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Thousands Celebrate Sacramento Soccer Championship

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Players celebrated, took pictures, and threw miniature soccer balls to thousands of fans who turned out to cheer them on.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Thousands of people lined Capitol Mall Friday to celebrate Sacramento Republic FC's first soccer championship.

The notion of a team winning a championship in its first year seems to be setting in.

The legion of fans known as the Tower Bridge Battalion led the crowd in song as a vintage fire truck carrying the team's coaching staff rolled by.

Sacramento Republic FC Coach Preki Radosavljević said winning the championship is especially sweet given it's the team's inaugural season.

"It has been a dream year for the whole city, for us, as a staff, for the ownership, for the fans because no one really expected us to do this," said Radosavljević.

Ed Lane was one of the fans lining the streets. He said he never dreamed this was possible.

"Not even a clue," said Lane. "I was at their first game. When they lost their first game, I was thinking wow. But, it all turned out for the best and the last game was incredible."

Team co-founder and President, Warren Smith gave fist-bumps to fans and posed for pictures with the USL Pro championship trophy.

"Did we ever really think? Yes, absolutely we thought we could," said Smith. "We hired the best. We got a great group of guys. You know, the mission's not over. So, we got work to do."

Smith, the team's ownership group, and the City of Sacramento are in talks with Major League Soccer and hope to be selected by the league as an expansion franchise.



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