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Reno 1868 match postponed after team announces positive COVID-19 case

Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 1:48 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Reno 1868 FC’s match against the Tacoma Defiance scheduled for Thursday, July 23rd has been postponed after a member of Reno’s organization tested positive for COVID-19.

The positive case arose during the team’s weekly testing, which is part of the United Soccer League’s return to play protocols. Roughly 30 of the franchise’s members are “covered”. The team didn’t specify if it was a player, coach, trainer or front office member who has the virus.

The person reportedly is isolated at home, and has no symptoms. However, out of abundance of caution, Thursday’s game is being pushed back.

After over four months off as the Coronavirus pandemic paused the sports world, the USL’s clubs voted to return to action with a shortened 15-game regular season. Reno’s first match was last Sunday in Sacramento - a one-zero loss to Republic FC.

KOLO8 stopped by 1868′s practice on Tuesday, a day before it was revealed they’d had a positive case. Veteran defender Brent Richards talked about what it’d take to win it all during this unique season.

“It’s going to be the team that stays fittest the whole time,” Richards said. “That includes staying healthy and staying COVID free. Making sure we protect ourselves and those around us because people can drop like flies with this.”

Any potential contacts with the positive case have been tested. The team will await those results before moving forward. 1868 is scheduled to play at Portland on Sunday.

Head coach Ian Russell said the season was close to being canceled, which could’ve been devastating for the Biggest Little City’s fourth-year team, even if fans still aren’t allowed to attend matches.

“Some of these clubs, financially, would take a really big hit,” said Russell. “Our group here in Reno - and San Jose - said we want to play.”

“It shows how serious they are about soccer in Reno and wanting to keep the product here.

As for updates to Reno’s meetings with Tacoma, the two teams will next meet in Reno on September 16th, and then an October 3rd match scheduled to be played in Reno will instead be played in Tacoma.

Copyright 2020 KOLO. All rights reserved.

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