Republic FC to play home ‘friendly’ against San Jose Earthquakes

These are exciting times for professional soccer in Northern California.

Defending champion Republic FC is preparing for its second USL Pro season at an expanded-seat stadium as it continues to make a strong push to advance into Major League Soccer.

The San Jose Earthquakes are getting ready to play in their new 18,000-seat, soccer-specific stadium located a couple of miles from downtown San Jose. The team also has a new coach, Dominic Kinnear, who will look to resurrect a team that finished last in the MLS Western Conference last season.

So it only makes sense for the two teams that had an affiliation agreement last year and may pair up again in 2015 to meet in a friendly match at Bonney Field on Feb. 21 at 5 p.m.

The Quakes beat Republic FC in two hotly contested matches last season, a 2-0 exhibition in Turlock in March and 2-1 in the U.S. Open Cup last June at San Francisco’s Kezar Stadium.

“Any game between San Jose and Sacramento can hardly be called a friendly,” said Republic FC technical director Graham Smith. “Both teams want to win. Pride and bragging rights are at stake. And it’s a great way for our fans to see San Jose on our patch.”

Last season, several San Jose players spent time on loan with Sacramento, including forward Adam Jahn, a Davis native and Jesuit High School graduate, who appeared in 22 Republic FC matches and scored seven goals. Midfielder Tommy Thompson from Granite Bay High School, a member of the United States U-20 National Team, played in nine matches for Republic FC before becoming a starter with the Earthquakes.

Call The Bee’s Bill Paterson, (916) 326-5506.