SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Republic FC home opener at Bonney Field drew 11,569 fans on Saturday night. The big, sell-out crowd is important for the club, because, while those spectators were watching the game, Major League Soccer was keeping an eye on them.
The game was tied going into the half, but more important than the numbers on the score board are the numbers at the box office because the end game for Republic FC isn't just another USL championship, it's a promotion to Major League Soccer.
"I have all the belief in the world that Sacramento is ready for Major League Soccer,” said fan Ryan Suarez.
Suarez brought his son and his son's buddies to the opener tonight. But he's more than just a fun Dad, he knows a thing-or-two about the game. The guy is soccer, right down to his socks.
Suarez played for the US national team. And he's played in Major League Soccer, for the Dallas Burn, and more recently he played for Sac Republic FC's main rival, the LA Galaxy,
He's been a Sac Republic season ticket holder since the beginning.
"There's a tremendous amount in the first two years that says Sacramento not only has the talent at the owner level, it has the talent on the pitch as well. And that means a lot to the Sacramento community and what Major League Soccer is looking for,” Suarez said.
And MLS will be taking a good look at Sacramento this month, when Commissioner Don Garber visits. He'll not only be looking at the product Sac Republic FC puts on the field, he'll be looking at the plans for a new field in Sacramento- a major league soccer stadium planned for the Railyards.