While it is early in the USL season, both the Vancouver Whitecaps 2 and the Sacrament Republic are at 100%, with two wins from two. The Thundercaps will be hoping to make it three in a row in their home opener at Thunderbird Stadium, though the California squad is bound to make it as difficult as possible. We got in touch with Josh Beeman from Indomitable City Soccer to get his take on the Republic's expectations for the year.
Eighty Six Forever: Sacramento Republic has yet to allow a goal this season. Who are the players that are stepping up defensively?
Josh Beeman: Two of the biggest players involved in the Republic's strong defense are Derek Foran and Chris Christian. Christian is a new addition that has been very impressive and Foran, a backup in 2015, has really stepped up and been impressive so far in his new starting role.
86 F: Last season you guys had by far the largest average attendance in the league. What is Sacramento doing so well to get large crowds out to games?
JB: The team does a fantastic job of engaging with the community and the enormous soccer fanbase in the area. Sacramento is home to a pretty vibrant soccer scene and the Republic have made themselves at home in it. Their success on the field and efforts to be engaged in the community have been big factors in their high attendance.
86 F: In your first season you won the USL Championship; last year you made the playoffs but lost in the first knockout stage. This time around, what are the expectations for Sacramento fans?
JB: Despite all the turnover in the last year, Republic fans are still expecting a fairly successful year. While there may not be the expectation of a championship, there is definitely a feeling that this team should at least be getting to the play