Adam Jahn had played well for Republic FC in his five previous appearances on loan this season from the San Jose Earthquakes.
But the one thing the 6-foot-3 forward had been unable do was put the ball in the net for his hometown USL side.
The fourth-year Major League Soccer player resolved that in the 47th minute Wednesday night in leading Republic FC to a 1-0 win against the Real Monarchs SLC at Bonney Field.
The announced attendance was 10,745, breaking a sellout streak of 36 USL regular-season and postseason matches.
Republic FC (5-3-3, 18 points) extended its USL unbeaten streak to five matches and posted its sixth shutout in league play. Sacramento also collected its first win over the Real Monarchs (4-5-4, 16 points) after going 0-1-3 against them last season.
The powerfully built Jahn, who started and played 71 minutes, bulldozed his way through an overmatched Real Monarchs defender, Emilio Orozco, to score just in front of goalkeeper Eduardo Fernandez on a perfectly placed cross from James Kiffe.
“In the first half, we thought we had the better of the play and we knew the goal was coming,” Jahn said. “Paul told us at halftime to be patient and have the confidence that it’s coming. We finally got one and the rest of the way, we just saw the game out and got the shutout.”
With his size and strength, Republic FC coach Paul Buckle said Jahn offers a different dynamic than the other forwards on Republic FC.
“I’ve been able to do some work with him and get him in the 18-yard box,” Buckle said. “It’s a different style of play with Adam…Adam’s a target man and a very good target man and he looked after the ball well.”
Republic FC turned in a dominating offensive performance in getting 12 shots, five on frame. Cameron Iwasa put a shot off the crossbar in the 60th minute and Sacramento just missed on several other close calls inside the box in the second half.
Republic FC’s two best scoring opportunities in the first half involved Danny Barrera. In the seventh minute, Iwasa put a cross into the center of the box to an unmarked Barrera. But Barrera couldn’t get much on his turning shot attempt that went to Fernandez. In the 45th minute, Barrera just missed converting a back-post header from a cross by Emrah Klimenta.
“I think the key for us was to remain patient,” Buckle said. “We created openings, but we just weren’t able to find the net. I said to the boys at halftime that if we remained disciplined that chances would come. The whole squad was excellent and there is an energy about us now with a purpose and an understanding.”
Jahn was an important contributor during Republic FC’s 2014 USL championship season, finishing with seven goals, third best on the team while on loan from San Jose. But the former Stanford standout spent all of 2015 with the Earthquakes, appearing in 26 games, including nine starts.
But with San Jose signing a couple of new offensive players during the offseason and Republic FC needing help at forward, Jahn has been in and out with Sacramento this season.
He had played 253 minutes and had seven shots, one on goal, in his previous five matches for Sacramento. In his four seasons with San Jose, he has appeared in 60 matches and has six goals.
In addition to Jahn, Tommy Thompson played on loan from San Jose. Defender Boyd Okwuonu, midfielder Omar Holness and forward Emery Welshman were on loan from Real Salt Lake.
Republic FC played without 20-year-old midfielder Daniel Trickett-Smith, whose 81st-minute goal Saturday enabled Sacramento to tie the LA Galaxy II 2-2 at Bonney Field.
Trickett-Smith, who scored his first USL goal since signing with Sacramento on May 20, was suspended for the match after receiving two yellow cards against the Galaxy.
This will be the first of two straight meetings between the two clubs. Republic FC and the Monarchs will meet Saturday night in Reno.
Real Monarchs came into the match having handed the first place Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 its first loss of the season 1-0 on Saturday.