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Preview: Republic FC vs. Portland Timbers 2

October 1, 2020 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - Sacramento Republic FC News Release

At a Glance: #SACvPOR

Saturday, October 3

7:30 p.m. PT kickoff

Papa Murphy's Park, Sacramento, California

How to Watch: KQCA My58, Estrella TV Sacramento (Spanish), ESPN+ (Digital)

RSVP Virtual Watch Party

What's the latest on the team?

Republic FC (7-2-6, 27 pts) were handed just its second loss in all of 2020 after a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Tacoma Defiance in Washington on Wednesday night, but remain near the top of the league's playoff bound teams with a potential 30 season points.

Despite the result, Mark Briggs' men are a lock for the USL Championship playoffs and have solidified second place in Group A and an away game for the opening round of the postseason. The Indomitable Club's Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup will be a trip to either Phoenix Rising FC or LA Galaxy II next week.

Jordan McCrary assisted the game-winner against T2 on August 22.

But before the boys in Old Glory Red look ahead to the postseason, the squad still has one final home game left on its regular season docket as Portland Timbers 2 come to town for a fourth and final bout against T2 this campaign.

The Indomitable Club's last match - a 1-0 loss to Defiance in Tacoma - saw four players that developed their skills in the Republic FC youth academy system earn priceless playing time in the contest. Named to the starting eleven were Hayden Sargis, Rafael Jauregui and Julian Chavez, while Mario Penagos entered the match in the second half. The start was JuJu and Rafa's first of their first-team Republic FC careers.

Rafa is now the youngest-ever player in Republic FC history to be named in the starting eleven, surpassing Roberto Hategan's mark by 15 months.

What about the visitors?

Portland Timbers 2 (3-12-0, 9 pts) will finish the regular season bottom of Group A but the Pacific Northwest club has earned victories in three of its last five matches.

After Portland lost 2-1 to Republic FC with the last kick of the game, Timbers 2 was thumped 7-1 by Reno 1868 FC before picking up consecutive victories against Defiance on September 9 at home - 3-0 - followed by a 2-1 road win over the 2019 league title-winners Real Monarchs. A 5-2 loss at home to Reno occurred four days after the win over Monarchs and Portland responded well from the defeat against 1868 FC with a 3-1 victory over Tacoma during its final home contest of the 2020 season.

Rodrigo Lopez has started two of three games his side have played against T2 this season.

After opening the campaign having scored just two goals in its first five games, T2's offense has erupted and netted 11 times in its last five fixtures. Specifically, Jorge Gonzalez and Marcus Epps as the former has racked up six goals in five games and the latter has bagged three strikes in the last four games.

Head-to-Head

The Indomitable Club broke T2's heart last outing with Julian Chavez's curling effort at the death to snag a late victory and return to Sacramento with all three points in the Group A standings.

In the 87th minute of the match, Mario Penagos lifted his side to a 1-0 lead, temporarily earning the title of youngest goal scorer, before the hosts leveled just moments later. The goal was also Penagos's first career strike with the first team.

Chavez and Penagos scored late second half strikes to sink Timbers 2 in Portland last month.

JuJu entered the match in the second half and with the last kick of the game, bested his Academy teammate -- becoming the youngest goal scorer in club history, delivering a 2-1 win to the visitors.

Republic FC has been victorious in all three regular season clashes this season and not once in 14 previous meetings have these two Western Conference clubs played to a stalemate.

Overall (USL Championship Regular Season): 9-5-0

Home: 5-1-0 (GF: 11, GA: 3)

Away: 4-4-0 (GF: 8, 7)

Virtual Watch Party

Watch the match with fellow Republic FC supporters during the Virtual Watch Party simulcast during the club's final home game of the 2020 USL Championship regular season. During the match, fans can join the club's virtual watch party simulcast where they can interact with other fans, participate in games and contests, and be features in the club's match telecast while cheering for the boys in Old Glory Red.

To join a watch party, fans can RSVP at SacRepublic.com/virtual-watch-parties.


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United Soccer League Championship Stories from October 1, 2020


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