If Republic FC goes on to have a successful season, it can look back on Saturday’s USL match against LA Galaxy II and Emrah Klimenta’s brilliant free-kick goal as a pivotal moment.
The defender’s right-foot boot in the 16th minute not only helped Sacramento beat the rival Galaxy II 2-0, it lifted Republic FC out of a long funk.
Sacramento was in the midst of a record 382-minute scoreless slump and a three-match losing streak while facing arguably the best team in the USL on the road. Los Angeles was unbeaten in eight games entering the match.
After Los Angeles was whistled for a handball 25 yards from the goal, Klimenta sent a bending ball over the six-man Galaxy II wall and past the diving goalkeeper into the upper corner of the net.
“As soon as it left my foot, I knew right away it was going in,” Klimenta said.
Klimenta’s gem didn’t surprise goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek, who had a couple of impressive saves late to help Sacramento produce its fourth league shutout. Jakubek anticipated Klimenta would lift Republic FC out of its scoring drought.
“A beautiful goal. It might very well be the (USL) goal of the week,” Jakubek said. “He was out here in training hitting free kicks from that same exact spot. ... It’s evident that if you practice something, you are going to have a good, positive outcome.”
Jakubek said the goal gave the players a huge confidence boost.
382 Minutes of Republic FC’s scoreless streak, which ended in Saturday’s 2-0 win over LA Galaxy II
“Once that happened, you could feel a huge sigh of relief among the guys,” Jakubek said.
Republic FC coach Paul Buckle agreed the timing of the goal couldn’t have been better for his team.
“Emrah’s free kick was fantastic,” Buckle said. “It certainly changed the game for us. We’re a dangerous team on the counter attack, and we proved that when we got three open looks at their goal in the second half.”
Republic FC connected on one. Harry Williams scored his first USL goal in the 62nd minute on a play set up by a superlative give-and-go between roommates Klimenta and Tommy Stewart, who earned the assist on a quick flick to Williams.
Sacramento extended its dominance over the Galaxy II. Republic FC is 7-3-1 all-time against the Galaxy II and 4-0-1 in Carson.
As soon as it left my foot, I knew right away it was going in.
Republic FC defender Emrah Klimenta, on his free-kick goal against LA Galaxy II
Rampone in town – U.S. Women’s National Team defender Christie Rampone will hold a chalk talk with Republic FC fans before Saturday night’s match against the Seattle Sounders 2 at Bonney Field. Rampone also will lead a private soccer clinic for approximately 40 underserved youth earlier in the day.
Rampone, 40, is the oldest player to appear in a FIFA Women’s World Cup game, and her 311 appearances are the second most in U.S. and world history. She is an eight-year national team captain and played in five World Cups and four Olympics. She was a member of two World Cup champion and three Olympic gold-medal teams.
“Sacramento has a long history of supporting women’s pro sports and with the likelihood that it will be an MLS city soon, I look forward to the possibilities of the NWSL also expanding to this soccer community,” Rampone said in a statement.
The chalk talk will be at 6 p.m. in the north end-line section of the Cal Expo stadium.