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Reno takes on Tacoma in season finale with chance to secure top spot in the league

By Kevin Bass, 10/02/20, 2:00PM PDT


Win against Defiance can end regular season on 10-game unbeaten streak

Need to know

  • Reno looks to close out the regular season against Tacoma Defiance, and can secure the top overall seed in the USL Championship Playoffs.
  • The boys in blue have never lost to Tacoma, going 6-0-3 all time and 3-0-3 this season.
  • 1868 FC has clinched the top spot in Group A, and will host LA Galaxy II in the first round of playoffs at Greater Nevada Field on Saturday, October 10 at 6:00 p.m. PT.


Saturday, October 3 – @ Tacoma Defiance 

7:00 p.m. PT kickoff @ Cheney Stadium

Broadcast: ESPN+ (national), Nevada Sports Net (local)

Radio: ESPN Radio 94.5


            Reno 1868 FC heads to Tacoma, Washington to take on the Defiance in the 2020 regular season finale. Reno has already clinched Group A and a home playoff game, but can essentially secure the top overall seed in the 2020 USL Championship Playoffs with a win. 

Reno enters the game on a hot streak, going unbeaten in the last nine games. The streak is the second-longest in club history, and would be just the second streak to reach 10 games.

After a draw against Las Vegas, and Sacramento’s loss, on Wednesday, Reno clinched the top spot in Group A. Being the top seed out of the group means Reno will host the second-place finisher out of Group B, LA Galaxy II, on Saturday night at Greater Nevada Field. Should Reno advance past that to the Western Conference semifinals, los azules would take on the winner of Sacramento, Group A’s second-place finisher, and Group B’s winner Phoenix Rising FC.

Reno’s playoff outlook can get a bit more clear with a win against Tacoma. A win would give Reno 36 points – a mark that only two other teams in the entire league can possibly reach. San Antonio FC and Tampa Bay Rowdies can reach the mark with wins in their final games of the regular season. If all three teams, Reno, San Antonio and Tampa Bay, were to win, the first tiebreaker of total wins would be even with 11. The second tiebreaker, goal differential, is currently in Reno’s favor. Reno’s +21 goal differential is greater than both San Antonio’s (+17) and Tampa Bay’s (+15).

If Reno wins against Tacoma by just one goal, it would take San Antonio winning by five goals, or Tampa Bay winning by seven goals to push things to the third tiebreaker. The third tiebreaker, total goals, is well in hand by Reno. Reno leads the league in goals with 41.

This season, Tacoma has played Reno well. In the season opener in March, Tacoma jumped out to a 1-0 lead before the boys in blue came out with three unanswered goals to win 3-1. Since the restart in July, Reno has beaten Tacoma 2-1 and 3-2 with both games being played at Greater Nevada Field.

All time, Reno has never lost to Tacoma. 1868 has gone 6-0-3 against the Defiance. This season, Reno has gone 7-2-2 against the three teams in Group A, as well as 5-1-1 on the road. Reno has yet to lose a game played on Saturday, with the team’s two losses coming on a Wednesday and Saturday.

Kickoff in the regular-season finale is set for 7:00 p.m. PT from Cheney Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN+, Nevada Sports Net and ESPN Radio 94.5. More information about how to watch the game from home is available here, and information on where to participate in in-person watch parties can be found here.


Scouting report – Tacoma Defiance

  • The Defiance enter after topping Sacramento Republic FC on Wednesday 1-0, which secured first place for Reno.
  • Tacoma sits third in the Group A standings with 14 points, officially eliminated from playoff contention.
  • Tacoma has been in almost every game this season, losing three games to Reno by a combined four goals and owning just a -6 goal differential. 

Inside 1868 FC

  • Reno is unbeaten in nine-straight games, the longest such streak of the season. The nine-game streak is the second-longest unbeaten streak in club history, and longest since 2018. Additionally, Reno is unbeaten this season when scoring even a single goal.   
  • With a draw against Las Vegas, and Sacramento’s loss to Tacoma on Wednesday, Reno locked up the top spot of Group A. The club has yet to miss the playoffs in any of its first four years of existence, and will now host the first round of the playoffs. There is still plenty to play for in the final regular-season game, as the boys in blue are able to secure the top overall seed in the entire league with a win. Reno has never had to top regular-season point total in the club’s three previous seasons. 
  • Reno’s 33 points are tied for the most in the entire USL, alongside San Antonio and Tampa Bay. Only those two teams can match Reno’s maximum point total of 36 points, assuming Reno wins against Tacoma. With wins by all three teams, the first tiebreaker (total wins) would be tied. The second tiebreaker, goal differential, is currently held by Reno as well (+21 compared to +17 by San Antonio and +15 by Tampa Bay). Should Reno win by just one goal, it would take a five-goal win by San Antonio and eight- goal win by Tampa Bay to push the race to the third tiebreaker, which is total goals. Reno currently leads the league in goals with 41. 
  • Reno has never lost to Tacoma, going 6-0-3 all time against the club. This season, Reno is 3-0-0 against the club, including a 3-1 comeback win in March. Since the restart, Reno owns a pair of victories over Tacoma by scores of 2-1 and 3-2 with each coming at Greater Nevada Field. 
  • Reno’s offense has come alive as of late and reached the top scoring mark in the league with 41 goals on the season. Only Phoenix and Pittsburgh have scored more than 30 goals this season. 

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