Sacramento Republic FC Director of Football Graham Smith resigned Saturday, according to a team media release.
Smith, 70, has been with the club since its inception in 2014. He helped orchestrate Republic FC’s first-year championship run by signing head coach Preki and stalwarts such as Rodrigo Lopez, Justin Braun and Nemanja Vukovic.
“I feel very privileged to have spent the past five years working with a tremendous group of individuals who forged Republic FC into a wonderful football club that is now MLS-ready,” Smith said in the release. “I am grateful to (President) Warren Smith and those early pioneers who worked assiduously to build this organization from the outset. And now under the astute stewardship of (Chairman/CEO) Kevin Nagle, I sincerely believe that the fans of Sacramento have their best days in football ahead of them. Thank you to the club, its fans and this community for all the memories.”
Born in Liverpool, England, Smith played goalkeepers for clubs such as West Bromwich Albion and Notts County FC over a nine-year career. He served on Chelsea FC’s board of directors before embarking on careers as an agent and a manager.
Republic FC stormed through the league playoffs last month as the No. 8 seed, toppling No. 1 Real Monarch SLC before falling to the Swope Park Rangers in the USL Western Conference semifinals. Sacramento is angling to be one of two cities named in the MLS’ expansion announcement this winter.
“The one thing about (soccer) is that change is constant,” Smith told The Sacramento Bee in September. “Our roster is always in a constant state of flux.”
Smith’s son Adam served as Republic FC’s top assistant over the last three years as well as the technical director of Elk Grove Soccer Club, but left earlier this month to head the USL expansion team Fresno FC.