WHAT: On Saturday, Oct. 30, San Diego Loyal is set to visit Sacramento Republic for the last matchup of the four-match series. The Week 28 match will be broadcasted on YurView and ESPN+ and on Azteca America 33 in Spanish.
SD Loyal comes into the Week 28 road match having lost two in a row and playing to a draw against New Mexico United. It was that match against New Mexico that began a series of setbacks for coach Landon Donovan’s team. SD Loyal led 1-0 in stoppage time and it appeared to be headed to the win that would help push closer to a home playoff match. New Mexico scored seconds before the final whistle to draw 1-1. SD Loyal could have also clinched that coveted home playoff match a few days later. It traveled to face Orange County SC. A win would have sealed it but a first half goal by the home team was enough for the home club. Then there was the 4-3 loss last week at home against Oakland Roots. Donovan’s team tied the game in the 86th minute with a Corey Hertzog goal but again SD Loyal would allow a goal in stoppage time. Oakland Roots converted a penalty kick to win the game.
Throughout the 2021 season, SD Loyal has gone through short slumps during the season and has answered with unbeaten streaks. All it needs is one win paired with an Orange County loss this time around. It has the chance to win the four-game series against Sacramento Republic on the road and hope for a favorable result from LA Galaxy II. A loss against Sacramento would mean Donovan’s team would begin the playoffs on the road against the second-place team from the Mountain Division.
Sacramento Republic enters the match Saturday night already eliminated from playoff contention. It can play spoiler and avoid finishing without a win against SD Loyal this season. Sacramento is coming off a 1-1 draw against Pacific Division winner Phoenix Rising FC, where it had the lead until an 84th minute own goal led to the draw. Sacramento hasn’t won a match in its last five opportunities. It has three-straight draws following a pair of losses. One of those defeats was an Oct. 9 loss against SD Loyal at Torero Stadium. Sacramento Republic’s last win came on Oct. 2 in a 3-1 outing against Tacoma Defiance.
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