LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Reno 1868 FC earned their second-straight shutout tonight, topping Las Vegas Lights FC 2-0 to move into second place in the USL’s Western Conference. The win ties a club record for wins in a single season, and makes Reno just the second club in USL history to win 50 matches within three seasons. The win secures the Silver State Cup, presented by Nevada Donor Network.
“I thought we moved the ball really well,” said head coach Ian Russell. “We created chances with good positive possession, should’ve scored more but overall one of the better games we’ve played.”
The scoring action kicked off in the 35th minute with a Vegas own goal to make it 1-0 Reno. The score would hold into halftime. Reno moves to 10-1-1 on the season when leading at halftime, and 9-3-2 when scoring two goals.
Reno would possess the ball for 60% of the second half, holding Vegas scoreless. In the 76th minute, Siad Haji scored his first professional goal to make it 2-0. The 2019 Quakes draft pick was making his 16th appearance for 1868 FC.
“Guys are really really happy for Haji,” said Russell. “They gave him a good ovation after the game. As the season’s gone he’s gotten better and better. He’s very dynamic and needed to get that goal, it was kind of weighing on him.”
The goal came off of an assist from Kevin Partida, his first of the season.
Reno moves to 3-0-2 all time against Las Vegas, posting a 6-0 combined score this season. Reno owns the Silver State Cup again, Las Vegas has never possessed the trophy.
“It’s good for the city,” said Russell. “It means a lot to the players to win this one.”
The win, combined with a Fresno draw, moves Reno into second place with one match to play for both clubs. Reno has finished third and fifth in the western conference in 2017 and 2018, respectively, meaning that a second-place finish would be the best ever for the club.
“It’s a great position to be in, obviously a good result for us. We need to go to Tulsa and handle business. It’s a tough place to play but we’re ready,” said Russell.
Additionally, Reno joins FC Cincinnati as the only clubs in USL history to win 50 matches within their first three seasons. Cincinnati joined MLS after its third season.
Securing a top four spot in the west means that Reno is officially guaranteed a home playoff match on October 26 at 5:15 p.m. PT. Single game tickets for the match go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. PT, and playoff strips are already on sale now at reno1868fc.com/playoffs. Strips include discounted tickets for all four potential playoff matches, as well as an exclusive team-issued playoff shirt.
Reno 1868 FC Starting XI
GK (12) Matt Bersano, D (16) Brent Richards ©, D (11) Duke Lacroix, D (6) Thomas Janjigian, D (2) Emrah Klimenta, M (19) Kevin Partida, M (40) Raul Mendiola, M (10) Lindo Mfeka, M (14) Eric Calvillo F (21) Corey Hertzog, F (9) Danny Musovski
GK (25) Damion Lewis, D (5) Zach Carroll, M (84) Seth Casiple, F (17) Aidan Apodaca, M (22) Siad Haji, M (23) Sam Gleadle, M (24) Gilbert Fuentes
59’ Siad Haji à Raul Mendiola
77’ Seth Casiple à Kevin Partida
82’ Gilbert Fuentes à Danny Musovski
Siad Haji 76’
Kevin Partida 76’