Soccer

Soccer notes: Earthquakes coach credits Republic FC with assist

Teammates Adam Jahn, Tommy Thompson ready to play in Sacramento or San Jose

San Jose Earthquakes teammates Adam Jahn and Tommy Thompson talk on Thursday, March, 24, 2016, about playing on loan for the Sacramento Republic FC of the USL. Even though it's not Major League Soccer, the players don't mind the commute to Sacrame
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San Jose Earthquakes teammates Adam Jahn and Tommy Thompson talk on Thursday, March, 24, 2016, about playing on loan for the Sacramento Republic FC of the USL. Even though it's not Major League Soccer, the players don't mind the commute to Sacrame

Adam Jahn and Tommy Thompson played big roles in the San Jose Earthquakes’ 1-1 tie with D.C. United on Saturday at Avaya Stadium, and Earthquakes coach Dominic Kinnear credited their time on loan recently with Republic FC for the assist.

Jahn entered in the 80th minute and scored the tying goal eight minutes later, and Thompson excelled with an energetic 90 minutes to help keep San Jose undefeated at home.

The former area high school stars played for Republic FC in its USL opener, a 1-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders FC 2 on March 25, when San Jose was on international break.

“I know something like that helps them,” Kinnear said after the match. “I thought both of them looked very sharp in practice this week. … I think any time you get game minutes it gives you more confidence, and I thought they had a good little bounce in their step this week in practice, and I think it’s the reason why they looked confident stepping on the field tonight.”

Jahn said the time with Sacramento also prepared him well for his big-stage moment.

“Absolutely. It’s a good level over there,” he told SJEarthquakes.com of his time with Republic FC. “You can train all you want, but nothing can get you ready for games like games.”

Republic FC coach Paul Buckle said Jahn’s and Thompson’s performances show the affiliation works well for both sides.

“I’m delighted that they were both able to contribute,” Buckle said. “They are two very good players, good pros, who came here and fit in perfectly with what we’re doing, and obviously I conveyed that to Dominic. It’s been nice that the ’Quakes could help us and in turn we feel we’ve played a small part in helping them back.”

I think any time you get game minutes it gives you more confidence, and I thought they had a good little bounce in their step this week in practice, and I think it’s the reason why they looked confident stepping on the field tonight.

Earthquakes coach Dominic Kinnear, on Adam Jahn and Tommy Thompson

Forward Mark Sherrod played on loan from San Jose last week and started and played 69 minutes in Saturday night’s 1-0 win over Arizona United SC in Republic FC’s home opener. Sherrod rejoined Republic FC on Wednesday and is expected to travel with the team for Sunday’s match at the Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2.

Republic FC to host U.S. Open Cup match – Republic FC will host a second-round match in the 103rd Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on May 18 at Bonney Field.

Sacramento will play the winner of the May 11 match between San Francisco City FC and Oakland’s CD Aguiluchos USA in San Francisco.

The U.S. Open Cup, which features 92 teams this year, is the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the United States.

Kiffe on the attack – Republic FC forward Cameron Iwasa, who scored Saturday’s winning goal in the 84th minute, credited defender James Kiffe for making it happen.

“On the goal, that was 90 percent James getting up the wing,” Iwasa said. “James is always working hard and getting up the left side, creating chances.”

When Kiffe’s first attempt to pass into Iwasa was blocked near the left sideline, he quickly gathered the rebound, dribbled nearly 10 yards toward Iwasa at the top of the box, then laid the ball off just as his legs were taken out by an Arizona United defender.

27 Republic FC’s USL regular-season sellout streak

Buckle said it’s a plus having two outside defenders – Emrah Klimenta plays on the right side – who have such a keen attacking mindset.

“James is improving all the time,” Buckle said. “There is still a lot of room for improvement, and I think he’d be the first to say that. But when Kiffe gets on the ball now in wide areas, he’s very positive, just like Emrah on the other side.”

Streaking – With Saturday’s Bonney Field record crowd of 11,569, Republic FC extended its USL regular-season sellout streak to 27 matches. Including USL playoffs, the club has sold out 31 of its 32 USL matches. The only non-sellout was May 3, 2014, when Sacramento played the Orange County Blues FC in front of 17,414 fans at Hughes Stadium. That was one of four matches at the 20,000-plus Sacramento City College stadium before the club moved to its Cal Expo stadium.

Sacramento will have a good shot at surpassing last year’s Bonney Field and USL regular-season records, and not just because of the additional 127 seats. The USL expanded the regular season to 30 matches this season, giving Republic FC 15 home matches instead of the 14 it played in 2014 and 2015.

Bill Paterson: 916-326-5506, @SacBee_BillP

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