SATURDAY: The lengthy homestand continues for SD Loyal as it hosts Sacramento Republic FC. It is the second of five-straight home matches. The Pacific Division match is slated to be broadcasted nationally on ESPN2.
But as the things get marked off the checklist, more things are added to it. Especially now that SD Loyal comes into its second home match this week as it hosts Sacramento Republic FC. Donovan wants his team to continue to grow and continue to work on the process to become a true force on the pitch.
“No soccer team in the World plays perfect,” Donovan said. “That is why we make sure to spend a lot of time to make sure our guys stay present. Everyone makes mistakes. We’ve made thousands as a player. It’s moving on to the next play and continuing to grow and to improve to ultimately get points.”
Sacramento Republic is not in their best moment. It comes into this Week 12 match without a win in its last six games. This, after starting the season with three-straight wins. Sacramento has not won since beating Las Vegas Lights FC May 12. That’s more than a month without a victory, earning only a point with a draw against Oakland Roots June 2. Its latest match was a 2-1 loss to Pacific Division leader Phoenix Rising FC where it played with a man down for almost an hour. It was Sacramento’s first contest in more than two weeks with a full capacity stadium as its match at Oakland Roots June 19 was rescheduled due to field issues in Oakland. It was also its first home match in three weeks.
Sacramento came into the 2021 season as a team believed to be able to contend against Phoenix Rising for the division title. After all, Republic had reached the postseason in seven consecutive seasons. It reached the Western Conference quarterfinals in 2020. Coach Mark Briggs’ team brought some talent to its roster this offseason. Leading the new arrivals are a pair of strong central midfielders, with Fatai Alashe and Luis Felipe Fernandes both arriving after most recently competing in Major League Soccer. Also new is Tucker Bone, who impressed last season with Reno 1868 FC, and Finnish attacking midfielder Petteri Pennanen. They joined experienced veteran Jaime Villarreal and Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu in the center of the field.
SD Loyal and Sacramento Republic have only faced off once in their short history. The lone meeting was on Aug. 1 as they played to a scoreless draw at Torero Stadium. The match was the inaugural meeting between the two California clubs as 2020 was the first year Loyal SC competed in the USL Championship.