MLS expansion: Sacramento Republic FC and the quiet before the storm

SACRAMENTO, CA - JULY 18: Jack Colback
SACRAMENTO, CA - JULY 18: Jack Colback /

It is a little quiet on the MLS expansion front for Sacramento Republic FC. But make no mistake, this is just the quiet before the storm.

The Major League Soccer expansion race sounds quiet at the moment for Sacramento Republic FC as they battle their way up from seventh in USL.

But quiet for MLS expansion candidate Sacramento Republic FC is really just the quiet before the storm. It’s like the quiet during the final match of the World Chess Championship. Space and silence are the rule before an explosive finish.

Yet, since the day the organization committed to becoming, first, a preeminent soccer club and, finally, to compete in MLS, Sacramento Republic FC has systematically completed all the moves to winning their MLS expansion bid.

In April, Republic FC officials and the City of Sacramento signed a term sheet. The downtown soccer-specific stadium plans already were in place. Then, to top everything off, the MLS Board of Governors announced they would expand the league by three more teams and would talk with Sacramento and St. Louis about fielding the next two.

As they prepare for the day that announcement comes, Republic FC continues to purposefully expand offices and develop new hires. MLS Commissioner Don Garber gave the organization a checklist to complete.

Garber acknowledged the organization has a completed stadium design and secured a site. He said the checklist includes additional stadium issues to be completed before the expansion bid. At the time of the statement, the issues weren’t detailed but Garber described them as just a ‘handful’.

More from MLS Multiplex

He also acknowledged the progress Republic FC has made in preparing their organizational structure for the MLS level. Garber said they are not yet complete in the player training, and so a second major checklist item is for the MLS Board of Governors to receive is a Republic FC former player training and development plan.

Garber said the third major item is for Republic FC to finalize their corporate sponsorship plan. The organization has worked on these items for a long while. That’s why they are close enough to make the MLS Board of Governor’s list.

Republic FC supporters have been thinking about how their lives will change once they’re gathering downtown. Their home, Papa Murphy’s Park, seats 11,000 and is on the site of the Sacramento Fairgrounds. The new site will take up 17 acres of the 244-acre Sacramento Railyards. This is the historic western terminus of the 1860s Transcontinental Railroad.

The soccer-specific stadium, expandable to 25,000 seats, has become a vital component of Sacramento’s plans to transform the railyards into a dynamic urban environment and major mass transit hub.

Next. USMNT Vs Venezuela: 3 things we learned. dark

Meanwhile, Sacramento Republic FC puts together wins in USL. And within a few years, they will look to make the railyards a winning site in MLS.