RENO, Nev.– Reno 1868 FC hosts Fresno FC this Saturday night in a clash between two of the top teams in the USL’s Western Conference. Reno (13-8-5) sits in third in the conference with 44 points while Fresno (13-4-8) sits in second with 47. The two sides met earlier this season, drawing 1-1 in Fresno.
“Right now we want the best possible opponents we can play,” said head coach Ian Russell. “We’re getting tested for the playoffs.”
With the regular season winding down, Saturday’s matchup will be huge for playoff positioning. The top four seeds in the conference are guaranteed at least one home match, and the second seed will host the winner of the play-in match between the seventh and ninth seeds.
2019 is Fresno’s second year in the USL, and each of the club’s three matches with Reno have ended with a 1-1 score. This year’s first match was March 23 in Fresno, when Reno outshot Fresno 22-11. Fresno’s one goal came off of an own goal by Thomas Janjigian in the 31st minute. In the 41st minute Raul Mendiola would score his first goal of the season to make it 1-1.
Both teams are coming off of losses last weekend, as Fresno fell 2-1 in Tulsa and Reno fell 3-1 at home to Portland.
“We’ve got to play better, simple as that. It hasn’t been good enough the last couple games,” said Russell. “We need to defend better and finish our chances, it’s pretty simple.”
The match marks the second Noche Latina of the year, with a Super Clasico de Leyendas rematch starting at 4:00 p.m. PT. Reno and Fresno kick off at 6:45 p.m. PT, and the night concludes with the third and final fireworks show of 2019.
Tickets are available at reno1868fc.com or at the Greater Nevada Field ticket office. The match will be livestreamed on ESPN+, and is available locally on Nevada Sports Net.