Sacramento Republic FC announced Jan. 4 the club has signed forward Stefano Bonomo to a USL Championship contract for the 2019 season, pending league and federation approval.
“Stefano is a big addition to our front line,” said Republic FC General Manager Todd Dunivant. “He can score goals in different ways, has shown his leadership qualities as Red Bulls II captain and won the USL Cup in 2016. We are pleased to welcome Stefano back to his native Northern California.”
Bonomo joins Republic FC after spending the bulk of his professional career with USL Championship side New York Red Bulls II. Selected in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft by the NY Red Bulls, Bonomo signed with their USL affiliate and helped lead them to the Eastern Conference title, the USL Regular Season Championship and their first USL Cup all during the 2016 season. The Hillsborough, California, native followed his title-winning year by finishing as Red Bulls II’s top scorer with 13 goals the following season.
His performances earned him an MLS contract with the Red Bulls ahead of the 2018 season and he made his senior debut in a 3-0 win at home over Minnesota United in March. Bonomo was loaned to RBII during the 2018 season before being signed by the Tampa Bay Rowdies in July of that year. In all, Bonomo made 64 appearances for RBII, recording 24 goals and nine assists across his four seasons in New York. He wrapped up the 2018 season in Florida with three goals and an assist during nine appearances with the Rowdies.
Prior to signing with RBII, Bonomo attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned an All-PAC-12 First Team selection his senior year.
Bonomo, who is of Italian and Japanese descent, holds both U.S. and Italian citizenship.
Sacramento Republic FC announced one day earlier that the club had signed midfielder Ray Saari to a USL Championship contract for the 2019 season with a club option for 2020, pending league and federation approval.
“We are delighted to add Ray’s competitive mentality to our midfield,” said Republic FC General Manager Todd Dunivant. “He led S2 as their captain and has a burning desire to win and compete. He’s also someone who has faced adversity and come out stronger on the other side. When we talk about indomitable spirit, Ray exemplifies it in spades.”
Saari joins Republic FC after spending the last two seasons with USL Championship side Seattle Sounders FC 2. The central midfielder, who made his professional debut for S2 against Republic FC in March 2017, appeared in 39 games and recorded four goals and six assists during his two seasons in Seattle. He also played for the MLS Seattle Sounders FC during each of the club’s three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches over the past two seasons.
Prior to his arrival in the Pacific Northwest, Saari enjoyed a stellar Division 1 career at the University of Tulsa. The Kansas City native netted 12 goals and 12 assists during his 69 appearances for the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, helping the side to three consecutive American Athletic Conference championships. His performances earned him a pair of All-Conference Second-Team selections during his sophomore and senior years.
Sac Republic kicks off its 2019 USL Championship season at home on March 9 against Real Monarchs SLC.