Republic FC coach Paul Buckle’s biggest dilemma before the start of the 2016 season was how he would replace the goal-scoring and playmaking of departed midfield star Rodrigo Lopez.
The answer came in a two-headed approach with Danny Barrera and Cameron Iwasa, who were named to the All-USL team Tuesday. Barrera made the first team and Iwasa was named to the second team. The 22-man team is voted on by management and media in the league’s 29-team market.
Barrera assumed the playmaking duties from his midfield position and set the club season USL record with nine assists, bettering Lopez’s record of eight set in 2014.
Iwasa, a second-year forward who starred at Jesuit High School, became the team’s goal-scoring force. He set a team season record for USL goals with 12, breaking Tommy Stewart’s mark of 11 set in 2014. Lopez had 10 that season.
Barrera and Iwasa helped propel Republic FC to a first-place finish in the ultra-competitive, 15-team USL Western Conference. Sacramento was knocked out of the playoffs in the first round.
Barrera finished second in the USL in assists, one behind the 10 compiled by Villyan Bijev of the Portland Timbers 2. The former UC Santa Barbara star also set a club record for consecutive matches played with 46, including all 30 USL matches this season. He led the team in minutes played with 2,558.
Iwasa also started the last 27 USL matches, a club record for consecutive starts. His 27 points (12 goals, three assists) led the team.