Republic FC isn’t a Major League Soccer team yet, but one of the MLS’ best squads from recent years visited Sacramento on Thursday.
Sacramento’s USL club hosted a friendly against Seattle Sounders FC at Papa Murphy’s Park, falling 3-1 to the side which just missed repeating as MLS Cup champions last year.
Despite the loss, coach Simon Elliott likes what he sees from his players.
“I’m relatively pleased with the way the team’s coming together,” Elliott said after the game. “To play against a team with the caliber of Seattle, to have the first performance amongst the home fans, there’s enough good things where we’re like, ‘All right, we’ve got something to work on.’ ”
The visitors scored quickly, as Jordan Morris collected a free kick into the box and put it high into the net in just the second minute.
Seattle doubled its lead in the 28th, when Henry Wingo slammed a volley to the right side of the net off a Nicolas Lodeiro lob cross outside the box.
Trailing 2-0 at half, Republic scored early after the break on Christian Eissele’s first goal with the club. He jumped in an attempt to head in Josh Turnley’s cross, but it’s unclear how well he struck the ball.
Morris capped the scoring in the 78th, taking a low pass from Seyi Adekoya and one-timing a laser past the left side of Republic keeper Josh Cohen.
Republic will host Los Angeles FC, which will begin MLS play this season, in a friendly on Feb. 25.