Sacramento Republic FC won Saturday night's home opener 4-NIL over rival Orange County SC. A great start to what might be the last season for the team in the minor league as they hope to be pulled up to the major league this summer.
The first home game at the Papa Murphy's Park was packed with over 7,000 fans, excited for the game. All of the die-hard fans are part of the Tower Bridge Battalion. These Republic fanatics marched into the stadium with drums and cheers.
One of the big reasons Sac Republic was on the Major League Soccer radar is its large fan base. Roy Hernandez said he goes to all of the home games and has been looking forward to opening night.
"Every year it is the same thing, it is just a day in our calendar for us,” Hernandez said.
Like many of the fans the club's staff also said they are more than ready for the team to transistion from a minor league team to the major league. Erika Bjork is the club spokesperson, she said they are confident about becoming a MLS team this summer.
The many fans of Sacramento Republic FC
“It’s the excitement of the season leading into Major League Soccer, we have been working closely with Kevin Nagle and his group over the last few weeks if not months, getting ready for the pending MLS announcement, and the building of that park but until then we are focused on this season on the pitch," Bjork said.
She said the team has a special "swagger" this season and wins will help secure the MLS move.
"The biggest thing and one of the reasons we are the strongest candidate is because we established an amazing ownership group, a downtown stadium, we have an amazing market, amazing fans and we need them here every night of the season to keep showing why we are the next MLS city," Bjork said.
Although the club feels like the move is promising, they said the Republic is here to stay whether they are a USL team or an MLS team next season.