The UC Davis men’s soccer team and Sacramento Republic FC announced Friday that they will play each other March 16 at 4 p.m. in a friendly at the Aggie Soccer Field.
The match will be one of two public preseason games that the expansion Republic will play before beginning their USL PRO season Saturday March 29 against LA Galaxy II at the StubHub Center in Carson.
“The city of Davis is thriving with soccer talent ranging from UC Davis to local youth programs to (the) Davis Legacy Sports Complex,” Sacramento Republic Vice President of Marketing and Communications Erika Bjork told The Enterprise. “The club couldn’t imagine a better place to share with fans a sneak preview of what to expect this season, as well as support the local community.”
So far Sacramento’s roster consists of just seven players, including Max Alvarez, who recently finished his senior season at Sacramento State and San Francisco product Emrah Klimenta. Both were signed after taking part in an week-long invite-only combine held at the Davis Legacy Fields in January.
Klimenta was one of just two players to be invited to the combine after impressing at the open tryouts, which also were held at the Davis Legacy Fields.
Republic FC plans to play its home games in a yet-to-be constructed 8,000 seat stadium on the California State Fair grounds.
According to the Sacramento Republic FC website, a tentative agreement between Ovations Fanfare LLC and Cal Expo to privately build this stadium has been reached as of Feb. 19 and the Republic expect it to be ready for an April 26 home opener against the Harrisburg City Islanders.
As of Wednesday, the club had secured nearly 4,300 season ticket deposits.
The Aggies, who recently announced nine new recruits for the fall season, finished 9-9-3 last season including 4-4-2 in the Big West Conference. They did not qualify for the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship.
“I’m very excited for the UC Davis Athletic department as well as the Davis soccer community to watch the UC Davis men’s soccer team compete against a professional team, our very own local Sacramento Republic,” said UCD head coach Dwayne Shaffer. “It’s a great opportunity for all UC Davis Aggie supporters, soccer or otherwise to come out and enjoy a great afternoon and evening and to watch a professional team.
“I’m looking forward to an exciting game for my team to play against some high-level professional players, many of which have played in Major League Soccer,” Shaffer added. “I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Tickets are priced between $4 and $7 but are free to UCD students until the capacity of 1,175 is reached.
Notes: USL Pro is sanctioned as the third division of soccer in the United States and Canada. … Sacramento Republic FC has an affiliation with both the San Jose Earthquakes and the Portland Timbers that requires each club to loan at least two players to the Republic.
— Reach Evan Ream at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @EvanReam