RENO, Nev. – Reno 1868 FC midfielder Kevin Partida was signed by Reno’s Major League Soccer affiliate, the San Jose Earthquakes, to a season-long loan Saturday.
Partida, a Sparks native, joins San Jose after spending a majority of the season with Reno 1868 FC.
He becomes the fifth Reno player to join the MLS ranks in less than two seasons joining Dane Kelly (D.C. United), Luis Felipe (Earthquakes), Jimmy Ockford (Earthquakes) and Chris Wehan (Earthquakes).
“The fact that Kevin Partida joins us is a result of his hard work in Reno and the trust he gained with his head coach Ian Russell, to which we want to extend a big thank you for identifying him ahead of the draft,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. “Despite his young age, Kevin shows a level of reliability, maturity and commitment to his team and teammates that gives us the confidence he will easily integrate into the First Team.”
Partida was selected in the third round (No. 58 overall) by the Earthquakes in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft and was signed by Reno 1868 FC back in March.
Partida has started every match as a pro ever since his debut on April 21 in Reno’s 2-1 comeback win over Portland Timbers 2.
He has not lost a match since in eight appearances.
In his first start, Partida scored the go-ahead goal (his first as a pro) against OKC Energy FC in a 2-0 win. The entire season, Partida has been Reno’s defensive catalyst tied for first in blocks (eight), leading the team in tackles (27) and tackles won (18).
Partida’s defensive presence has helped Reno surge to a nine-match unbeaten streak, a club record.
Reno head coach Ian Russell, who spotted and scouted Partida, said he's excited to see Partida jump to the top level in American pro soccer.
“Kevin is a player we’ve been following since he was playing in college,” Russell said. “We liked him in college and it was evident when we signed him in Reno that he had qualities to take him to the next level.
“I think what separates him is that his work rate is literally second to none out of any of the players I’ve coached. He covers a huge amount of ground and I’m excited to see him play at the next level.”
Reno 1868 FC looks to extend its unbeaten streak to 10-straight on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. against Fresno FC inside Greater Nevada Field. San Jose resumes MLS play Saturday against LAFC at Avaya Stadium.