RENO, Nev. (KOLO) Reno 1868 FC travels to Avaya Stadium for the first time in club history Saturday to take on MLS affiliate, the San Jose Earthquakes in a preseason friendly.
Kickoff for Saturday’s matchup is slated for 2 p.m. and is open to the public.
This will be the second meeting between the clubs. Last season, both teams met at Greater Nevada Field with San Jose taking a narrow 1-0 win.
But this year’s meeting means more than the results on the field with both squads enjoying a fruitful partnership thus far.
Both teams made the playoffs the year and saw record marks from standout players.
Along with making the USL playoffs in its inaugural season, Reno 1868 FC set the USL record for most goals in a single season (75) and boasted the league’s MVP, Golden Boot winner (Dane Kelly) and USL Rookie of the Year (Chris Wehan).
Once an undrafted rookie out of New Mexico, Wehan’s play in 2017 earned him a contract with the Earthquakes in December. Joining Wehan in San Jose this season were fellow Reno alums and standouts Jimmy Ockford and Luis Felipe.
“All three have done really well and obviously had a great season with us last year,” Russell said. “To go up to the Earthquakes and get signed is great to see.
Wehan, Ockford and Felipe were not the only 1868 FC players on San Jose’s roster this preseason. Forward Antoine Hoppenot, who re-signed with Reno on Christmas Day, spent the preseason with San Jose and is expected to see time Saturday.
Russell added that having his players have a shot to impress the brass in San Jose is one of the many perks of the Reno-San Jose.
“They want to play well and impress the first team staff,” Russell said. “It’s a good opportunity for them to do well in the game.”
Matchup: San Jose Earthquakes v. Reno 1868 FC
Competition: Preseason Friendly
Location: Avaya Stadium (San Jose, Calf.)
Series: 1-0 San Jose Earthquakes
Leading Goalscorer: Tommy Thompson (1)