Returning for 2021: Villarreal Patrols, Protects Central Pitch
The tireless workhorse returns for his fourth season in Old Glory Red, within reach of Republic's record book
Despite being only 25, Republic FC midfielder Jaime Villarreal brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the central midfield.
2021 will mark his fourth season with the Indomitable Club, and eighth as a pro. Before the pandemic-shortened season, Villarreal's play commanded the respect of opponents - and earned praise from his teammates he bestowed the team MVP title on him in 2019. Sixth in club history with 74 appearances during league play, Villarreal is only five appearances away from tying Jeremy Hall for a well-deserved spot in the top five in Republic FC history.
During the 2020 abbreviated season, Jamie contributed to the club's consistent scoring with two strikes and an assist, as well as an element of the first line of stout defense in the midfield. The CM led the entire team in blocked shots with nine and he led the midfield unit in tackles (26), tackles won (17) and interceptions (17). This past season was the second campaign in a row Villarreal led the midfield with the most interceptions and his career tally during his three seasons in Sacramento is now up to 80.
Villarreal created 12 scoring chances in 2020, bringing his career tally in Sacramento to 72.
His two goals in 2020 make for a fantastic addition to his highlight reel. He found the back of the net with a perfectly placed header during a 4-0 thumping of Portland Timbers 2 on October 3. Villarreal bagged his first of the campaign after finding the back of the net during his sides' 3-3 draw against Reno 1868 FC. In his SRFC career, the 25-year-old has five goals - two of which were game-winners.
Villarreal also added an assist at a crucial time during the most recent campaign when he set up Villyan Bijev's game-winning goal to complete the 2-1 comeback against Orange County SC on September 9. The assist was his fourth during league play with Republic FC and fifth across all competitions.
The shortened season definitely did not deter Villarreal from being a positive presence on both ends of the pitch for Mark Briggs' men and the midfield engine will look to continue to be a formidable force for the Indomitable Club in 2021.
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