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Sacramento Republic FC set to kick off 2021 USL season as MLS future remains in doubt

The Sacramento Republic FC is set to kick off the 2021 season with four official matches and one friendly beginning on April 24.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. โ€” The Sacramento Republic FC is set to kick off the 2021 season with four official matches and one friendly beginning on April 24, with the expectation that fans will once again be allowed back into the stadium.

Republic FC will face off against USLโ€™s Real Monarchs in a friendly match on April 24. The official season begins on the road on April 30 with a match against the LA Galaxy II. The first official home game takes place on May 12 against the Las Vegas Lights.

On May 22, Republic FC travels to Southern California to take on Orange County SC. The final official match scheduled so far takes place in Oakland on June 19, when Republic FC battles the Oakland Roots SC.

The return to the pitch comes at a tumultuous time for Republic FC. In late February, billionaire Ron Burkle told Major League Soccer (MLS) that due to reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic he no longer wished to acquire an MLS team in Sacramento.

Republic FC President and COO Ben Gumpert stepped down from his position days after Burkle's decision. Gumpert will temporarily stay on with the team as an advisor to "provide assistance in all areas to Kevin Nagle and ownership, the team, and City leadership."

Republic FC was supposed to join the MLS in 2023, as opposed to 2022, because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release issued in summer 2020. This delayed inclusion also led to a delay in the construction of the new soccer stadium in Sacramentoโ€™s Railyards.

"Iโ€™m not sure the railyards is going to activate without a major investment like Major League Soccer," Barry Broome, CEO and President of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, told ABC10 in March.

Read more from ABC10

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