SACRAMENTO — In yet another sold out game, with nearly 12,000 people looking on, Sacramento Republic FC won its season opener at home Saturday night with a 4-0 shutout over Orange County SC.
But there is a much larger game afoot.
“Well no, listen, Kevin and I are very close,” said Warren Smith, president of Sacramento Republic FC. “We look forward to having a conference with you guys very, very soon. Things are going very well.”
Kevin Nagle leads the ownership group that wants to take Sacramento Republic FC to the next level — to Major League Soccer.
But nearly two months after a bid was submitted to the MLS, based largely on the success of Sacramento Republic FC, there still isn’t a deal to make Sacramento Republic FC into the MLS team, should that bid be accepted. The brand “Sacramento Republic FC” appeared nowhere on the proposal, spawning the catch phrase among fans, “No Republic, No Party.”
“You can’t switch teams. You can’t quit on them,” said Dominic Diaz, a Sacramento Republic fan from Lincoln who was at Papa Murphy’s Park for Saturday’s game. “You can’t cheat on the team that you love and support. That’s how I think about it.”
There’s also a the concern that MLS will get spooked by how long and apparently contentious, at some points, the negation to buy Sacramento Republic FC has been.
“MLS is going to do what MLS is going to do,” said John Reynolds, a 4-year season ticket holder. “They’re not going to look at the minutia.”
And if the protracted negotiations don’t bother season ticket holders like Reynolds, Smith says they also don’t keep the Sacramento proposal from being the best option MLS has.
“We know it’s going to happen,” Smith said. “There’s no way it’s not going to happen. You look at these other markets and, yes there’s competition, but at the same time they don’t have a stadium, they don’t have an ownership group like Kevin has built.”
Still, it wouldn’t hurt to see Sacramento Republic FC bring another USL trophy back to the Urbs Indominta — you know, just for good measure.