Tag Archives: Sac2MLS

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.

Republic Roster: December Signings (Updated)

Sacramento Republic GM Todd Dunivant made his first off-season roster moves this week, taking up contract options on three players: Polish attacking midfielder Dariusz Formella, U.S. defender Matt Mahoney and El Salvadoran international defender Juan Barahona.

The club also announced it would not be exercising options on defenders Elliott Hord and Charalampos Chantzopoulos; and midfielders Ray Saari and Hayden Partain.

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
2 Defender Shannon Gomez (TTO)
4 Defender Mitchell Taintor (USA)
5 Defender Matt Mahoney (USA)
6 Defender Charalampos Chantzopoulos (DEU)
7 Midfielder Hayden Partain (USA)
8 MidfielderRodrigo Lopez (USA)
9 Midfielder Dariusz Formella (POL)
10 Midfielder Keven Alemán (CAN)
11 Midfielder Sam Werner (USA)
TBA Forward Kharlton Benmar (USA)
12 Midfielder Drew Skundrich (USA)
15 Defender Juan Barahona (SLV)
18 Goalkeeper Rafael Díaz (DOM)
20 Midfielder Villyan Bijev (BGR)
21 Defender Dekel Keinan (ISR)
23 Forward Thomas Enevoldsen (DNK)
24 Midfielder Jaime Villarreal (USA)
25 Midfielder Ray Saari (USA)
26 Defender Elliott Hord (USA)
TBAMidfielder Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu (USA)
29 Forward Stefano Bonomo (USA)
30 Defender Jordan McCrary (USA)
31 Forward Cameron Iwasa (USA)
46 Midfielder Mario Penagos (USA) (Academy player)
47 Defender Hayden Sargis (USA) (Academy player)
48 Defender Eddy Berumen (USA) (Academy player)

BOLD = Signed for 2020 season
Strikethrough = Released

There is no word on the appointment of a new Head Coach, however.

UPDATE: 12/3/2019 Republic announced that all-time leading goal scorer, Cameron Iwasa has been resigned by the club.

UPDATE: 12/4/2019 Republic announced the return of central midfielder Jaime Villarreal and winger Sam Werner for a second season with the club.

UPDATE: 12/5/2019 Republic announced the return of Bulgarian playmaker Villyan Bijev, a member of the team since 2017, and Trinidad & Tobago international Shannon Gomez – now fit after knee surgery in August.

UPDATE: 12/6/2019 Republic announced the return of Dominican Republic born goalkeeper Rafael Diaz, who joined the team in early 2018 and is currently the only ‘keeper on the roster, and U.S. central midfielder Drew Skundrich for a second season in Sacramento.

UPDATE: 12/10/2019 Republic announced the return of veteran Israeli international defender Dekel Keinan for a second season with the club.

UPDATE: 12/12/2019 Republic announced the signing of U.S forward and 2015 USL Rookie of the Year, Kharlton Belmar from Nashville SC.

UPDATE: 12/16/2019 Republic announced the signing of U.S defensive midfielder, Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu from FC Tuscon.

Republic Out, Storm In

California Storm logo

When the Sacramento Republic move into the new downtown Railyards Stadium for their debut MLS season in 2022, a new lead tenant will take over 11,500 seat Papa Murphy’s Park at Cal Expo: the California Storm women’s team. The question now is whether they will be competing in the professional National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) when they do.

Signs are suggesting the answer is, yes. The Storm organization currently is part of the second tier Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) and has been highly successful, but recently added former USWNT stars Leslie Osborne and Brandi Chastain, as well as Brazilian legend Sissi to the team’s Board of Directors, as well as filing trademark registrations. This points to bigger ambitions.

They also have the backing of Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, who said at a recent City Council meeting, “Building off of the Major League Soccer excitement, I believe our city has another once-in-a-lifetime opportunity — let’s bring women’s professional soccer to Sacramento. We are all currently working on it together, and, personally, if and when we are collectively successfully, this is something, I believe, will truly be another game-changer for Sacramento.”

There would still be many hurdles to cross before an NWSL franchise is awarded but being backed by the Mayor and being an affiliate of the Sacramento Republic organization certainly puts them in a strong position. We’ll be following this story closely in the coming months.