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Sacramento Republic FC partner with Timbers, Earthquakes for upcoming season

SacramentoRepublicFCLogo (SacRepublic)


USL Pro expansion team Sacramento Republic FC haven’t kicked a ball yet but they’ve already reached landmark deals with two Major League Soccer clubs.

Sacramento Republic announced at a press conference on Thursday that they have agreed to partner with both the San Jose Earthquakes and Portland Timbers of MLS for the 2014 season.

The deal mandates that the Timbers and Earthquakes will have a minimum of two players each on loan at Sacramento Republic during the USL Pro season, though players may be recalled at any time. In addition, Timbers academy and Under-23 coach Rod Underwood has joined the Sacramento Republic coaching staff as an assistant coach under head coach Preki.

Both agreements with the MLS clubs are one-year deals.

“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 to entertain our fans with the high quality talent from each club,” Warren Smith, president of Sacramento Republic said in a statement.

“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. Each affiliate agreement provides an important part of our efforts to provide 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.”

The partnership had been reported to be close to happening for the previous few months, with a number of local reports citing the relationship between Smith and Timbers owner Merritt Paulson. Smith was one of the owners who sold the Timbers to Paulson in 2007.

According to a report in Sports Illustrated last month, the Earthquakes lobbied MLS to block this deal as the Earthquakes didn’t want the Timbers to grow their influence in Northern California. However it seems that the clubs agreed on a co-partnership in the end.

As of Thursday, nine of the 19 MLS teams have now agreed partnerships with USL Pro clubs. The Los Angeles Galaxy have reportedly been interested in creating their own USL Pro club but they’ve made no official announcement yet.


What do you think of this news? Who do you see the Earthquakes and Timbers sending to Sacramento on loan?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Will we get an MLS explanation on why SJ and Portland only have to send a minimum of two players when others teams are sending a minimum of 4 players to their affiliate?

    • Mayve there is a limit on the number of MLS-loaned players the USL allows on the roster? It would be in the interest of any MLS team to loan out more players.

    • I would think it’s to keep the USL Pro teams all on relatively equal footing. In all the other deals the USL team gets a minimum of four players. In the deals that Sacramento signed they get a minimum of four players. And keep in mind that they are minimums, not maximums. As far as I know there is nothing to prevent an MLS team from sending more than the minimum. so Sacramento could still get three or four guys each from both of San Jose and Portland, just as, for instance, Pittsburgh could get five or six guys from Houston. All this does is ensures that the minimum number of guys that all the teams with one of these deals have is the same.

  2. Not sure it would ever happen, but knowing the sacramento population base and city dynamics, I could see the city having a timbers type relationship with an MLS team. The A’s aaa rivercats is a perfect example. It would create a huge rivalry with SJ and would almost extend the cascadia mania down the coast.

    I suppose Sac is about #5 on the expansion list. I guess it just goes to show how deep that list is.

  3. I think this is great and I look forward the expansion of USL Pro clubs. Sacramento seems like a great market for this. Still, I would rather see the Timbers partnering with a group in Eugene Oregon for a USL Pro club.

    • I disagee, In the Bay with a pop of 7+mil, there should be two pro teams min. between the three teams at least. Born in San Jose, growing up in Sac and relocating to California’s Canada of Oregon, I believe it makes sense for the Timbers. Its west coast and one should strive for excellence, not the status quo.
      Eugene at 150k does not make business sense, people already travel statewide for Portland matches. Sac has a great soccer community and doesnt need to linger in the shadow of the San Jose Clash. A distant partnership creates separation and competition for growth that would be hella tight.

      • I’m all for the bay area having 2 MLS and 2 USL Pro for that matter. Still, I see Oregon as an area that would embrace a USL club. The Timbers have reached out to youth soccer throughout the state. Supporting an Oregon USL club seems like a natural next step. Eugene regularly fills 54k+ to see The Ducks play. It is centrally located in the state and it’s a sports center already.

    • +1 Love the crest. The flag motif and the colors are great.

      I just read an article yesterday about California dialects, and how the use of “Cali” is one sure-fire way to identify a non-Californian.

      • There’s a lot of Nor Cal/So Cal dialectic variation (hella = north; prefixing “the” to freeway numbers = south, etc.), but we universally despise the use of Cali. Californians unite!

      • Yup. I only use Frisco to bug my Bay Area friends when I’m up there. “Sup rogue, let’s get hella hyphy in Frisco.”

        I do tend to unconsciously contract it to Sanfr’cisco though. Don’t know if that’s normal.

      • I’m guessing that my last comment is getting deleted for language, but I will sum it up by saying that some Californians actually do say Cali, but it’s a surefire way of identifying someone who you want to avoid.

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