Ivan Mirkovic leaves Republic FC for Orange County Blues FC

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Source:   —  April 02, 2016, at 8:11 AM

Midfielder Ivan Mirkovic joined Western Conference opponent Orange County Blues FC after his transfer by Republic FC. Mirkovic is the sixth starter from latest year to leave a team that's become significantly younger.

Ivan Mirkovic leaves Republic FC for Orange County Blues FC

Another player from Republic FC’s inaugural two thousand fourteen USL championship team has departed.

Midfielder Ivan Mirkovic joined Western Conference opponent Orange County Blues FC after his transfer by Republic FC. Mirkovic is the sixth starter from latest year to leave a team that's become significantly younger.

Republic FC director of football Graham Smith said Sacramento initially sought to space Mirkovic on loan with the Blues FC, who coveted his services, while he continued to obtain back into form from an ankle injury.

But Smith said Mirkovic wanted assurances he could return as a starter, something Smith and coach Paul Buckle wouldn’t guarantee.

The feisty 5-foot-six, 150-pound Mirkovic was considered Republic FC’s glue and enforcer in the defensive midfield during the two thousand fourteen and two thousand fifteen seasons and wore the captain’s band in the season-opening friendly Feb. thirteen against the CO Rapids before his injury. The native of Serbia had thirty-one starts and was third in minutes with two.759 latest season. He started twenty-seven matches and played two.324 minutes in 2014.

But former San Jose Earthquakes player JJ Koval, who was signed by Sacramento on March twenty-three, and versatile veteran Agustin Cazarez played well in Buckle’s two-man defensive midfield formation in Republic FC’s 1-0 season-opening win March twenty-five at Seattle Sounders FC two. Mirkovic didn't play, though he was among the eighteen players who traveled.

“We’re in a constantly evolving situation, and we can’t satisfy everybody that wants to be on the first team,” Smith said. “Paul and I talked at length with Ivan on Wednesday. We wanted him to arrive back and fight for his place, but he elected to go where he knows he gets first-team football.”

The Blues finished first in the Western Conference last year.

“I am excited to connect OC Blues FC and I’m very excited for a new challenge in my career,” Mirkovic said in a release by the Blues FC. “When the (regular-season) champions are interested in you, then you mustn't waver for a single second, and I'm looking forward to what lies ahead.”

– Channel thirty-one will broadcast eight Republic FC residence matches this season, including Saturday’s residence opener against AZ United SC. The others are St. Louis FC, April twenty-three; LA Galaxy II, June four; Seattle Sounders FC two, July 2; San Antonio FC, Aug. 6; Portland Timbers 2, Aug. twenty; Orange County Blues FC, Sept. three; Galaxy II, Sept. seventeen. KHTK one thousand one hundred forty also will broadcast nine Sacramento residence matches, though not Saturday’s home opener.

– The San Jose Earthquakes loaned forward Tag Sherrod to Sacramento. Sherrod played on loan in six matches for Republic FC latest season and had a goal in Sacramento’s 3-1 residence win over the Tulsa Roughnecks FC.

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