Soccer

Republic FC to host San Jose Earthquakes

Republic FC will host Major League Soccer teams within a week of one another with the announcement Wednesday that Sacramento will play the San Jose Earthquakes in a friendly Feb. 20 at Bonney Field.

Sacramento opens its season on Feb. 13 against the Colorado Rapids.

The Earthquakes are Republic FC’s MLS affiliate, and the two clubs have developed a rivalry in friendlies and the U.S. Open Cup.

“It’s always good to have high-quality opposition in the preseason to see where we are at with our preparations for the upcoming season,” said Republic FC coach and technical director Paul Buckle in a news release.

The match will be the fifth between the two clubs since Republic FC’s inaugural season in 2014.

In their last meeting in the U.S. Open Cup, San Jose defeated Republic FC 6-5 in a penalty kick shootout at Avaya Stadium.

The Earthquakes also won the three previous matches, though all have been tightly contested, two in friendlies and another in the 2014 U.S. Open Cup in San Francisco.

“We are delighted to be playing our affiliate once again,” said San Jose Earthquakes president Dave Kaval in a release. “This is becoming an annual event and one which players and fans of both sides relish.”

San Jose forwards Adam Jahn and Mark Sherrod and midfielders Tommy Thompson and JJ Koval are among the players who have played on loan with Republic FC as a part of the affiliation the last two seasons.

Jahn and Thompson played high school at Jesuit and Granite Bay, respectively.

Republic FC will begin its 2016 training camp on Feb. 1.

The match will be included in the 2016 Republic FC season ticket package. Additional details on kickoff times will be released next month.

Note – Pakistani national Kaleemullah, who played in nine matches last season for Republic FC but was not re-signed, has been signed by the Tulsa Roughnecks FC, a USL opponent of Republic FC.

Kaleemullah was believed to be the first Pakistani-born player to appear in a pro match in the United States. He is a captain of the Pakistan National Team.

Bill Paterson: 916-326-5506, @SacBee_BillP

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