against the Los Angeles Kiss on Saturday, June 13th at 7:30PM PDT.

Offensive Player of the Game: WR Reggie Gray
Defensive Player of the Game: DB Ken Fontenette
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: WR Reggie Gray
Cutters Catch of the Game: SPO WR Jabin Sambrano 4th QT TD
Highlight of the Game: FB Odie Armstrong catch and hurdle defender.

Game Recap Courtesy of the San Jose SaberCats

Game Preview: Spokane Shock (3-6) vs. San Jose SaberCats (10-0)

SAN JOSE, Calif.– The San Jose SaberCats (10-0, 3-0) head into week 11 unbeaten and will host Pacific Division foe, the Spokane Shock (3-6, 0-2) at the SAP Center on Friday, June 5th with kickoff at 7:30PM PDT.

San Jose is coming off a 61-42 victory over the Portland Thunder, improving to 3-0 in the Pacific Division; while Spokane lost a heartbreaking game against the Arizona Rattlers, 59-47 after tying the game with less than two minutes remaining.

In the previous meeting between these two teams three weeks ago, the SaberCats were led by quarterback Nathan Stanley, who threw for eight touchdowns and added another on the ground in an 83-28 lopsided win in Spokane. After returning to the starting lineup from an injury, quarterback Erik Meyer has thrown 16 touchdowns over the past two games and ranks fourth in the Arena Football League with 49 touchdowns on the season. With the 2013 AFL Most Valuable Player settling into a grove under center, the SaberCats’ offense ranks first in the AFL, scoring an average of 61.2 points per game. The game against the Shock will be the first time Meyer squares off against his former team, where he spent the first five years of his AFL career.

The leading man for San Jose receivers this season has been wide receiver Reggie Gray. Over the past two outings, Gray has totaled a combined 338 receiving yards, posting five touchdowns in each game. Gray currently leads the AFL, with 24 receiving touchdowns and has also returned three kickoffs for a touchdown. The SaberCats’ can attribute much of their offensive output to the playmaking ability of “Big Play” Reggie Gray. Gray and the rest of the SaberCats’ receivers will have an opportunity to put up another great performance against Spokane’s defense.

Not to be overlooked, the San Jose defense also leads the AFL, surrendering just 37.9 points per game. Leading the Arena Football League with nine interceptions and 72 tackles in 2015, defensive back Ken Fontenette had his best game of the season against Spokane in week eight. Fontenette intercepted Shock quarterback Warren Smith on three occasions, returning one for a 16-yard interception.

Coming off of his best performance of the season for the Shock last week against the Rattlers, wide receiver Samuel Charles was Smith’s favorite target, grabbing 14 receptions for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Anthony Amos and Nick Truesdell also has been a spark for the Shock offense. Amos has 10 touchdowns in eight games and last week against the Rattlers, he totaled 10 receptions for 92 yards. Truesdell (6’7 240), is an extreme mismatch for most teams, specifically in the red zone. Last week, he had had six receptions for 78 yards with four of those going for touchdowns. The SaberCats’ league leading secondary will have another litmus test against the Shock receivers.

Against San Jose’s ferocious defensive attack, Smith was erratic in his only game against the SaberCats, throwing three interceptions, being sacked four times and was unable to convert on a fourth-down (0-4). However, Smith, the 2014 Professional Indoor Football League MVP, has thrown for 13 touchdowns in the past two games. Last week against the Arizona Rattlers, Smith threw for 319 yards, rushed for 42 more and had seven total touchdowns, while the Shock were outscored 12-0 in the final minute, after tying Arizona at 47-47. With such a close call last week, expect Spokane to come out strong, as they battle down the stretch for a potential playoff berth.

This season, San Jose has won every game by an average margin of 23.3 points per game. After the blowout 83-28 victory over Spokane less than a month ago, the SaberCats cannot rely on their past success, as anything can happen in the indoor war on any given Friday.

The game can be found on ESPN3 or heard on KDOW 1220AM radio.

Game Preview Courtesy of the San Jose SaberCats Media Relations

The San Jose SaberCats Remain UnBeaten Blowout The Spokane Shock 83-28

May 16, 2015 9:57 PM PT

All Photos by Shawn Jonas from May 8, 2015 at the SAP Center vs. Las Vegas Outlaws

Courtesy Of The San Jose Saber Cats Media Relations  

By Mathew Dziak

Spokane, Wash. – The San Jose SaberCats (8-0, 2-0) defeated the Spokane Shock (2-5, 0-2), 83-28 at Spokane Veteran’s Memorial Arena on Saturday May 16th, to remain undefeated on the season.

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Getting his second consecutive start for San Jose, quarterback Nathan Stanley built on his success from last week’s performance against the Las Vegas Outlaws; completing 14-of -22 passes for 212 yards and set a career-high with eight touchdowns (nine total), leading San Jose’s offense to its highest point total of the season. San Jose’s 83 points was the highest point total this season scored by an Arena Football League team and the first to eclipse 80 points in a game.

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The SaberCats got on the board first, with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Stanley to Darius Reynolds. On the ensuing drive, defensive back Ken Fontenette grabbed an interception from Spokane quarterback Warren Smith. Fontenette finished with six tackles, a fumble recovery on special teams and now leads the Arena Football League with six interceptions this season, after adding three against Spokane. Rich Ranglin made it 14-0 in the first quarter, after hauling in a 17-yard touchdown, his third of the season.

Spokane cut the San Jose lead to 14-7, with a 7–yard touchdown from Smith to receiver Anthony Amos. Amos finished with a team high nine receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns. The SaberCats answered in the beginning of the second quarter, with a 3-yard touchdown from Reynolds to make it a 21-7 lead. Reynolds added a 37-yard touchdown reception off a screen play and finished with a team-high 85 yards on four receptions and four total touchdowns (three receiving).

The Shock’s leading receiver this season, Mike Washington added to his touchdown total, with a leaping 6-yard touchdown reception, crashing into the end zone boards to cut the SaberCats’ lead to 21-14, prior to the end of the first quarter. Washington finished with eight receptions for 74 yards and a pair of touchdowns and the 21-14 mark was the closest Spokane got within of San Jose.

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With a big hit from David Hyland on Shock receiver Rashaad Carter, Ken Fontenette grabbed the deflection and returned the interception for a touchdown to extend the SaberCats lead to 42-21 in the second quarter.

The SaberCats held a commanding, 49-21 lead at halftime, after Stanley scrambled right and ran in a 3-yard touchdown with under a minute left tin the half. Whether it was through the air, or on the ground, Stanley had a career night.

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After spending four seasons with the Shock, SaberCats’ receiver Adron Tennell returned to Spokane and had a tremendous impact. Tennell finished with six receptions for 74 yards and hauled in three touchdowns.

Also starting his second straight game, Spokane quarterback Warren Smith did not have the same success he had last week against the Los Angeles KISS. Smith threw for 206 yards and four touchdowns, but was picked off four times.

After trailing 76-28 with seven minutes remaining, the Shock turned to Chase Coffman at quarterback. Coffman was unable to rally Spokane against the dominant SaberCats’ defense, completing only 1-of-8 passes for five yards to end the game.

The SaberCats outscored the Shock 34-7 in the second half to sustain their lead and secure the win.

After the Philadelphia Soul lost to the Jacksonville Sharks, San Jose is the only unbeaten team in the AFL and will be back at home next week Saturday, May 23rd at 7:30PM PDT, to host the Cleveland Gladiators (5-3) for Military Appreciation Night at the SAP Center.