Soccer

Why Republic FC is 'thrilled' to welcome back one of the club's original members

Republic FC fans congratulate Republic FC defender Emrah Klimenta after a match against Orange County SC on April 1, 2017, at Papa Murphy's Park in Sacramento. Klimenta has been re-signed by the USL club after a stint with MLS side LA Galaxy.
Republic FC fans congratulate Republic FC defender Emrah Klimenta after a match against Orange County SC on April 1, 2017, at Papa Murphy's Park in Sacramento. Klimenta has been re-signed by the USL club after a stint with MLS side LA Galaxy. Sacramento Bee file

One of Republic FC's original members has come back home.

The USL club announced Tuesday that it has signed Emrah Klimenta for the rest of the season. The defender was with the LA Galaxy, but he was released June 14 after playing in just two games with the MLS side.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">BREAKING: Republic FC have signed defender Emrah Klimenta to a <a href="https://twitter.com/USL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USL</a> contract for the remainder of the 2018 season.<br><br>Welcome back, <a href="https://twitter.com/EmrahKlimenta?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EmrahKlimenta</a>!!<br><br>  <a href="https://t.co/mu3fSNQ7tA">https://t.co/mu3fSNQ7tA</a> <a href="https://t.co/FT315HRwM1">pic.twitter.com/FT315HRwM1</a></p>&mdash; Republic FC (@SacRepublicFC) <a href="https://twitter.com/SacRepublicFC/status/1014253615093968896?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 3, 2018</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> 

“We are thrilled to welcome Emrah back home for his fifth season with the club,” Republic FC general manager Todd Dunivant said in a press release. “His leadership and presence will be a big boost for us, and integrating a player of his caliber will only make us better as we hit a crucial period in the season.”

A native of Montenegro, Klimenta has played for Republic FC in each of its five years, including the team's inaugural season of 2014, when Sacramento won the USL championship. He's the franchise leader in games (119) and starts (112). 

Klimenta could see his first action this season with Republic FC as soon as Saturday, when the team kicks off its #5YearsOfGlory Celebration. The series of five matches begins against Real Monarchs SLC at Papa Murphy's Park. 

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