After a bye week last weekend Sacramento Republic FC was back in action in LA Galaxy II May 17. Both Jake Gleeson and George Fochive started for the home side, with Gleeson subbed out at halftime and Fochive playing 90 minutes. Steven Evans, the third Timbers player on loan to Sacramento announced the day before, was not eligible to play.
Jake Gleeson continued his return from injury with his second consecutive start since coming back against Orange County Blues last week. He played well during his first half shift, making 4 saves. His best play of the half was a double save in the 9th minute after a poor pass by Harrison Delbridge put LA in a dangerous position. While his first save put the ball in the path of an onrushing Galaxy II forward, it was far enough away that Gleeson was able to get in position to get a foot on the follow up shot.
Unfortunately, he appeared to injure himself on a drop kick in the 26th minute and was subbed off at half time. I got in touch with the team after the game but they were unable to give any indication on the extent of his injury. If his injury is a serious one it will force Sacramento to rely on backup goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek once again. He has filled in for Gleeson well in the past but has let in some fairly soft goals that would likely have been saved had Gleeson been in goal. One potential indication of the severity of Gleeson's injury is the announcement on Wednesday that Sacramento have received San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper Billy Knutsen on loan.
George Fochive put in a good but fairly uneventful 90 minute shift against Los Dos, with most of the game being played around him rather than through him. When he did get involved he used his close touch and skill on the ball to evade onrushing opponents. It was common throughout the game to see him receive a pass and immediately lay it off to a teammate with either a flick or a quick one touch pass.
While the example provided may be the prettiest, it serves as an all around representation of Fochive's game against Los Dos. It starts with him quickly flicking the ball to a teammate with his first touch and continuing to trail the play to act as an outlet. He receives the ball on a back pass and begins a give-and-go sequence with another teammate with his first touch. After getting the ball again he hits his third first touch pass in a row, although he does not strike it well. The pass is intercepted but a challenge by a Republic forward allows Fochive to regain possession of the ball, having to fight off two different Los Dos midfielders before losing the ball to a foul.
Overall both of the Timbers loan players eligible to play put in fairly good performances, although they were not the difference makers for the home team this time out. This next week's two road games should see Fochive continue to play a role in the midfield. They could also possibly be the first time that new loanee Stevan Evans makes a contribution.
For more comprehensive coverage of Sacramento Republic FC and USL PRO as a whole, head to Reckless Challenge.
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