Reno 1868 FC hires first general manager

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) Reno 1868 FC on Wednesday announced the appointment of Andy Smith as the club’s first general manager. Smith will lead day-to-day soccer operations and manage Reno 1868’s relationship with the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer (MLS), while handling soccer-related business with the United Soccer League (USL).

“I’m excited to join Reno 1868 FC as the club continues preparations for its inaugural season,” Smith said. “The organization has made great strides since the franchise was awarded to Reno last September, and we are well-positioned to move forward for a successful 2017 campaign.”

Smith comes to Reno with a notable history in the soccer industry, beginning in sales with the Colorado Rapids, working in the USL for the Charleston Battery and leading the sales teams for D.C. United and FC Dallas in MLS. Most recently, he was President and GM of the Atlanta Silverbacks of the North American Soccer League (NASL). In addition, Smith also has consulted with the NASL on a number of franchise launches, including San Antonio, one of the most successful in league history.

“We are thrilled to welcome Andy to our soccer family,” said Reno Aces and Reno 1868 FC President Eric Edelstein. “He brings years of successful professional soccer leadership to Northern Nevada, and we are excited for him to lead Reno's entry in the fastest growing professional sport in America.”

Greater Nevada Field will host up to 18 matches in 2017, with 16 coming as regular-season matches for Reno 1868 FC during their inaugural USL campaign. The USL announced on Monday that the regular season will expand to 32 matches beginning in 2017.

In the first-ever USL match played at Greater Nevada Field on June 11, Sacramento Republic FC defeated Real Monarchs SLC by a 2-1 score on in front of a crowd of 5,182. Previously, Republic FC and Liverpool FC U21s played to a 2-2 draw in downtown Reno on May 25, with 6,287 fans in attendance.

Reno 1868 FC is the latest component in the successful and diverse portfolio of Simon Sports Enterprises, which also includes the Reno Aces, the NBA's Indiana Pacers, the NBA D-League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants the WNBA's Indiana Fever.

Since the franchise was announced last year, Reno 1868 FC has unveiled its club name, colors, crest and home jersey kit. The away kit and coaching staff will be announced at a later date.