WHAT: On Saturday, Oct. 9, San Diego Loyal is slated to end the four-game season series against Sacramento Republic FC. The Week 25 match will be broadcasted on Yurview (Cox/Spectrum 4) and Azteca America 33 in Spanish. It will also be streamed on ESPN+.
As the countdown continues, so does Donovan’s efforts to keep his team playing at a high level as it could clinch a playoff spot in only its second season of existence, although this is the team’s first full season after the shortened tournament last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SD Loyal is 13-10-4 with 43 points as it enters this Week 25 Pacific Division match up. It’s magic number is eight. There was a path that could’ve led SD Loyal to clinch a playoff berth this weekend but that ended with Oakland’s win against Sacramento on Wednesday night. Donovan won’t rely on playoff scenarios but instead will rely on his roster becoming healthier and ready for the final stretch. He has Callum Montgomery and Collin Martin back from injuries. Jack Blake began to practice with the team this week and could be on his way back, and he might be back just in time for the run at the playoffs. Donovan’s squad will be without striker Augustine Williams when it hosts Sacramento as he is on international duty with his national team (Sierra Leone).
SD Loyal is unbeaten in its last two matches and 5-1-1 in its last seven matches. The Loyal are coming off a convincing 3-0 win at LA Galaxy II last weekend and a 4-2 win at Las Vegas Lights.
“This is about the time,” Donovan said about looking at the standings. “We talked with the team (last week) and we told them that there’s hopefully 10 games left, six in the regular season and hopefully four more in the playoffs. We want to be better every week. This is the time of year where now the points matter in a real way. I think our guys are focused on giving ourselves a real chance and right now we feel we can step on the field with anyone and compete.”
The last time SD Loyal competed against Sacramento Republic it came with a 3-1 win Aug. 28 on the road. Sacramento this time comes into the match with a 8-11-8 record and 32 points. It sits in sixth place, still alive with a chance at earning one of the top-four spots that clinch a berth into the postseason. They are tied with LA Galaxy II, who currently owns the tiebreaker, and Oakland Roots, the fourth place team. It is coming off a 2-1 loss against Oakland and it has won two of its last five matches.