Friday, April 17, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Republic FC makes strides on and off the field

0819RepublicW

Sacramento midfielder Rodrigo Lopez, middle, has been a spark all season for Republic FC, which clinched a playoff berth on Sunday. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

By
From page B1 | August 19, 2014 |

As it approaches the home stretch of its inaugural USL PRO season, Sacramento Republic FC is making waves both on and off the pitch.

Thanks to a 6-1 away win Sunday against the Orange County Blues, Sacramento became the third team to clinch a playoff spot, improving its record to 14-6-3 in the midst of a six-game unbeaten streak.

Part of the reason for the team’s hot play has been the breakout of Northern Irish forward Thomas Stewart.

After beginning the season as a fringe starter, the 27-year-old has banged in six goals during the Republic’s unbeaten streak, including the club’s first-ever hat trick on Sunday.

Also enjoying a strong season is the diminutive Rodrigo Lopez, Sacramento’s heartbeat in the midfield.

With seven goals and a joint league-leading eight assists, the former Portland Timbers player figures to be in the running for the league’s MVP award.

Davis’ own Adam Jahn, on loan from the San Jose Earthquakes of MLS, also has been on fire as of late, bagging three goals in the past four games to take his season total to six, the third most on the squad.

The locals have five matches remaining — four of which are at Bonney Field in Sacramento — before the single-elimination playoffs begin in the second week of September.

Republic FC sits in third place in the standings, four points behind second-place Richmond, albeit with a game in hand. The higher seed in each playoff match will host the game.

While Sacramento seems poised for a deep playoff run in its inaugural season, something else has made waves on the national level: the possibility of MLS expansion, with an announcement coming perhaps as soon as December.

As first reported by The Enterprise, Republic FC president Warren Smith is in talks with possible investment groups who could put up the capital to provide financing for an expansion fee, estimated at $70 million to $100 million, as well as a downtown soccer stadium.

Sacramento Kings principal owner Vivek Ranadive confirmed that he is in talks to buy Republic FC and attempt to gain expansion into the league, which has 21 teams but hopes to expand to 24 by 2020.

According to the Sacramento Bee, a contingent including Smith, Kings President Chris Granger and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson made a 75-minute presentation to MLS executives during the annual All-Star Game meetings.

An MLS visit is scheduled for sometime in September according to that same Bee report.

Smith told The Enterprise in July that even if an expansion franchise is granted this year, the team likely wouldn’t begin play in MLS until 2018 due to an anticipated staggering of the entry of expansion franchises.

According to Smith, MLS generally looks for markets to satisfy four criteria for entry into the league: strong fan support, a decent market size, deep pockets and a downtown stadium location.

The Republic already has broken the USL PRO overall attendance record, set last year by 2015 MLS expansion side Orlando City Soccer Club.

If slotted into MLS today, Sacramento would rank as the league’s 12th-largest television market according to Nielsen, larger than the markets of well-supported teams such as the Portland Timbers, Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake.

With the first two boxes checked off — and the third if Ranadive’s group invests in the team — it seems that the future of MLS in Sacramento hinges upon securing a downtown soccer-specific stadium, something Mayor Johnson indicated would not be supported by public funds.

For now, though, the team will focus on what it can do on the field, knowing that the deeper it goes into the playoffs, the more local support it will gain.

— Reach Evan Ream at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @EvanReam

Comments

comments

Evan Ream

Evan Ream graduated with a B.A. in journalism from Southern Oregon in Ashland, Ore. He loves soccer more than any person rationally should. "Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that." - Bill Shankly
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Psychedelic rock posters recall 1960s concerts

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    UCD study: Crickets not enough to feed the world just yet

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A1

    It’ll be a perfect day for a picnic — and lots more

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Turning a mess into olive oil success

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    UCD expands emergency notification service

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A2

     
    California vaccine bill stalls; will come back next week

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Cities: California water reduction order unrealistic, unfair

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Bob Dunning: Chasing criminals and water-wasters

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Enjoy a chemistry bang on Picnic Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Start your Picnic Day with pancakes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Local students to perform at fundraising concert

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    CA House hosts crepe breakfast

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Doxie Derby crowns the winning wiener

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Fundraiser benefits Ugandan women

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    See pups at Picnic Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Davis poet will read his work at library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Free blood pressure screenings offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4Comments are off for this post

     
    Rotary Club hosts whisky tasting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Ribs and Rotary benefits local charities

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Dodd plans fundraising barbecue in Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Soroptimists set date for golf tourney

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Socks collected for homeless veterans

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Council will present environmental awards Tuesday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Invention and upcycling to be honored at Square Tomatoes Fair

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Take a peek at Putah Creek on daylong tour

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Pence Gallery Garden Tour tickets on sale

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    UC Davis Circle K Club wins awards at district convention

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Davis authors featured at writing conference in Stockton

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Sign up soon for Davis history tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Campus firearms bill passes Senate committee

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Emerson featured at photography program

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Portuguese influence in Yolo County detailed

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Concert and dance party celebrate KDRT’s 10 years on the air

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Survival skills to be taught at preserve

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    The new one puts her foot down

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

    It’s time to fight for California’s jobs

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Future leaders give back

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Know where your gift is going

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Pipeline veto a good move

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Artists offer heartfelt thanks

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    .

    Sports

    DHS boys drop another Delta League match

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie women ready to host (win?) Big West golf tourney

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    New strength coach hopes to stem UCD football injury tide

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Herd has too much for Devil softballers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Les, AD Gould talk about the Aggie coach’s future

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    UCD roundup: Quintet of Aggie gymnasts honored for academics

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    River Cats fall to Las Vegas

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

     
    Diamondbacks defeat Giants in 12 innings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    DSF kicks off 10th anniversary celebration at the carousel

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B5

     
    Many summer enrichment opportunities available for students

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B5

     
    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B5

    .

    Arts

    ‘True Story:’ In their dreams

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    ‘Once’ an unforgetable celebration of music, relationships

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Honda shows off new Civic at New York show

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Ruth Rodenbeck Stumpf

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Robert Leigh Cordrey

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, April 17, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B10