Sacramento Republic had their most complete performance of the year to top new rivals, Reno 1868, 2-0 in the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
The Republic were led by a goal and an assist from forward Trevin Caesar to earn the right to host their first ever MLS side in their home stadium in the Fourth Round against Real Salt Lake.
“I thought it was a complete performance from our boys tonight and now we face an MLS team,” said Republic head coach Paul Buckle.
The Republic took control of the game straight from the first whistle and were all over Reno from the start. Their best effort came in the 11th minute when Trevin Caesar dribbled the ball to the center of the box before firing it just wide.
They created more chances in the 18th minute when Reno goalie Russ Klabough was forced to parry the shot from Danny Barrera wide before a follow up shot from Agustin Cazarez forced a second save out of the Reno keeper.
Sacramento continued its relentless pressure for most of the first half. They were eventually rewarded with a goal when Caesar slipped the ball into Harry Williams who buried his chance to give the Republic the lead just before the break, 1-0.
“I was thrilled to see Trevin Caesar build on Saturday. That’s the Trevin Caesar the fans want to see, and I want to see running in behind teams, using his pace,” Buckle said.
The second half played out very similar to the first as the Republic were clicking on every level.
“It was a wonderful performance tonight. I thought the players were magnificent tonight,” Buckle said. “You saw fight, you saw energy, you saw goals, you saw chances created and a clean sheet, against a good side.”
Caesar went on to cap his performance when he found the back of the net in 59th minute.
“Trevin’s finish was excellent. I was wanting him to pass it into Sammy and he just drove it bottom corner,” Buckle said.
Reno would push for a goal, which left them exposed at the back, allowing Sacramento a few more chances to kill the match off, but they were unable to capitalize. For the expansion side, they are the first professional team from Nevada to ever qualify for the tournament.
“I desperately wanted to win the game, you know, so we can get an MLS side,” Buckle said. “It’s what we want to see. It’s what ownership wanted. We all wanted it, and we got it and I’m proud of the boys, I’m very proud of the team tonight.”