Reno 1868 eyes home playoff game, wins record during final stretch

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - With four matches left in the regular season Reno 1868 is looking to finish the year off strong.

Los Azules sit in third place right now. The top four teams in the Western Conference secure at least one home playoff game.

Points wise, the match against Salt Lake on Saturday will be Reno's biggest challenge the rest of the way.

"Those guys are going to come out and look to run. They're at elevation also so we kind of lose that advantage so it'll be a good game. It's always a good game when we play against them," said midfielder Seth Casiple.

Reno 1868 head coach Ian Russell added "they're a similar team to us. They've been playing well. They're in 5th place, 6th place so they're kind of close to us so we need to handle business at home."

Barring a monumental collapse Reno 1868 will host a playoff match at Greater Nevada Field. There's an eight point difference between the boys in blue and Orange County who sits in fourth.

But second place Fresno is also within reach. The Foxes are only ahead of Reno by three points which, believe it or not, hasn't given Los Azules a sense of urgency.

"After we play the game we'll probably check the scores but it's all about us and what we can control. We can't control what other teams do. So it's just making sure that we play well," said Russell.

Defender Brent Richards said "they've kind of been up and down the last couple of games so if we win the last three or four then we should be in good shape. We've been talking in the locker room and a championship is what we're going for this year. It's not enough that we made the playoffs. It's great, we love that we're going to be making another trip back to the playoffs but we want to win a championship and that's what we're focused on."

Reno 1868 has only been in existence for three seasons. They've made the playoffs all three times.

In seasons one and two Reno ended with 59 points. This year's team would just have to win two of its final four matches to tie that mark. The final stretch starts Saturday at 6 p.m.

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