Republic FC defender Elliott Hord may be part of history repeating.
Two years ago, the former Bullard High standout was at Sacramento’s Bonney Field watching defender James Kiffe and Republic FC play the Los Angeles Galaxy II in a wild USL semifinal that Sacramento rallied to win 3-2.
Kiffe stood out to Hord because both play outside back and played earlier in the year in the Premier Development League, the fourth tier of U.S. soccer – Kiffe with the Ventura County Fusion and Hord with the Fresno Fuego.
Republic FC signed Kiffe, then 25, late in the season to shore up its patchwork left-back position. When converted forward Chad Bartlome suffered an injury, Kiffe started the final seven games and had a key role as Republic FC won the USL title in its inaugural season.
Hord has taken a similar path. At 25, he was signed Aug. 19 to stabilize right back after Emrah Klimenta’s season-ending knee injury in early July. Coach Paul Buckle used four players at that spot before Hord joined the team.
He’s started the past three matches, made the USL Team of the Week on Sept. 6 for a game-winning assist and likely will start Saturday against the Galaxy II. Republic FC hopes to extend its season-best unbeaten streak to 10 matches and remain atop the Western Conference.
I think we have found a real player there. He’s very good going forward, clever and intelligent.
Paul Buckle, Republic FC coach, on Elliott Hord
“It’s crazy how it has worked out,” said Hord, who tried out with Republic FC in 2014 but wasn’t selected. “It’s funny how I kind of made a big loop around. I was going to games before, the 20,000-seat games at (Hughes Stadium in 2014), and I thought, ‘You know what? I’ll be back here.’ ”
JCs – The Fresno City College men, No. 1 in the state for a second straight week, remained unbeaten with a 1-0 win at Cañada on Wednesday. It’s also the fifth shutout in a row for the Rams (5-0-1), who have outscored opponents 12-0 in that span.
Noe Prieto scored in the 17th minute on an assist from Jose Tovar. Andres Castrejon had five saves. The Rams, No. 2 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America JC D-III poll, will be at home for three matches starting with state No. 8 Feather River (3-0-1) at 1 p.m. Saturday.
▪ Leila Monzon had a goal and an assist to lead the Rams’ women to a 3-1 win at Cypress on Wednesday. Fresno City (3-2) hosts Sierra at 5 p.m. Friday.
▪ The Clovis Crush women (2-1-2) are on a four-match unbeaten run after a 1-1 draw at Southwestern on Tuesday. Over that streak, the Crush have outscored opponents 11-4 with nine players finding the net. Chloe Burrows leads with two goals and midfielder Jenica Villalvazo has three assists. Clovis will play its next four on the road, ending with an Oct. 7 matchup at Fresno City.
▪ Clovis’ men have won 3 of 4, prevailing in a 4-3 comeback at American River on Tuesday. With his team trailing 3-2 in the 61st minute, Christian Cline crossed a volley inside to Sergio Gonzalez, who tied it on a first-touch shot. Ten minutes later, James Hernandez put Clovis (3-3-1) in front as his corner kick traveled untouched into the net.
Bulldogs – Fresno State women, winners of three in a row, will play their final two nonconference matches over the next three days, beginning at 7 p.m. Friday against Saint Mary’s. The Gaels’ roster includes former Bullard High and San Diego State player Morgan Darling and Tulare native Anyssa Dominguez.
On Sunday, the Bulldogs (3-3) host Montana (4-2-1) and former Clovis North standout Darby Emmons, who spent one season at Azusa Pacific.
Sunbirds – Fresno Pacific’s men, ranked 15th nationally in NCAA Division II, fell to 1-2-1 after Tuesday’s 2-0 loss at No. 23 Cal Poly Pomona. The Sunbirds will host the Alumni at 6 p.m. Saturday at Ramirez Field.
Bill Patterson of The Sacramento Bee and Angel Moreno of The Fresno Bee contributed to this report.
A look at upcoming matches for Fresno-area college soccer teams.
Fresno State vs. Saint Mary’s, 7 p.m. Friday
Fresno Pacific at Cal State San Marcos, 12:30 p.m. Saturday
Fresno State vs. Montana, noon Sunday
Fresno Pacific alumni game, 6 p.m. Saturday
West-Hills Lemoore vs. Feather River, 2 p.m. Friday
Fresno vs. Sierra, 5 p.m. Friday
Sequoias vs. Lake Tahoe, noon Saturday
Clovis at LA Pierce, 3 p.m. Tuesday
West Hills-Lemoore vs. Feather River, noon Friday
Fresno City vs. Feather River, 1 p.m. Saturday
West Hills-Lemoore vs. Mt. SAC, 2 p.m. Tuesday
Fresno City vs. LA Mission, 4 p.m. Tuesday
Clovis at Allan Hancock, 4 p.m. Tuesday
Sequoias at Antelope Valley, 4 p.m. Tuesday