Republic Roster: January Signings (Updated)

Sacramento Republic GM Todd Dunivant and Head Coach Mark Briggs continue to make roster moves this week with the pre-season games quickly approaching.

Just after New Year the team signed defender Tomas Hilliard-Arce, the 2nd overall pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft (by the LA Galaxy). He made 5 appearances for the MLS team in 2018 and played for Galaxy II in the USL during 2019.

Two 17-year old members of the Republic’s Academy program were signed to professional contracts, defender Hayden Stargis from Turlock CA and midfielder Mario Penagos from Elk Grove CA. They have been with the club since 2015.

January 21st the Republic announced the signing of experienced goalkeeper Adam Grinwis. The Michigan native previously played for Orlando City with a loan spell with Real Monarchs during 2018.

The team announced on January 23rd that forward Stefano Bonomo was retiring from professional soccer after a five year pro career.

With the opening of training camp January 27th at Consumnes River College the team invited Republic Academy goalkeeper Diego Ramos and midfielder Julian Chavez to attend. Also participating were midfielder Ashkanov Apollon, forwards Khalid Balogun and Daawdy Seay.

Here’s what the roster now looks like as the team builds not just for its seventh USL season but also looks towards MLS in 2022:

No. Position Player
99Goalkeeper Adam Grinwis (USA)
18Goalkeeper Rafael Díaz (DOM)
2 Defender Shannon Gomez (TTO)
3 Defender Hayden Stargis (USA)
5 Defender Matt Mahoney (USA)
4DefenderTomas Hilliard-Arce (USA)
15Defender Juan Barahona (SLV)
21Defender Dekel Keinan (ISR)
30Defender Jordan McCrary (USA)
8MidfielderRodrigo Lopez (USA)
10 Midfielder Dariusz Formella (POL)
11 Midfielder Sam Werner (USA)
12Midfielder Drew Skundrich (USA)
20Midfielder Villyan Bijev (BGR)
23Midfielder Mario Penagos (USA)
24Midfielder Jaime Villarreal (USA)
28Midfielder Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu (USA)
9Forward Kharlton Benmar (USA)
29 Forward Stefano Bonomo (USA)
31 Forward Cameron Iwasa (USA) [CAPTAIN]

BOLD = Signed for 2020 season

RoRo Returns to Republic

Sacramento Republic FC announced this week the return of legendary midfielder Rodrigo “RoRo” Lopez for the 2020 season. The 32-year-old dynamo was Republic FC’s first-ever signing back in 2013 and returns after spells with Celaya (Ascenso MX), Toluca and Veracruz (Liga MX).

He is wrote his name in Republic club history during the 2014 USL Semifinal Playoff against bitter rivals LA Galaxy II (Los Dos). The game became known as, “The Miracle at Bonney Field”. Trailing by two goals Lopez scored three second-half goals to take Sacramento to the USL Cup Final and its first Championship.

Manager Mark Briggs will do doubt be relying on the veteran Lopez to lead the team both on and off the pitch. The Republic continues to build its roster for the upcoming season and for MLS in 2022.

Mark Briggs to Coach Sacramento Republic

In something of a surprise the Sacramento Republic announced yesterday that Academy Director Mark Briggs has been promoted to Head Coach. He has signed a two-year contract putting him in charge of building up the squad in preparation for MLS play in 2022. The Englishman joined the Republic staff earlier this year after spells in charge at Real Monarchs and Wilmington Hammerheads.

“It is truly an exciting time for football in Sacramento and I’m thankful for the opportunity to grow with Republic FC in this new role,” said Briggs. “From my first days supporting the academy to this new role guiding the first team players, the passion and values that drive this club will help us find success and build a strong foundation for years to come.”

Hailing from Wolverhampton, in the English midlands, Briggs played professionally in England, Malta, Denmark and the United States before turning to coaching. He began as an assistant at his former team, the Wilmington Hammerheads before taking over as head coach for the 2015-2016 season. He then moved on to become head coach of the Real Monarchs from 2016-2018.