USL Championship: Teens provide 'something special' for Sac Republic FC

Sacramento Republic FC won its fifth straight game with a 2-1 victory over winless Timbers 2.

The Sac Republic goals were scored by a pair of 18-year-old subs: Mario Penagos and Julian Chavez.

Penagos, who signed his first pro contract in January, scored his first goal in the 88th minute. Chavez, one of three players playing as amateurs on USL academy contracts, scored on a rocket six minutes into stoppage time, breaking the tie that followed the Timbers 2 equalizer from another 18-year-old, Dyson Clapier.

“It's amazing for them, amazing for their development," said Sac Republic head coach Mark Briggs. "We needed something in the moment. We needed something special and both of our academy players stepped up and provided something special for the team. That's just rewarding for everyone in general, so I'm over the moon for Mario and Juju. They deserve to be rewarded for the goals they've scored and giving them time in crucial moments shows the trust we have in them.”

USL Championship standings:
GROUP A
1 Reno 1868 FC 8-2-0, 24 points
2 Sac Republic FC 6-1-3, 21 points
3 Tacoma Defiance 2-6-1, 7 points
4 Timbers 2 0-10-0, 0 points

GROUP B
1 Phoenix Rising 7-2-2, 23 points
2 LA Galaxy II 6-4-0, 18 points
3 Orange County SC  5-2-3, 18 points
4 San Diego Loyal 3-4-4, 13 points
5 Las Vegas Lights 2-5-3, 9 points

GROUP C
1 New Mexico United 6-3-2, 20 points
2 El Paso Locomotive 5-2-3, 18 points
3 Real Monarchs 1-4-5, 8 points
4 Colorado Springs Switchbacks 2-6-1, 7 points

GROUP D
1 San Antonio FC 8-0-3, 24 points
2 Austin Bold FC 3-2-5, 14 points
3 FC Tulsa 3-2-5 14 points
4 OKC Energy FC 1-5-5, 8 points
5 Rio Grande Valley FC 0-9-3, 3 points

GROUP E
1 Louisville City 6-3-2, 20 points
2 Indy Eleven 6-4-1, 19 points
3 Saint Louis FC 5-3-3, 18 points
4 Sporting KC II  4-6-1, 13 points

GROUP F
1 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 8-3-1, 26 points
2 Hartford Athletic 6-2-1, 19 points
3 NY Red Bulls II 3-7-0, 9 points
4 Loudoun United 1-7-2, 5 points
5 Philadelphia Union II 1-6-1, 4 points

GROUP G
1 Birmingham Legion 6-2-4, 22 points
2 Charlotte Independence 5-3-3, 18 points
3 North Carolina FC 3-5-1, 10 points
4 Memphis 901 FC 1-5-4, 7 points

GROUP H
1 Tampa Bay Rowdies 8-1-3, 27 points
2 Charleston Battery 6-2-3 21 points
3 Atlanta United 2 2-7-3, 9 points
4 The Miami FC 1-5-3, 6 points

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