Soccer

Soccer notes: Republic FC can’t get a loan

For Republic FC, it has gone from feast to famine as far as Major League Soccer loan players.

A number of players from the Portland Timbers FC and the San Jose Earthquakes dropped into Sacramento during the 2014 season.

Goalkeeper Jake Gleeson played the entire season on loan from Portland and San Jose Earthquakes forward Adam Jahn, the former Jesuit High star, spent the majority of the season back home.

Portland’s George Fochive, Steven Evans and Alvas Powell and San Jose’s Tommy Thompson, Mike Fucito and JJ Koval also contributed to Republic FC’s run to the USL championship.

But with the USL season winding down, Republic FC is still waiting for its first MLS loan player of 2015.

Portland ended its affiliation with Republic FC before this season when the Timbers formed their own USL team. But San Jose remains an affiliate.

Republic FC officials have noted that the Earthquakes have had several injuries and that several players have been in and out of the lineup because of various national team commitments.

But recent player signings have bumped San Jose’s roster to 29 players and earlier this month the ‘Quakes loaned veteran midfielder Khari Stephenson to the San Antonio Scorpions of the North American Soccer League.

But new Sacramento coach Paul Buckle says the relationship between the two clubs remains good.

He said he had a talk with San Jose coach Dominic Kinnear earlier this week.

“Obviously with the affiliation it has to suit the club that is loaning players out in terms of if they need a player to get games or they need a player to get some confidence,” Buckle said. “But it’s also matter of do I think the player is right for us.

“I want it to work for all parties. We want to be in a sound relationship. I had a good chat with Dominic, and I’m sure we are going to do each other favors as we move forward.”

Extended stay – Buckle signed a three-year contract when he took over from Preki as coach last month but his wife Rebecca Lowe topped him when it was announced this week that NBC sports had received a six-year extension to broadcast English Premier League broadcasts in America. Lowe is the anchor for the broadcast team that includes commentators Robbie Earle, Robbie Mustoe and Kyle Martino. NBC was in the last year of a three-year, $250 million contract with the EPL.

“I’m thrilled for my wife,” Buckle said. “I’m pleased for everybody at NBC because they have really done a brilliant job.”

Buckle is a voracious watcher of the EPL matches, but not to offer insights to Lowe.

“I watched every game last weekend because it’s important for my development as a manager,” he said of the EPL’s 2015 kickoff weekend. “I don’t say anything to her. She’s got the two Robbies and Kyle to do that. They are the experts.

“She’s in an intense and professional business, and so am I. So when we’re together, we try to find some space from our jobs to enjoy life.”

Dynamic duo –Before Buckle came aboard, Danny Barrera and Rodrigo Lopez usually lined up on opposite sides as midfield wings. But Buckle has used them together centrally in his first two USL matches in charge of the team.

Barrera likes the setup, only because he likes to play off Lopez’ creativity.

“Rodrigo is so intelligent, and has so many ideas,” Barrera said. “He can trick people with just small movements, and he has a killer instinct around the box.

“We think alike. Even in training we connect really well. I know what he’s thinking. He knows what I’m thinking.”

Bill Paterson: 916-326-5506, @SacBee_BillP

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