Soccer

Republic FC’s path to USL crown begins with regular-season champion Real Monarchs SLC

Republic FC defender Chris Christian, center, heads away a shot attempt during a home game against Real Monarchs SLC last season. The teams will meet in Salt Lake City on Friday in the opening round of the USL playoffs.
Republic FC defender Chris Christian, center, heads away a shot attempt during a home game against Real Monarchs SLC last season. The teams will meet in Salt Lake City on Friday in the opening round of the USL playoffs. Bee file

Republic FC faces a tough task in their bid to win a second USL championship.

Sacramento, which captured the title in its inaugural season three years ago, faces the league’s top team in Real Monarchs SLC on Friday in Salt Lake City. The match begins at 7 p.m.

When eighth-seeded Republic FC travels to Rio Tinto Stadium for their Western Conference Quarterfinal, they’ll face a team they’ve lost to twice this season by a combined 4-0 score. Real Monarch SLC led the USL with a 20-5-7 record, and their 67 points were five better than San Antonio FC, the conference’s No. 2 seed, and Louisville City FC, the Eastern Conference’s top team.

Sacramento (13-12-7, 46) lost to Real Monarchs SLC on May 13 in Utah and again Sept. 27 at Papa Murphy’s Park. Both matches ended with a 2-0 score.

Since 2015, Republic FC is 2-4-3 all time against Real Monarchs SLC.

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