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3rd-annual Highway 99 Derby between Sacramento Republic & Fresno Fuego scheduled for February 18

By Paul Braverman, 01/24/17, 7:00PM PST

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Sacramento, an aspiring MLS club, escaped Fresno with a win on penalties last March

FRESNO, Calif. – The Fresno Fuego (USL Premier Development League) has announced the date and game time for the third playing of the “Highway 99 Derby,” an annual showdown against Sacramento Republic of the United Soccer League. 

Kickoff at Chukchansi Park in Downtown Fresno will be at 7p.m. on Saturday, February 18.  Tickets are now available at FresnoFuego.com and FresnoGrizzlies.com, and at the stadium ticket office.  Tickets begin at just $11, and youth tickets begin at only $8.  Club level tickets are $22.  

The two squads played to a 90-minute draw less than a year ago in a thriller at Chukchansi Park.  Sacramento prevailed 5-3 on penalty kicks after equalizing in the 86th minute.  The Republic is eyeing the state capital as a potential Major League Soccer market.  In that pursuit, Sacramento signed two of the Fuego’s premier players, forward Christian Chaney and right back Elliott Hord, following the 2016 PDL season.  It is likely each will be suiting up for the Republic against their former hometown team on February 18 in Fresno.

“The Highway 99 Derby will be a wonderful opportunity for our fans to get an early glimpse of the 2017 Fuego roster in a match-up against one of the best professional soccer clubs in the country,” said Fresno Fuego General Manager Jeremy Schultz.  “The USL, the league the Republic play in, was recently granted Division 2 status, putting Sacramento in a division one level below Major League Soccer.  As Fresno continues to show incredible growth in its’ soccer fan base, this game is a perfect chance for our community to come together against a top notch opponent.”

The Fuego enter 2017 coming off a Central Pacific Division title and a 10-3-1 record.  The 2017 regular season schedule will be released in February by the PDL.  2017 Fuego season tickets will be available at the Chukchansi Park box office when the schedule is released, and online at FresnoFuego.com.