Photo courtesy Sacramento Republic FC
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC announced on Friday the club had agreed to a two-year USL contract, with a club option for the 2019 season, with 16-year-old midfielder Roberto Hategan. Hategan becomes the first player in Republic FC’s history to be signed directly from the club’s own U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
“Signing our first Academy player to a professional contract, especially at such a young age, shows just how much faith we have in Roberto,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “We look forward to developing him as a player and have faith in his potential. This signing is another positive step for the club and would not be possible without the investment and shared vision of our ownership group, led by Kevin Nagle, to provide the talented youth of our region a pathway to the professional game.”
Hategan has scored 20 goals in the last two seasons playing with Republic FC’s Academy teams. In addition, the midfielder was honored with a call-up in April 2016 to the U.S. National Team U-16 Boys’ Team. Hategan appeared in two matches with the National Team, including an appearance in the Delle Nazioni Tournament against England.
“Hategan highlights the immense talent in the Sacramento region and will be one of many future Academy signings,” said Republic FC Owner Kevin Nagle. “Today’s signing is not just an accomplishment for our Academy coaches and staff, but is a tribute to the strength of the youth competitive leagues in the region. We’ve always known Sacramento to be a leader in youth participation, but signings such as Roberto also reaffirm our club’s commitment to develop this talent and grow the beautiful game to support our team now and at the MLS level in the future.”
Hategan played with San Juan Soccer Club prior to joining Republic FC’s Academy in the 2015-16 season. Sacramento’s youth soccer programs have developed numerous talented players that have gone on to play in Major League Soccer, and professionally around the world, including current MLS players: Jalil Anibaba (Houston Dynamo), Connor Hallisey (Sporting KC), Niko Hansen (Columbus Crew) Ryan Hollingshead (FC Dallas), Cameron Iwasa (Sporting KC), Adam Jahn (Columbus Crew), Amobi Okugo (Portland Timbers) and Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes).
Hategan is the second Republic FC Academy player to sign a professional contract following Ryley Kraft who signed with Orlando City B prior to the start of this season.