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Damià Viader making the most of his stint with Sacramento Republic FC

Sacramento Republic FC star player reflects on his journey from Spain
Sacramento Republic FC star player reflects on his journey from Spain 01:48

SACRAMENTO -- 24-year-old Damià Viader drilled his kick in the top right of the net, setting Sacramento Republic FC on a course that led to the club becoming one of the feel-good stories in the world soccer.

"He told me you're gonna go first," Viader says of the penalty shootout. 

"To obviously step up in the first penalty against Sporting Kansas speaks to his confidence and his quality," says Head coach Mark Briggs. 

You'd expect it from someone who spent his youth with one of the biggest clubs in the world. 

"I was treated like a professional when I was seven years old," Viader explains. "Best facilities there, coach was amazing. I learned a lot, and I will always take that with me."

He was a part of the legendary Spanish club FC Barcelona's academy La Masia before realizing a path to the senior team may be a difficult one.

"I was in the fourth Division in Spain, and I didn't see a clear path to the 1th Division in Spain," he says.

And so he went from Spain, where he was in second division Girona FC's academy, to Iowa Western Community College.

"I found it attractive at the moment," he says of heading to the States. 

To Omaha, where he was the USL League One Defender of the Year, and eventually to Sacramento. 

Still young -- just 24 years old -- there's now a chance of a return home to play at the top level. 

"We knew he was good enough to play at this level and then potentially higher to be quite frank, he's still a good age," Briggs says.

But as a key cog in Sac Republic and a historic US Open Cup run, Viader feeds off his team's ambition.

"Come here every day, practice, get better, and nothing's stopping me," says Viader. "Nobody knows where I'm gonna go next." 

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