A classic “Underdog Story” is set to play Wednesday night at Cal Expo’s Heart Health Park. Only then will Sacramento Republic FC soccer team Lamar Hunt take on Sporting Kansas City in front of a sold out crowd for a chance to advance to the US Open Cup Finals.
Republic USL Championship Defeat two MLS teams
The Republic is in the USL Championship League. Which is a lower division than Major League Soccer. The team had to beat not one but two MLS teams to reach this point.
FC President and General Manager Todd Dunnivent said
“Our people have done a great job of adopting and bringing this kind of Dalit mentality to the fore,” said Sacramento Republic FC president and general manager Todd Dunnivent. “That’s really what Sacramento is all about. That’s what we are as Sacramenton. That’s what we represent. And I think that’s something that everyone here can make their mark on. That we’re not the first city | Which you think of when you talk about California, but we are the capital.”
The semi-final match will start at 7.30 pm on Wednesday.
Fans are hopeful that the team’s stunning run can also help ramp up their efforts to join MLS. The league announced in 2019 that Sacramento would get an MLS franchise, but that plan was disrupted when billionaire Ron Burke pulled out of the deal last year.
CapRadio Insight host Vicki Gonzalez spoke with Dunivant, a former MLS Championship player herself, about the mindset of the team and how the experience is different for her.
It’s an exciting moment, I think, for all of us at the club. We have been working hard for a long time. And so for things to come together, we’re excited for this opportunity. This is not something that comes up very often in one’s career. So we’re confiscating it and I think Sacramento is confiscating it. And we’ll have a packed house Wednesday. It will be a memorable night.
Energy has been good. I think we’re coming out of the game where we played on Saturday in Phoenix. The team regrouped. Got back together on Monday, Tuesday. And, you know, really you can feel… you got that kind of playoff atmosphere in the air, that little bit, what I would call a good tension in the air. You know, there’s something on the line. you know,
Lamar Hunt on how the US Open Cup differs from the United Soccer League Championship
This is a David-Goliath story. The great thing about the US Open Cup is that you have an opportunity. There are 103 teams that entered the tournament, ranging from amateur teams to MLS Cup champion teams. So everywhere in between, you know, there are teams involved. So from that 103 we’re down to four. Sacramento Republic has never made it this far. And frankly, it’s rare for a non-Division 1, non-MLS team to advance so far in a tournament.
Sacramento Republic FC • Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup • Sporting Kansas City • MLS • USL Championship • Kansas Citybeat the LA Galaxy in their building
It only happens, I’d say once or twice a decade historically. So this is a very rare thing. And you know, we’ve now won these five games, which are the single elimination games to go on. The last two have been against MLS teams – first at home to the San Jose Earthquakes, and then we went on the road and beat the LA Galaxy in their building. When they were playing their strongest team.
So it’s been a good run for our guys. And, you know, we know our strongest test is going to be against Kansas City, they are a very strong team that has won this tournament four times, more than any other club. And we will do our best to defeat them.
US Open Cup success could help team join MLS
We as a club spent the offseason sort of refocusing a bit and saying, hey, we need to turn the page and move on. We want to take fate into our own hands. And there were two main ways to do this. One was to win, plain and simple: Put a winning product on the field. We started really well in the league.
I guess that’s what you’ll see in our game tomorrow night. He’s a loud, full crowd. We are telling everyone Arrive early because, you know, the state fair is going on right now. When the game is 7:30 p.m. starts on So we want a packed house. But to your point, it’s going to be good for Sacramento.