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Reno 1868 FC preps for first home game during pandemic

Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 7:49 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Over five months after starting their season, Reno 1868 FC has reached its home opener.

The Boys in Blue will host Tacoma this Saturday at 7:15 p.m. from Greater Nevada Field. The United Soccer League match will be played without fans.

“We’re a movie studio on Saturday,” said Eric Edelstein, President of Reno 1868 and the Reno Aces. “Our job is to put on a show that can translate through television.”

So far, Reno’s return to play under the USL’s 15-game plan has been disrupted once by COVID-19. A member of Reno’s franchise tested positive in late-July, forcing the postponement of two matches.

The virus did not spread to anyone else on the team.

”It’s not many times when it’s just one positive test,” said 1868 forward Corey Hertzog, citing the league’s diligent protocols. “We’ve done our job and did really well with that. I’m proud of the team and staff.”

Since being cleared to get back on the field, Reno’s won two straight matches after trips to Portland and Las Vegas. Both games were played in empty venues.

”It’s pretty strange to be honest. You get to hear everything the players and coaches are saying,” said 1868 head coach Ian Russell. “That can be a good thing, but also a bad thing.”

Russell and Edelstein both say they hope fans can return to Greater Nevada Field before the season ends. But they also add they know the team’s loyal fans are still supporting from afar.

“Our home-field advantage will still be there,” said Russell. “We know our fans will be watching on TV. I think we’ll play well.”

Copyright 2020 KOLO. All rights reserved.

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