The San Jose Earthquakes have loaned forward Mark Sherrod and midfielders Tommy Thompson and JJ Koval to Republic FC as the defending USL champions make a late-season push to qualify for the playoffs.
All are eligible to play for Sacramento in Saturday night’s USL match against the Tulsa Roughnecks FC at Bonney Field.
Thompson, the former Granite Bay High star, appeared in six USL matches for Republic FC last season, starting three. Koval, a former Stanford star, played two matches last season on loan to Republic FC and scored the match-winning goal against Arizona United SC.
Thompson, San Jose’s first homegrown signing, has appeared in 13 matches for the Earthquakes this season, including four starts. Earlier this year he was a key member of the U.S. U-20 National Team that played in the U-20 FIFA World Cup.
Koval has appeared in 14 matches for the Quakes this season, including six starts.
Sherrod was acquired by the Quakes this season in a trade with Orlando City SC in exchange for San Jose’s second-round selection in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Sherrod has appeared in six matches for the Quakes this season. He has two goals and an assist in 15 career MLS appearances.
The loan deal is the first between Republic FC and their MLS affiliate this season and comes just before the USL’s Tuesday roster freeze.
The trio should give new coach Paul Buckle the “fresh faces” he’s looking for to inject an added spark into a team that has gone 1-2-4 in its last seven league matches.
Republic FC enters Saturday night’s match in seventh place and only the top six teams in the Western Conference advance to the postseason.
Sacramento has four regular season matches remaining, including three consecutive on the road after tonight’s match.
Thompson and Koval will boost a depleted midfield.
Ivan Mirkovic, the team’s leader in USL minutes, begins serving the first of a two-match suspension for yellow card accumulation Saturday night. Octavio Guzman and Gilberto are still rehabbing from knee injuries.
Sherrod also could help in the final third where Republic FC has struggled to score goals at Bonney Field.
Sacramento is 6-4-2 in USL matches at home this season after going 13-3-2 (regular season and playoffs) at Hughes Stadium and Bonney Field last year.
Sacramento (10-8-5, 35 points) can move into the top six with a win tonight against Tulsa. The Roughnecks (10-10-6, 36 pts) are one point ahead of Republic FC and are tied with the Orange County Blues FC (11-9-3) for fifth place.