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How Sacramento Republic FC took control of first in the West vs. Orange County SC

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 04/21/24, 12:18AM EDT


Trevor Amann’s historic early finish paved way for Sacramento to sit as last undefeated side out West following 2-0 win

A pair of first-half goals led Sacramento Republic FC to a 2-0 victory against California rival Orange County SC on Saturday night before an energetic crowd at Championship Soccer Stadium to close out the regular season series between the sides and left Sacramento as the last undefeated side standing at the top of the Western Conference at the end of Week 7’s action.

Here’s what we took away from the latest chapter of this longstanding rivalry. 


It only took 15 seconds on Saturday night to further illustrate why Sacramento Republic FC went and acquired Trevor Amann this offseason after his League One Player of the Year award a season ago. The center forward’s flicked header to open the scoring was the fastest goal in club history, as well as the fastest goal in the USL Championship this season, as he continues a sterling start to his Sacramento career.

At 6-foot-1, Amann isn’t the towering presence some of the league’s true No. 9s are, but his timing and leaping ability make him the ideal central presence for a Republic FC side that has no shortage of players that can deliver quality into the penalty area. With five goals this season, the former Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC star is looking a threat to become the first player to win the Golden Boot in both League One and the Championship.


To this point of the season, Sacramento had yet to trail for a minute, but hadn’t been as clean as it had been a season ago in closing out opponents as it was a season ago, resulting in the three draws on its record so far this campaign. This time around against Orange County – after the dramatic 2-2 draw between the sides on the opening night of the season – Republic FC was steady defensively as it gave Orange County few clear-cut chances to cut into its lead.

Looking to continue its own undefeated start to the season, Orange County had more possession but was consistently run into dead-ends in the attacking third as Sacramento’s defensive shape held the hosts to only five shots overall and one shot on target. Center back Lee Desmond had to depart in the first half due to injury, but Republic FC was simply able to plug in Shane Wiedt – a mainstay a season ago – into his place as the visitors barely missed a beat. This was Republic FC at its best defensively, an ominous sign for future opponents.


The decade-long rivalry between Orange County SC and Sacramento Republic FC doesn’t always rank highly among the most prominent in the USL Championship, but the physicality and bellicosity that was on display throughout this contest was a reminder of how tight this series has been over the years. Sacramento’s victory was its first on the road in Orange County since the 2018 season, with OCSC having taken its fair share of results at Heart Health Park over the years.

With eight yellow cards between the sides – including five for the visitors – there were flare-ups that could have escalated further as well as other challenges that drew the ire of fallen teammates. As of now, we’re going to have to wait for a potential meeting in either the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup or the USL Championship Playoffs to see these sides square off again this year, but it’s a matchup we’d definitely like to see again.

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