Defender Emrah Klimenta – Republic FC’s career leader in appearances, starts and minutes played – will undergo season-ending surgery for a torn left ACL.
Club officials said the surgery will be performed by the UC Davis Sports Medicine department within two weeks.
Klimenta, 25, injured his knee on a non-contact play while attempting to avoid a tackle in the seventh minute of Republic FC’s match against the Seattle Sounders FC 2 on Saturday night at Bonney Field.
“As devastating news as this is and as saddened as I am about missing the rest of the season, this is part of the game,” Klimenta said Thursday. “I’m confident the surgery is going to go well, and I know the rehab phase is going to be just as successful because of the great medical team and staff we have.”
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Klimenta had right ACL surgery six years ago “and look how far I’ve come,” he said. “I’ll be back from this, and I’ll be stronger and better for it.”
Klimenta has appeared in 14 USL matches (20 overall) this season. He had two goals and two assists in league play.
He also received his first international call-up for Montenegro on May 29 against Turkey.
Klimenta was on the verge of quitting soccer after unsuccessful stints in Europe when he made Republic FC’s roster after an open tryout in 2014. He is one of five players remaining from the club’s inaugural opening day roster.