Republic FC’s revised schedule for the 2020 USL Championship season will bring live professional sports back to Sacramento for the first time since mid-March, with the Indomitable Club set to return to the home pitch on July 13 against Tacoma Defiance. Monday’s match will be the first professional sports league competition in California since pandemic paused league play around the country.
“We’re grateful for the opportunity to represent Sacramento on this stage and be a source of pride and togetherness for our region,” said President and Chief Operating Officer Ben Gumpert. “We need that now more than ever.”
The new, 16-game season format – regional group play to limit travel that leads up to a single-elimination playoff – will resume on July 11. The remaining regular-season games will be played over 13 weeks, concluding on the weekend of Oct. 2-4.
Republic FC will join Group A with Reno 1868 FC, Tacoma Defiance, and Portland Timbers 2, playing each opponent four times. The Indomitable Club will crossover and face Western Conference Group B opponents LA Galaxy II and San Diego Loyal SC on the road and Orange County SC at home to complete the 16-game season. Republic FC opened the season with a 1-1 draw against FC Tulsa on March 7.
Following the decision of county health officials, the July matches will be played without fans in attendance. The club will continue to work with local health officials and medical experts to explore options and potential opportunities to create a safe environment for hosting limited fans later in the season.
Without its famed supporters in the stands, Republic FC has developed new ways for fans to be included on match day. Thirty minutes before kickoff, Live from the Pitch with Connor Sutton – the club’s new pregame show on Facebook – will give fans a new match day perspective with interviews, Q&A with club insiders, and live look-ins to warm-ups. During the match, fans can join the club’s virtual watch party where they can interact with other fans, participate in games and contests, and be featured in the club’s match telecast while cheering for the boys in Old Glory Red.
Weekend matches consume the bulk of the schedule with 9 of the 15 contests occurring on Saturdays. The lone Sunday match on July 19 at home against Reno 1868 FC will kick off the first regular-season derby and will be featured on ESPN2. The club also has four midweek contests and one Monday evening matchup. Of the 15 remaining matches, two-thirds of the games will take place in August or September with both months seeing the boys in Old Glory Red play five times.
– Will Strome