SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the club has signed a USL PRO affiliate partnership with Sacramento Republic FC for the 2014 season. The Earthquakes and the Portland Timbers have entered a joint affiliation with Sacramento, with each team sending a minimum of two players on loan to Republic FC in lieu of participating in the 2014 MLS Reserve League. Each team will have the option to recall their players at any point during the loan.
The Earthquakes have emphasized player development during the offseason. In addition to the USL PRO affiliate, San Jose announced that it will create a U-23 PDL team to allow Academy alumni and local players an opportunity to further hone their skills. The club also signed its first Homegrown Player on Wednesday, Jan. 22, Sacramento native Tommy Thompson.
"We are excited to team up with Republic FC as our USL PRO affiliate," said Earthquakes President Dave Kaval. “Establishing a USL PRO affiliation is a critical step in our continued investment in player development that includes our Academy, our PDL team, and our Homegrown Player efforts. Beyond the player development benefits, we feel that it is important to help develop professional soccer in Sacramento with an eye to eventually making it a home for its very own MLS team."
Sacramento Republic FC is an expansion franchise of USL PRO. The club will launch its inaugural season in 2014 and is planning to host its matches at an 8,000-seat multi-use facility at Cal Expo, pending approval by the Cal Expo board of directors. The club’s commitment to position Sacramento as an “indomitable city” is evident through its community investments and goal of MLS expansion by 2016. The club has taken steps to build the franchise with the highest caliber of talent, both on and off the field, for its inaugural USL PRO season including the hiring of head coach Predrag “Preki” Radosavljevic. The club’s motto is urbs indomita – Indomitable City. Indomitable Club. For more information, visit SacRepublicFC.com or follow the club at www.facebook.com/sacprosoccer and @SacRepublicFC.
“We are excited to partner with the Timbers and Earthquakes in an effort to develop talent on the field, emulate each club’s business success and eventually garner an MLS franchise of our own," said Warren Smith, president of Sacramento Republic FC. “Our organization is twice blessed with the ability to learn from not one, but two MLS clubs, their experienced operating teams and engaged, passionate supporters. This affiliate agreement provides Sacramento Republic FC, as well as the entire Sacramento region, one of the most talented USL PRO clubs in the league and a MLS vision for our community.”
ABOUT USL PRO
USL PRO is the strongest, best operated and most experienced North American men’s professional soccer league below MLS, both on and off the field. In 2013 USL PRO began a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership with MLS that will enhance the development of professional players in North America, strengthen the competition in both leagues, and establish a solid foundation for future collaboration. Focused on franchise stability and longevity, USL PRO features 13 teams participating in the 2013 season, including expansion teams in Phoenix and Tampa. The league is focused on aggressive but deliberate growth by adding teams fully capable of meeting USL and US Soccer standards, which are located in markets that further promote regional league play. In addition to league play, USL PRO teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various domestic and international exhibitions. USL PRO is the longest-standing pro league affiliate member of US Soccer