The Sacramento Republic presents the second-tier in an enchanting Open Cup Tour

At its best, the Open Cup can be one of the most exciting forms of football competition. The Law of Large Numbers states that a tournament spanning the breadth of a country’s football ladder will tend to be dominated by those at the top of said ladder, and although expectations are fixed in the case of the US Open, football is The game of sport is prone to wacky outcomes and unbridled turmoil, and the secondary importance of cup playing to league play means tired versions of supposedly superior teams have to fend off against juniors bent on eliminating them. It’s a dynamic that promotes miracles, like the fifth division almost pulled out Against LA Galaxy in 2016. This year, the Sacramento Republic is on the cusp of winning the entire championship.

This 2022 season was supposed to be Republic’s last season in the Second Division, although their MLS position was withdrawn when lead investor was Ron Burkell. supported by in February 2021. Instead, they remain in USL, as has been the case since the club’s founding in 2014. The Republic is currently seventh in the USL’s 13-team Western Conference, although league rivalries have taken an obvious back seat to them. Challenge in the US Open Cup. The Republic qualified for the Round of 16 by defeating the Portland Timbers under-23 team, then the third division team in Fresno. They got a chance to host the MLS team of Northern California in Sacramento, and hit the Earthquakes, 2-0, establishing the grueling pattern of their Open Cup trajectory: giving up possession, attacking at the break when possible, and relying on steady goalkeeper Danny Vitiello. . The Earthquakes had 69 percent of possession, but they couldn’t score, or even a shot on target in the second half.

Their win earned them a chance on the road at LA Galaxy. Republic opened the scoring again, although Los Angeles quickly equalized. Galaxy had possession of the ball 64 percent of the time, even making use of powerful hits like Chicharito and Julian Araujo in the 60th minute to secure the win. Instead, Luis Felipe hit one of them in getting his team to the semi-finals.

Beating an MLS team is a noteworthy, if unheard of, feat for a second-tier team. Several Republic players have useful experience at MLS level or above – Keko is a veteran of Atletico Madrid’s academy and even made an appearance in the club’s La Liga at the age of 17 – and four of them are full internationals. Republic defeated Real Salt Lake in 2017 and Seattle Sounders in 2018, although this year’s race is more significant. Republic hosted Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday and kept the MLS team goalless for 120 minutes despite SKC taking 31 shots. The match had to be decided by a penalty shootout in front of a frantic crowd of fans of the Republic, who received an offer. With SKC winning 4-3, Jamaican international Malik Foster needed to equalize. In one of the most important moments in the club’s history, Foster quietly stepped up to Panenka and then celebrated with a back heart and a nightly salute to Steve Curry.

Then USMNT Veteran Graham Zusey went up to confront Vitello, and sent his shot right, Right in the palm of Vitilo. Club star Rodrigo Lopez buried a penalty kick and the celebration began.

The Republic became the first second-tier team to reach the Open Cup final since the Charleston Battery lost the 2008 final. Only one team outside of MLS has won the cup, and the Republic will try to equalize the Rochester Rhino’s run during the 1999 Cup when they travel to Orlando to face Orlando City in September. SKC coach Peter Vermes was sorely disappointed with his team’s performance, but even he had to admit the magic of the cup. “This isn’t the first time a lower-tier team has reached the final. It’s normal. It happens all over the world,” Vermes said. “That is why this Cup is a great competition. I think it is a great competition on a personal level. I loved playing in it as a player and I love training in it.” If the Republic manages to beat its fourth consecutive opponent in the MLS, it will secure its place in the CONCACAF Champions League and, most importantly, give its fans, who thought they would support the MLS team now, an incredible. Moment.