Timbers and Sacramento Republic is a "Done Deal"
Sources close to the Sacramento Republic Football Club report that the agreement to become the USL Pro affiliate of the Portland Timbers is a "100% done deal".
On November 13, Cascadian website Prost Amerika reported that the clubs were close to a deal. Since then, there has been no public announcement from either club on the matter. The delay seems to be out of the hands of anyone on the west coast, and both parties are waiting for Major League Soccer to give the go-ahead to make an announcement. Negotiations between the two clubs are complete though.
MLS have their Cup Final on Saturday when Real Salt Lake visit Sporting Kansas City.
San Jose Earthquakes geographically had first call on Sacramento as an affiliate with only 120 miles separating the cities, 460 less than the distance from Sacramento to Portland. However Earthquakes General Manager John Doyle is said to have declined the idea of adopting the Republic as a USL Pro affiliate and had no objection to the relationship with the Timbers.
As if to herald the approaching connection between the clubs, Sacramento's first ever player was announced earlier this week, and he has a strong Portland Timbers connection.
Midfielder Rodrigo "Roro" Lopez played for the USL Portland Timbers up to the very last match, a 2-1 semi-final defeat by the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2010. He did make the cut for the first ever MLS squad in 2011 but his option was declined at the end of the season after failing to play in MLS. His career then took him to Ventura County Blues, Orlando City and LA Blues.
Lopez , seen above, played in a friendly v Club América in 2011 but no MLS Games. Photo: Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers.
A second player is expected to be announced very soon. He will be Mickey Daley, a 6’2 defender who is 26-years-old. He has also played for Ventura County, as well as the Wilmington Hammerheads and Metro FC in the New Zealand Premier League. His contract is still pending league approval.
The California club which is celebrating its first anniversary today will join the league for the 2014 season. The Republic will play home matches at an 8,000-seat multi-use facility at Cal Expo, pending approval by the Cal Expo board of directors on December 13, 2013.
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