Sacramento Republic FC will return 17 players from the squad that led the USL Championship's Western Conference in the 2023 campaign. | Photo courtesy Alyssa Ito / Sacramento Republic FC
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC announced its initial roster moves for the 2024 USL Championship season on Tuesday, with 17 players from the past campaign under contract to return for the new season.
Eight players were previously under contract for the 2024 season in Rafael Jauregui, Cristian Parano, Luis Felipe, Sebastian Herrera, Arnold Lopez, Jared Timmer, Russell Cicerone, and Da’vian Kimbrough, while earlier this month, the club announced contract extensions for 2023 USL Championship Goalkeeper of the Year Danny Vitiello and Defender of the Year finalist Conor Donovan.
The club has also exercised contract options for Aldair Sanchez, Damia Viader, Shane Wiedt, Jack Gurr, Lee Desmond, Rodrigo Lopez and Nick Ross. Additionally, it has signed 2023 USL League One Player of the Year Trevor Amann and Academy standouts Chibuike “Chibi” Ukaegbu and Blake Willey to their first professional deals.
Veteran midfielder Matt LaGrassa announced his retirement earlier this month, capping an eight-season career in the USL Championship and Major League Soccer that saw him make more than 200 professional appearances.
The club also announced it will not exercise its contract option on Mario Penagos, Johnny Fenwick, and Zeiko Lewis. Four players – Panzani Ferrety Sousa, Carlos Saldaña, Keko Gontán and Luther Archimède – are out of contract and free agents at the end of the 2023 season.
After finishing on top of the Western Conference in the 2023 USL Championship regular season, Sacramento Republic FC will run it back and hope for a deeper postseason run with a squad that recorded the best defensive record in the league and featured four Championship All-League selections in Danny Vitiello, Conor Donovan, Jack Gurr and Russell Cicerone.
The addition of Trevor Amann and return of fellow center forward Sebastian Herrera will add a little more depth after Herrera’s injury during the season. It also wouldn’t be a surprise to see Keko return to the fold after an impressive second season with the club. On top of that, there will certainly be additional moves to come for one of the more attractive clubs to play for in the USL Championship.