Soccer

Lopez says he will not return to Republic FC

Republic FC midfielder Rodrigo Lopez (8) fights for the ball against Real Monarchs SLC midfielder Alec Sundly (6) on Aug. 22 in Sacramento.
Republic FC midfielder Rodrigo Lopez (8) fights for the ball against Real Monarchs SLC midfielder Alec Sundly (6) on Aug. 22 in Sacramento. aseng@sacbee.com

Rodrigo Lopez has announced on his Facebook page that he will not return to Republic FC next season.

The gifted midfielder, whose contract expired at the end of the 2015 season, was Republic FC’s first signing and led the team to the USL championship in its inaugural season in 2014.

While he didn’t indicate where he might go, the 28-year-old Lopez is believed to have interest from higher-level clubs.

“It’s tough to leave a city that I now call home, a place where I was able to grow as a player and more importantly as a person,” Lopez wrote. “As I’m sure you can respect my decision and (it’s) not one I took lightly, it has been an emotional time for my family and I. This profession is never easy. I truly wish things would have ended better.”

Republic FC president Warren Smith said in a statement: “I would like to thank RoRo for all that he has done to help us build our Indomitable Club, and we are grateful for all that he has done for us and the Sacramento community. RoRo was chosen as our first player for a reason. We admired not just his talent on the pitch, but also his leadership, his strong work ethic and generosity of his time within the community.”

Bill Paterson: 916-326-5506, @SacBee_BillP

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