Three second-half goals propel Republic FC past Sonoma County in their fourth preseason friendly of 2016.
Sacramento Republic FC came out of the gates strong, attacking the Sonoma County Sol defense relentlessly. In the 5th minute their pressure paid off when Octavio Guzman was brought down in the box trying to settle a rebound. Forward Thomas Stewart stepped up to the spot sending his shot to the right as Sonoma County keeper Arturo Orneales dove left. Stewart’s goal made the score 1-0.
Sonoma County would have their only clear chance of the match in the 30th minute when midfielder Pedro Guerrero got free in the middle of the park. Guerrero gathered himself before sending a 35-foot strike toward goal. Republic FC goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek moved quickly to his right to make the save preserving the 1-0 lead.
Republic FC continued to pressure the Sonoma County defense and in the 36th minute they seemed to break through again when forward Mackenzie Pridham broke free on the left side. Pridham sent a low cross toward the middle that was parried away by Orneales, but fell right at the feet of Stewart who sent the ball into the net. However, Stewart was deemed offside, keeping the score 1-0 going into the half.
Republic FC continued to attack in the second half, scoring their second goal early in the half. In the 51st minute, Pridham received a lofted ball in the right side of the box. Pridham settled the ball and while keeping a defender on his back dropped the ball back to a streaking Emrah Klimenta who sent a rocket past substitute keeper Sean Taufer, putting Republic FC ahead 2-0.
Republic FC would add another goal in the 62nd minute. Midfielder Max Alvarez used some fancy footwork to get open on the right side before crossing the ball toward Stewart in the middle of the box. Stewart volleyed the cross past Taufer increasing Republic FC’s lead to 3-0.
Defender James Kiffe would end the match on a high note for Republic FC with his goal in the 86th minute. Kiffe played the ball into the middle to trialist Manny Cazares who played the ball back to Kiffe who went one-on-one with Taufer. With the keeper rushing to close the gap Kiffe sent a left-footed chip that cleared Taufer’s reach and settled into the right side of the goal putting Republic FC ahead 4-0 for good.
“We certainly upped our game tonight,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle after the match. “We looked very good, we have not trained on astroturf, so to come here and perform that was really good. I am very, very pleased with the attitude of the players and our passing was excellent tonight.”
A great crowd of 1,200 was on hand for this match at Nevers Field in Santa Rosa.