Images: Nicolette Lovell

The Sacramento Republic FC in 2018

The Sacramento Republic FC recently kicked off its 2018 season. The club has opened an amazing season with five wins, one lost, and three draws so far. We had the chance to chat with the Republic’s team captain, Jeremy Hall, about his team ahead of their latest game.

CS: Where are we at with the MLS bid?

Omar Gonzalez, PR Director: Sacramento Republic FC remains in close contact with MLS as we work to strengthen our bid and move closer to delivering the MLS club our fans and community deserve. We are as optimistic as ever that we will reach our goal and look forward to sharing more updates in the near future.

CS: How was “Paint The Park” for the club? 

OG: We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome to “Paint the Park.” Over 60 local artists participated in turning Papa Murphy’s Park into a showcase of stadium art unlike any before seen in Sacramento sports. All of the artwork produced from the event will remain up for the remainder of the season for fans to enjoy. We’re beyond grateful to everyone who participated, including Wide Open Walls, who partnered with us to help make this event possible.

CS: Has the coaching staff made any changes from last year? 

OG: There were a lot of changes within the club during the offseason, both to our coaching staff and our roster. We’re excited to welcome five-time MLS Cup winner Todd Dunivant as our new general manager and equally thrilled to have Simon Elliott take the helm as coach of the first team. Simon was previously the head coach of our U-15/16 and U-17 academy teams and brings a wealth of experience with him, having played in the English Premier League and the 2010 FIFA World Cup during his professional career. On the roster side, we welcomed a dozen new players this season as the team seeks to make another run at the USL championship.

CS: What are you guys looking to change this season? 

Jeremy Hall, Team Captain: Well, it’s been a lot actually. We have a bunch of new players and a new coach so it’s been a big turnaround team-wise. Right now we’re just getting familiar with each other and trying to understand the formation our coach is implementing in the team and find our identity. And then from there just work hard. I think Todd (general manager) and Simon (head coach) have done a great job of identifying a bunch of hard-working and talented players. We’ve shown signs of what we’re capable of, but we’re still working and we know we can get better. We’re looking forward to continuing to grow.

CS: Who are you looking forward to playing the most? 

JH: Good question. I feel like opposing teams love when we come up on their calendars just because the atmosphere we have at Papa Murphy’s Park—our fanbase—is loud and the stadium is always sold out. You know it’s always super fun and we always get good games there. As far as a rivalry, I think the Fresno one will be pretty intriguing this year just because they’re so close. Playing against Reno last year was fun too because a bunch of our supporters went there and a bunch of their supporters came here. The close ones are always fun. I think for me personally, it’s just going out there and trying to win every game. They’re all fun.

CS: Who are you seeing that is on the trail to have a breakout season this year?

JH: I think everybody is trying to have a breakout season. Christian Eissele has done pretty well as one of our forwards. I mean, I don’t want to single anyone out, but I think everybody is looking forward to it. I think what Tod and the players they have brought in, guys are really trying to make their mark and show what they can do. With the MLS thing going on, everyone wants to be a part of that. So everyone is trying to show what they can do and ultimately bring a championship back to Sacramento.

CS: How have you guys formed your team chemistry, especially with all the new players? 

JH: Well, we’ve done a lot. Our preseason was very very long and tough. We had a lot of two-a-days so we got to be around each other a lot. Some of the guys are actually rooming together. We’ve done road trips with guys playing cards and just doing different things together. We have great team bonding off the field and it’s translating on the field.

CS: You talked about some guys rooming together, so are you guys on the Fortnite trend yet? 

JH: All these guys talk about it. I don’t even know what it is, but all of them talk about building houses and buying stuff and dancing, so I haven’t played it yet but all these guys are on it.

Summer is known for being soccer weather. With the summer quickly approaching, it’s the best time to get out to a game and cheer on our Republic! With the club’s unprecedented start, the rest of USL sees Sacramento as the team to beat, so they need you more than ever! Can’t wait to see you at the next game!