Major League Soccer (MLS) team, Sacramento Republic FC, signs one of Elk Grove’s own, 17 year old midfielder Mario Penagos, and fellow 17 year old defender Hayden Sargis. The two young players have been a part of Republic FC’s Academy since it started in 2015. The signing of the two players are the first since Sacramento Rebublic FC received its official MLS award in October 2019. Penagos and Sargis’ contracts are pending league and federation approval.
Republic FC Academy Initiative
The mission of Republic FC Academy is to offer elite training for youth who desire to land an opportunity with the Sacramento Republic FC team. The competition within Republic FC is projected to be vast for young athletes as they develop their abilities and pursue their professional dreams. Republic FC leads the trajectory of Expansion clubs for the MLS, running a fully operating academy even before reaching the top of the division, already offering eight USL Academy contracts since 2015, including Penagos and Sargis’ USL Academy contracts.
Republic FC General Manager Todd Dunivant spoke highly of the two young players, giving them credit for their talents, as well as their leadership abilities. He spoke of the importance of developing talent through the academy pipeline, and is thrilled to have Penagos and Sargis represent the dedicated work of the the academy staff and Sacramento.
Penagos’ Republic FC Academy Career:
- 124 appearances
- 103 starts
- 54 career goals
- Call-up for U-17 Men’s National Team at 2018 Four Nations Tournament
- Served as available substitute for Republic FC for 9 matches in 2019
- 1st team debut as starter against Club America’s U-20 team in 2-0 win
- Started October friendly against FC Juarez of Mexico’s top division
Sargis’ Republic FC Academy Career:
- 109 appearances
- 92 starts
- 3 goals
- 1st team debut as starter in July friendly victory over Club America’s U-20 squad
- Logged 2nd match during October 2019 friendly against Liga MX’s FC Juarez
- Started and appeared in 13 matches and contributed on offensive end with 1 goal at 2019-2020 U.S. Soccer Development Academy
Penagos and Sargis will play the opening match with the Republic FC first team at home versus FC Tulsa on March 7.