Soccer

Republic FC part-timer Jahn knows the way to San Jose

Adam Jahn was listed as a projected starter in the match notes for Republic FC’s regular-season finale on Saturday night against the Los Angeles Galaxy II at Bonney Field.

But Jahn was in Portland with the Earthquakes getting ready for today’s Major League Soccer match against the Portland Timbers.

Jahn, a former Jesuit High School and Stanford standout, is a loan player with Republic FC. So he has moved back and forth between the two teams several times this season.

Jahn, a forward, played for Republic FC in Thursday’s 1-0 win over OKC Energy FC at Bonney Field and left for San Jose on Friday morning.

He could stay with the Quakes, who pay his salary, through the remainder of the MLS season. Or he could be back with Republic FC this week as the first-year expansion team prepares for its first playoff match on Saturday at Bonney.

“That’s out of my hands,” Jahn said. “I go where I’m told. I’m just glad to be playing.”

Jahn is one of dozens of MLS players on loan to either USL Pro or North American Soccer League teams as MLS clubs must form their own minor-league affiliates or partner with a USL Pro franchise by next season.

Also on loan and playing for Republic FC are goalkeeper Jake Gleeson and midfielder Stephen Evans from the Portland Timbers. Earlier in the season, the Quakes’ Tommy Thompson, JJ Koval and Mike Fucito and the Timbers’ Alvas Powell and George Fochive played for Sacramento before returning to their parent clubs.

MLS had 15 reserve teams last year and just eight this year as they prepare to close down. The biggest knocks on the reserve system: Players weren’t getting enough matches or playing at a level comparable to USL Pro and the NASL, where playoff berths and championships are at stake and the atmosphere often is more intense.

As a rookie last season, Jahn played in 16 matches and scored four goals for the Earthquakes. He also played in several of the team’s 10 reserve league matches.

“Playing in USL Pro is better than the reserve league because you’re getting 28 meaningful games,” Jahn said. “The games are taken a little more seriously.”

The Galaxy II is the only MLS team with a stand-alone feeder team in USL Pro. But the Montreal Impact has announced it will place a second team, Montreal FC, into the expanding third-division league next season. Several other MLS teams are considering similar moves.

“The more MLS teams that have their own USL Pro teams will make it more competitive for a lot of young players,” Jahn said. “It will give players an opportunity to play more meaningful games.”

For the Galaxy II, players such as 20-year-old Raul Mendiola, 19-year-old Jack McBean and 18-year-old Bradford Jamieson IV have gained valuable experience instead of watching from the bench with the parent club.

The same goes for Jahn.

He had made only one three-minute appearance in San Jose’s first five MLS matches before first being loaned to Republic FC on April 23.

For Sacramento, he has played in 19 matches – 17 in USL Pro – and scored six goals.

“I think one of the big pluses with being in one place for most of the season is developing the chemistry with the team, playing in full games,” Jahn said. “It’s also a good team to play for with great fan support. That’s all been awesome.

“But at the same time, when you get back to MLS and go on the trips, it’s exciting to be a part of that. So I’ve enjoyed playing for both.”


MATCH AT A GLANCE

Los Angeles Galaxy II 2, Republic FC 1

• Highlights: Forward Jack McBean scored twice, then the Galaxy II (15-7-6, 51 points) held off an energetic second-half Republic FC comeback attempt that had the announced sellout crowd of 8,000 on its feet. Los Angeles handed Sacramento (17-7-4, 55 points) its first home loss in 13 matches as well as its first defeat at Bonney Field. Max Alvarez scored for Republic FC on a bending free kick in the 69th minute as Sacramento cut the lead to 2-1 but was thwarted by two strong Brian Perk saves.

• Scary moment: Galaxy II midfielder Raul Mendiola was taken off on a stretcher with a head injury after a seventh-minute collision with a Republic FC player.

• New faces: Recent signees Ismar Tandir, a forward, and Agustin Cazarez, a midfielder, debuted for Republic.

• Next up: No. 2 seed Republic FC will host a first-round playoff match at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Bonney Field. The opponent will be decided after today’s Wilmington Hammerheads at Rochester Rhinos match.

Bill Paterson

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