Republic FC isn’t looking past anyone these days as it struggles to overcome its inconsistent play in the USL.
The Austin Aztex (4-6-1, 13 points), who play Republic FC (6-5-1, 19 pts.) tonight at Bonney Field, are in the midst of a three-match losing streak and haven’t scored in 256 minutes.
But Republic FC hasn’t had much success against the lower-tier teams in the Western Conference, namely the last place Real Monarchs of SLC (1-6-5, 8 pts.).
The Major League Soccer affiliate beat Republic FC 1-0 April 29 in Sandy, Utah, then came to Bonney Field last Saturday and tied Sacramento 1-1. It was just the second tie at Bonney Field and only the fourth time that Republic FC has not earned three points from a league match at its Cal Expo stadium.
Austin is one of 13 first-year teams in the USL. The Aztex joined the third division league after spending the previous three years in the Division 4 USL Premier Development League.
The Aztex won the PDL championship in 2013. Forward Kris Tyrpak was the league’s MVP that season and has returned to Austin this year after playing for Chivas USA in MLS last season.
He had been selected by the San Jose Earthquakes in the MLS disperal draft after Chivas USA was disbanded. But he failed to stick with the ‘Quakes.
Tyrpak is the Aztex scoring leader with five goals.
Republic FC will play Austin minus two of its key starters. Midfielder Rodrigo Lopez is serving the second of his three-match suspension for a red card offense against the OKC Energy on May 23.
Midfielder Ivan Mirkovic must also sit out the match after picking up his fifth yellow card in USL play against the Real Monarchs.
But Republic FC has bolstered its midfield by announcing the signing today of Danny Barrera. He spent the last three season in the North American Soccer League and has appeared in more than 50 matches for the Atlanta Silverbacks, San Antonio Scorpions and Carolina Railhawks. He has scored seven goals.
Barrera played previously with the Ventura County Fusion of the PDL and with UC Santa Barbara.
Rookie forward Cameron Iwasa comes into the Austin match having landed a spot on this week’s USL Team of the Week. The former Jesuit High athlete had a strong all-around performance in the match against the Real Monarchs SLC.