History of Sacramento Gold FC

On March 16, 2010, Sacramento Gold Fútbol Club was introduced to the world at West Sacramento City Hall. Founded by local sports promoter and Mexican-American Sports Hall of Fame inductee Richard Novoa, the Gold was created with the purpose of bring competetive, low-cost soccer entertainment to both sides of the Sacramento River, while integrating the club players and coaches into the development of Sacramento's soccer youth. Joining Novoa would be good friend and fellow Hall of Fame inductee Ruben Mora, who has remained the club's General Manager to this day.

 

Stocked with the best of local talent both on and off the field, the Gold got off to a hot start in its inaugural season. After a 2-1 loss to the Bay Area Ambassadors in its opening game, the Gold showed off its home field advantage for the first time in a 6-1 win over the Southern Oregon Fuego. Sacramento's stellar season resulted in seven wins and 22 points, good enough for first place in the

Northwest Division. 

 

Advancing to the playoffs, the Gold got revenge on the Ambassadors with a 6-3 semifinal win. A victory over San Diego Boca the following week earned Sacramento the 2010 Northwest Division title and a spot in the NPSL's "final four" in Madison, Alabama. In the national semifinals, the Gold kept up their momentum with a win over FC Sonic Lehigh Valley. In the final game of the season, Sacramento capped off the dream first season with a 3-1 win over Chattanooga FC to win the 2010 NPSL National Championship.

Shortly before the start of the 2011 season, the club was struck by tragedy. On February 10, 2011, team founder and President/CEO Richard Novoa passed away due to complications from a 2005 liver transplant that had saved his life. Playing with heavy hearts, the Gold managed a return trip to the playoffs with a second place finish in the West Division's Flight Northwest. Though the Gold managed a second straight Division Finals appearance and a spirited effort, their season would end with a loss to eventual national runner-up Hollywood United Hitmen.

 

Before the 2012 season, local construction owner John Nunan took over ownership duties for the club. Under new ownership, the Gold made history by posting the largest margin of victory in a single game during the season with a 9-0 drubbing of the San Francisco Stompers. However, due to a one-goal differential in the standings, the Gold would miss the playoffs for the first time in team history.

 

The Gold made more positive history before the 2013 season even started. By winning the Golden Gate Conference's preseason tournament, Sacramento qualified for the 2013 U.S. Open Cup, the 100th edition of the largest and most prestigious soccer tournament in the United States. The Gold was matched up against the U-23 team of the Major League Soccer club Portland Timbers. In the game, Sacramento jumped out to a suprising 2-0 lead early. However, then Gold could not hold on, bowing out of the Open Cup in the first round with a 3-2 loss to the Timbers U-23s.

As the seasons have progressed, the Gold has established itself as half of one of the best, most competitive rivalries in the NPSL. Located just under two hours away from the state capitol, the Sonoma County Sol was already a successful franchise, claiming the NPSL National Championship in 2009, the year before Sacramento Gold FC joined the league. In 2012, the Gold and Sol were tied on points, but Sonoma advanced to the playoffs with a one-goal differential advantage. The 2013 season would end with more hearbreak for the Gold at the hands of the Sol. Sonoma topped Sacramento in the West Region Final, though they would ultimately come up short in the national championship game.

 

Sacramento would get its revenge in the 2014 season. Behind an offense which ended with a massive +26 goal differential (thanks in part to a record 10-0 win over San Francisco), the Gold claimed the Golden Gate Conference title. In the playoffs, the Gold and Sol would play a rematch in the West Regional Final. This time, it was Sacramento who earned the win, the West Region title, and the team's first trip to the national semifinals for the first time since 2010. Unfortunately, the Gold would fall in the semifinals in another rematch, this time to Chattanooga.

 

The Gold looked to get back to the national stage in 2015, and would attempt to do so in a new home, having moved to Capital Christian High School. They would also make a rare road trip to the Pacific Northwest, facing teams from Portland and Tacmoa. After a rough stretch of the season, a win in Washington state (the first in team history) sparked a rally to make the playoffs once again. The Gold would reach its third consecutive West Regional Final, this time against CD Aguiluchos USA. However, Sacramento's new finals opponent would deny them a trip to the nationals.

2016 would prove to be a year of historic accomplishments and bitter disappointments. Sacramento's finish the year before had earned the club's second ever spot in the U.S. Open Cup. This time, not only did the Gold host the First Round match, but the team would mount a second half comeback for a 3-1 win over the PDL's Burlingame Dragons, netting Sacramento Gold FC's first ever Open Cup victory. The win, coupled with a 5-1 drubbing of the Sonoma County Sol (the largest margin of victory between the two teams), had the Gold in high spirits atop the Golden Gate Conference. However, a Second Round loss and a tough stretch of schedule led to a major slide, with the team losing five of its last seven games and missing the playoffs for only the second time ever.

 

Not satisfied with coming up short, the Gold is looking to return to the top of the mountain in 2017. With a team filled with the best regional talent and a staff full of family and friends keeping Richard Novoa's spirit alive, Sacramento is once again fielding a strong contender in the West. If you want to be a part of the next chapter in the storied history of Sacramento Gold FC, why not attend a game and see what this club is all about.

Hector Navejas

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