RENO, NEV. – Reno 1868 FC has signed defender Emrah Klimenta pending league and federation approval, the club announced Thursday.
Klimenta joins the club after a lengthy career with Sacramento Republic FC (including a USL Cup Championship title), seven international caps for the Montenegro National Team, and appearances for LA Galaxy during his MLS career.
“Emrah is one of the top defenders in our league,” head coach Ian Russell said Thursday. “He’s a Montenegrin International who can play anywhere in the back line. We’re excited to have him join the club.”
The defender was first picked up by Sacramento Republic FC in their inaugural season after attending an open tryout with the club in 2014. That same season, Klimenta and Sacramento Republic FC went on to win the USL Cup Championship.
While playing for Sacramento Republic FC, Klimenta became Republic FC's all-time leader in minutes, appearances, and starts for the club. The defender had 102 total appearances, nine goals and five assists.
In May of 2016, the Montenegro native was called up to the Montenegro National Team for a friendly against Turkey. Klimenta made his senior debut with the National Team on May 29th, 2016, and was called up for two separate World Cup Qualifying matches later that year. He went on to appear in seven total matches for his home country.
After four years with Sacramento Republic FC, the defender signed with LA Galaxy ahead of the 2018 season. He made his MLS debut on May 21st, 2018 when he started against Montreal Impact and helped the team to a 1-0 victory. After making two appearances for LA Galaxy, he was released by the club and returned to Sacramento Republic FC for the remainder of the 2018 season.
“I’m happy to be joining a quality team like Reno 1868 FC, a team that knows how to win and compete, a club that’s reached playoffs every year since their existence,” Klimenta said Thursday. “I’m looking forward to working with Ian Russell and the coaching staff and, of course, getting on the field with my teammates. I’m ready to make this a great season with a lot of victories.”
Emrah and Reno travel to Salt Lake City on Saturday to take on Real Monarchs SLC. Kick-off is slated for 12 p.m. PT and the match can be streamed on ESPN+. The boys in blue return home on April 20th to host New Mexico United at Greater Nevada Field. For tickets, visit Reno1868FC.com or the Greater Nevada Field ticket office.
Name: Emrah Klimenta
Pronunciation: (Em-raw) (Clih-men-tuh)
Height: 6’ 1”
Weight: 181 lbs
Born: February 13, 1991
Hometwon: Rožaje, Montenegro
Last Club: Sacramento Republic FC
How Acquired: Free Agent