1868 signs four players to 1-year deals

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RENO, Nev. – Reno 1868 FC has signed four players to one-year deals, the club announced Monday.

Trialists Joey Chica, Sam Gleadle, Connor Johnson and Christo Michaelson all signed with Reno ahead of the 2018 season pending league and federation approval.

The four players spent the preseason with Reno earning a spot on the 2018 roster. All four players are USL Premier Development League (PDL) alums.

Gleadle most recently spent time with Albuquerque Sol FC after graduating from the University of New Mexico where he was teammates with 2017 USL Rookie of the Year, Chris Wehan. A four-year starter, Gleadle scored three goals and notched two assists in his senior year with the Lobos.

“Sam is quick, dynamic and has good feet,” Reno head coach Ian Russell said. “He’ll be looking to get some minutes here with the team.”

Defender Connor Johnson was the West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2016 before joining the PDL’s Golden State Force. Johnson Earned All-First Team West Coast Conference honors his senior year assisting in six shutouts in conference play.

“Connor is a very athletic centerback that needs to be polished up a bit,” Russell said. “That’s what we’re looking to do here in Reno.

“But he physically has great tools and another great young player we’re looking to develop for the future.”

Michaelson most recently played for Portland Timbers’ U-23 side in the PDL after a standout career at Gonzaga. The midfielder was an All-WCC Honorable Mention in 2016. Michaelson scored 10 goals and notched four assists in his four years with Gonzaga.

“Christo plays the No. 6 position and is aggressive, tenacious and a good ball-winner,” Russell said. “He’s another young player we’re looking forward to developing for the future.”

Chica recently spent the 2017 season with the Fresno Fuego (PDL). The midfielder/forward was an offensive force in college, most recently scoring five goals at California Baptist University. He earned three All-California Collegiate Athletic Association honors, including back-to-back first team recognition as a sophomore and junior.

“Chica is a really technical player, who can play a couple of different positions whether it is underneath the forward or in the midfield,” Russell said. “He’s a good player to develop in the future.”

Reno 1868 FC’s first match at home is March 3 against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at 4 p.m. inside Greater Nevada Field. Fans who buy a ticket to that match or to the March 17 regular season opener against Swope Park Rangers will receive a free ticket to the March 7 match against Real Monarchs SLC. Tickets are on-sale now at Reno1868FC.com or (775) 334-4700. Be sure to follow Reno 1868 FC on Twitter (@Reno1868FC) and give the club a like on Facebook for the latest news concerning Reno’s professional soccer club.

Name: Christo Michaelson

Pronunciation: (Michael-son)

Position: Midfielder

Height: 5-foot-10

Weight: 165 pounds

Date of Birth: 10/6/1995

Age: 22

Hometown: Lake Oswego, Ore.

Country: United States

Last Club: Portland Timbers U-23

How Acquired: Free Agent Signing

Name: Joey Chica

Pronunciation: (Chee-ka)

Position: Midfielder/Forward

Height: 5-foot-7

Weight: 150 pounds

Date of Birth: 1/17/1996

Age: 22

Hometown: Visalia, Calif.

Country: United States

Last Club: Fresno Fuego

How Acquired: Free Agent Signing

Name: Sam Gleadle

Pronunciation: (Glee-Dul)

Position: Midfielder

Height: 5-foot-10

Weight: 154 pounds

Date of Birth: 3/20/1996

Age: 22

Hometown: Chichester, England

Country: England

Last Club: Albuquerque Sol FC

How Acquired: Free Agent Signing

Name: Connor Johnson

Pronunciation: (John-Son)

Position: Defender

Height: 6-foot

Weight: 154 pounds

Date of Birth: 12/20/1994

Age: 23

Hometown: Long Beach, Caif.

Country: United States

Last Club: Golden State Force

How Acquired: Free Agent Signing