Soccer

Republic FC has had a lot of turnover. Why another team leader is changing his role

Republic FC president Warren Smith speaks outside Sacramento City Hall on May 15, 2017. Smith is stepping down from that role but will serve as a special adviser with both Republic FC and also with another USL club.
Republic FC president Warren Smith speaks outside Sacramento City Hall on May 15, 2017. Smith is stepping down from that role but will serve as a special adviser with both Republic FC and also with another USL club. Sacramento Bee file

Republic FC made some big changes coming into this season. The USL club announced yet another major move Tuesday.

Warren Smith, a co-founder of the team who is the president, is stepping down from that role. He will stay on as a senior adviser while also taking on a senior adviser position for OKC Energy FC, another USL team.

“It has been, and will continue to be, an honor to work alongside the talented SRFC staff as well as our devoted fans to build this club from the ground up for our Indomitable City,” Smith said in a release on the team's website. “Together as a region, we have already accomplished so much and we are only just getting started. I love and believe in Sacramento and our abilities when we are unified in our fight for our city.

"(Republic FC CEO) Kevin Nagle deserves an immense amount of credit for leading Sacramento’s MLS bid and I am confident that we will accomplish our collective goal of bringing MLS here in the near future.”

Smith will remain "involved in community initiatives, stadium operations and fan engagement," according to the release.

“Warren’s contributions to Republic FC, and to the City of Sacramento as a whole, cannot be overstated,” Nagle said. “Thanks to Warren’s vision and unwavering commitment, Republic FC is a leading franchise and USL champion, and we are on our way to achieving our goal of bringing Major League Soccer to Sacramento.”

With OKC, "the bulk of his efforts will be focused on supporting the front office staff" while helping the team find a soccer stadium to call home for 2019 and beyond, according to a release from that team.

OKC Energy FC co-owner Bob Funk Jr. is glad to have Smith on board.

“I’ve known Warren for many years going back to the time when each of us were involved with Triple-A Baseball,” Funk said in a release. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for him based on the success he’s had in growing the sport of soccer in Sacramento. I look forward to the insight he can provide to our staff as we continue to grow as an organization."

Smith's move is one of a few major changes for Republic FC in recent months. The team hired Todd Dunivant as its general manager in January, then the next day announced that Simon Elliott would take over for Paul Buckle as head coach.

Even with all the turnover, Republic FC is in third place in the USL standings with 5-2-3 (18 points).

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