(FOX40.COM) — Sacramento Republic FC will begin its playoff run on Saturday, welcoming New Mexico United for a first-round match at Heart Health Park.
The Republic FC heads into the USL Championship playoffs as the top seed in the Western Conference. It’ll be the ninth time in the club’s history will compete in the playoffs.
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Last year’s playoff run ended in the Western Conference semifinals after finishing fourth in the Western Conference.
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Here’s a look back at the Republic FC’s 2023 season and a breakdown of the upcoming first-round matchup.
Among the best in the USL
The Republic FC finished the 2023 season with the USL’s second-best overall record of 18 wins, six losses, and 10 draws that totaled 64 points. The club finished with the most home victories in its history at 11.
Sacramento finished with a 11-2-4 home record this season.
Following the club’s regular season finale 1-0 victory over Miami FC on Oct. 14, the Republic FC set a new club-high for goals in a season at 51. The Republic FC also set a record with the fewest goals allowed in a single-season in club history at 26.
The Republic FC were tough to score against, conducting 14 shutouts on its way to the best record in the Western Conference.
Sacramento goalkeeper Danny Vitello finished with his 11th clean sheet following the shutout victory on Saturday. The clean sheet put him in the top of list in that category in Republic FC history.
Vitello’s 11 clean sheets had him finish at second in the USL and atop the Western Conference.
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Republic FC’s previous struggles with New Mexico United
New Mexico United enters the playoffs as the Western Conference’s No. 8 seed with a record of 13-14-7.
The Republic FC played the New Mexico side twice this season and were not able to claim a victory in either contest.
The first matchup finished with 3-0 road loss for the Republic FC on July 22. The second matchup at Heart Health Park resulted in a scoreless draw on Sept. 20.
Winner of the Western Conference quarterfinal match will play the winner of the match between No. 4 San Antonio FC and No. 5 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in the semifinal round.
The first round playoff match is set for 7 p.m. kickoff and will be livestreamed on FOX40.com and the FOX40 News Mobile App.