Sacramento Republic FC

Coach's Corner: Braces from Jauregui, Kimbrough Lead Republic FC vs. Central Valley Fuego FC

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

Republic FC continued its preseason preparations Wednesday afternoon, welcoming USL League One side Central Valley Fuego FC to the River City for another exhibition contest. With just over two weeks remaining until the start of the 2024 season, the club put in a strong performance, claiming a 4-0 victory against the Fresno side.

A strong defensive showing kept the visitors out of net for the entirety of the match, resulting in a clean sheet performance. Two goals on either side of halftime - a brace each for Rafa Jauregui and Da'vian Kimbrough - led the Indomitable club on the offensive end.

"The team looked sharp," said Republic FC Assistant Coach Martín Vásquez after the match. "We were able to impose our game in possession [and] out of possession, when we had the ball when we didn't have the ball. We're going in the right direction with our fitness and the way we want to play."

Jauregui netted each of his goals in the 45 minutes before the break, heading one through near the mid-way point of the opening half before relentless pressure created an opportunity for the Academy product to slot in a second later on. A line-change brought a new XI onto the pitch for the second half. Kimbrough extended the squad's advantage to three, heading in a Rodrigo Lopez cross. The 14-year-old slotted in the club's fourth of the day, and his third score of the preseason, on an assist from fellow homegrown Blake Willey just before the final whistle sounded.

Following the match, Vasquez also applauded the strong mentality of the group not to waver and let heavy legs and mental challenges of preseason play affect their preparations. It's been a busy preseason for the club, which since the start of February has played six matches, including four in the previous 15 days.

"Mentally, they know that you got to put the hard work in and preseason that it'll pay off," Vasquez continued. "The guys have done a very good job of putting the work in every day."

With just two weeks remaining until the season opener, the final pieces will begin to fall into place as rivals Oakland Roots SC and Monterey Bay F.C. visit to close out camp. Getting minutes against league foes will help the club prepare for what they'll need to do to start the season strong.

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