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 Sacramento Republic FC

Aldair Sanchez Continues to Carry Flag for Open Tryout Signees: "Everyone's Path Is Different"

April 23, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Sacramento Republic FC News Release

Republic FC's 2-0 win over Orange County last Saturday provided a special moment for one of its young players. The club's second goal, off the foot of defender Aldair Sanchez, marked the first of the defender's professional career - continuing a tremendous story for the 21-year-old in his second season. After Sacramento took possession on the right flank, Jack Gurr sent a long service to the back post, which Sanchez met and played on the volley and into the back of the net.

Sanchez has shown strong signs of development in his second season as a pro - impressing the club's coaching staff in training camp and the opening weeks of the season. The Vancouver, Washington native has been included in the Starting XI in all but one week, recording 517 minutes. He's been frequently involved in the club's attack, tallying six chances created, and stood strong defensively with a success rate of 53% in one-on-one situations.

"He's matured as a player, his confidence has grown, and you can see it in his belief in his abilities on the field," said Head Coach Mark Briggs on Sanchez. "He's been very consistent with his level of performance and now is starting to add that attacking piece to his game."

"I had no idea what to do when it went in," Sanchez said after the match on Saturday. "But I'm just super happy to have scored and relieved to have my first goal."

His goal made him the fifth of six open tryout signees to score for the Indomitable Club - further proving the worth of the annual opportunity and earning him recognition from the league on its weekly Young Player Spotlight. The players the club finds and signs through the process aren't just being given an opportunity for the sake of it. They have routinely made an impact for the squad year over year.

Including Sanchez, players signed through the club's Open Tryouts have combined for over 300 appearances and 22,000 minutes with the Indomitable Club. Players contributing to those tallies include Emrah Klimenta, one of the club's all-time leaders in appearances and minutes, and Max Alvarez, part of the 2014 title-winning roster alongside Klimenta. Defender Eliott Hord played a key role on the backline for the club from 2016-18, appearing in 71 games, and left back Ashkanov Apollon appeared in all but three games for Sacramento in 2020 as the club made the postseason for an eighth straight season.

As a young player - Sanchez still has a lot of football ahead of him. But his success proves that the club's ability to develop players early in their careers bodes well for others - especially the homegrown players on its first-team roster.

"Everyone's path is different, and this is just another one of those paths," Sanchez said in January, on the club's Open Tryouts. "[The club] takes this seriously and this is a real opportunity that people can take advantage of."

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