Sacramento Republic FC has signed defender Jonathan Ricketts, who has impressed while competing for Rio Grande Valley FC over the past two seasons. | Photo courtesy Christian Inoferio / Rio Grande Valley FC
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC announced on Wednesday the club had signed defender Jonathan Ricketts ahead of the 2024 USL Championship season. The transaction is pending league and federation approval, and per club policy, the terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“Jonathan adds size and bite to our team out wide,” said Republic FC President and General Manager Todd Dunivant. “He’s a two-way player that can contribute to the attack but also get stuck in. We think his mentality fits in very well with our group and style of play.”
Ricketts joins Republic FC after two seasons with Western Conference foe Rio Grande Valley FC. With the Toros, he logged 64 appearances across all competitions from 2022-2023, helping the club to the 2022 USL Championship Playoffs. In 2023, he recorded 26 starts in 29 appearances, tallying three goals and two assists. Statistically, he ranked as one of the best one-on-one defenders in the league with 210 duels won – second most in the regular season.
A native of Chattanooga, Tenn., Ricketts began his professional career in USL League One with his hometown club, Chattanooga Red Wolves SC in 2020. He was a standout across two seasons with the club, ranking among the league’s leaders in appearances (44), minutes (3,850) clearances, and interceptions (293) from 2020-2021.
With his two-way qualities, Jonathan Ricketts figures to be another shrewd signing by Republic FC that should fit in well with its current wingback-oriented tactical structure. Over the past two seasons with Rio Grande Valley FC, the 26-year-old has been a strong defensive presence on the right side for the Toros, tying for third in the Championship with 420 duels won at a 57.8 percent success rate and while also winning 79 tackles at a 71.8 percent success rate.
Ricketts can also join the attack to positive effect. While he has only recorded four goals and two assists in 63 appearances for RGV FC, he notched 28 chances created and had an Expected Assists mark of 3.99xA, a sign of how his chance creation was let down by poor finishing. This past campaign, he ranked second on the Toros with a +5.55 Goals Added mark – trailing only Championship All-League selection Taylor Davila – and ninth among full backs according to American Soccer Analysis. That’s a plus pick-up for Republic FC as it looks to build on a stellar 2023 campaign.