Reno 1868 announces friendly next month

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RENO, Nev. – Reno 1868 FC and San Diego Loyal SC have set a preseason friendly for Feb. 29 at Greater Nevada Field. This will be Reno fans’ first opportunity to see the 2020 iteration of the club, as well as their first opportunity to see San Diego Loyal’s head coach and former U.S. Men’s National Team star Landon Donovan.

“We are thrilled to welcome the newest USL club to Reno,” said general manager Doug Raftery. “We look forward to hosting Landon Donovan and his team to kick off the year.”

Donovan’s San Diego squad is entering their inaugural season in 2020, and will feature two former Reno players in Emrah Klimenta and Raul Mendiola. Last season, Mendiola led Reno in assists with eight. Donovan brings plenty of playing experience to the sideline, leading the USMNT in all-time goals (57) and assists (58) and earning appearances in three FIFA World Cups.

Reno head coach Ian Russell spent four seasons with Donovan (2001-2004) as members of the San Jose Earthquakes, winning MLS Cups together in 2001 and 2003.

Reno is coming off of a 2019 season that saw the club set records in wins (18) and points (60) on the way to the second seed in the USL’s Western Conference, and the club returns several key pieces from last season’s squad. 2019 leading scorer Corey Hertzog, captain Brent Richards and former San Jose Earthquake Kevin Partida will lead the charge for Los Azules in 2020.