Streaking Reno sets sights on Rio Grande Valley

Published: Jul. 2, 2019 at 12:04 AM PDT
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Fresh off a 2-0 home win over Sacramento Republic FC, Reno 1868 FC looks to top Rio Grande Valley FC on Wednesday. Reno moved in second place in the USL Western Conference on Saturday after defeating Sacramento for the second time this year.

“I think we’ve always done well when we have a quick turnaround,” said head coach Ian Russell. “We’re a fit team, we’re a deep team.”

Reno is coming off a 2-0 win over rival Sacramento Republic FC. Raul Mendiola and Sergio Rivas scored for 1868 to give the team a season sweep over Sacramento in USL Championship play. Goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski recorded his first clean sheet of the season, including a save on a penalty kick. The shutout was just the third on the season, and the second at home.

“It was just overall a good team performance, starting with our two forwards pressing them,” said Russell. “Our midfield line was really strong and our back five counting JT, who saved a penalty kick, was excellent.”

After Saturday’s win against Sacramento, Reno sits in second place in the Western Conference. The team trails Phoenix by six points, and has a one-point lead on Fresno FC. Reno’s highest place to finish the season was 2017’s third-place finish.

Rio Grande Valley is coming off of a 1-0 loss at home to Austin Bold FC, and enters the game in 13th place in the west with 19 points.

“They play really good soccer, they spread the field out and try to play the possession game,” said Russell. “We need to make sure defensively we’re very sound and press them, we need to make sure we’re not giving them time and space.”

Since the team’s inaugural season in 2017, 1868 FC is 23-9-11 at home. This season the team is off to a 5-1-3 start at home, tied with Austin for the second most home wins in the Western Conference. Phoenix leads the west with six. Four other Eastern Conference teams have five, and New York has seven. The team’s last home result was the 2-0 win against Sacramento on Saturday.

The match kicks off at 7:15 p.m. PT, and will include a post-match fireworks show. This will be the second of just three fireworks shows this season. Tickets are still available at or the Greater Nevada Field ticket office.

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