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3 Things That Made the Difference in Saturday’s Win over Monterey Bay

Three Takeaways from #SACvSA - OurSports Central

June 10, 2024 – United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Sacramento Republic FC News Release

Heading into last Saturday’s match in Seaside, Republic FC had a lot to play for: bragging rights in a budding local rivalry, snapping a two-game scoreless streak, and the opportunity to bounce back from the first loss of the year. With so many questions surrounding the contest, the Indomitable Club lived up to its name, securing a 2-0 victory over Monterey Bay F.C. to get back in the win column.

“I thought it was a really solid team performance,” said Republic FC Head Coach Mark Briggs after the match. “It was important to bounce back after last week’s loss and show our character, our true team identity. Sometimes you get into these difficult moments and it takes a result like this, it takes a performance like this to get you out of them.”

The club’s ability was on full display from the opening whistle. From challenging Monterey Bay’s backline, to controlling the key parts of the pitch, to a league-leading team defensive performance, here are three things that made the difference for Republic FC in Saturday’s bounce-back win.

High Pressure Creates Chances

Republic FC put pressure on the hosts all night, building throughout the first half before finding two goals in eight minutes. The club finished the contest with six shots on target – the most since April 27 against Loudoun United, the club’s last win before Saturday’s victory. Led by Kieran Phillips’ three shots on frame, Sacramento posted a 100% shot accuracy, while Monterey Bay was only on target 36% of the time. More impressively, no other team across the league had an accuracy above 75% over the weekend.

Controlling the Middle

As Justin Portillo made his club debut, Republic FC was dominant where it mattered most on Saturday: in the middle third, where nearly 45% of the action was played. The club forced Monterey Bay to lose possession 57 times in the area, with 20 possessions won. Nick Ross and Luis Felipe led the squad as each midfielder won four possessions in the middle third, while Portillo had two of his own.

The clamp-down midfield defense limited Monterey Bay’s ability to break out in transition and in return drove the majority of Republic FC’s attack, including the go-ahead goal in the 54th minute. The play began as Luis Felipe intercepted a Monterey Bay pass in the middle of the field before laying it off to Nick Ross who found the outlet pass to Damia Viader. Kieran Phillips finished the…

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