1868 FC Faces First Opportunity to Seal First Place in Group A
Reno 1868 FC hosts Sacramento Republic FC Saturday in the second-to-last home game of the 2020 season. With three games remaining in the season, Reno controls their own destiny and can clinch the top spot in Group A as well as claim the USL Championship Regular Season Title by winning out.
"I don't think there's going to be any motivation issues," said head coach Ian Russell. "We're still trying to fight for first place, actually in a fight for the first overall record in the whole league. I think that's all the motivation we need."
Reno enters the pivotal matchup five points ahead of Sacramento for first place in Group A, and can clinch the top spot with a win.
Beyond Group A, Reno is in the driver's seat for the league regular season title. Only San Antonio FC has more points on the year, 33 to 31, but has played one more game. Reno controls its own destiny, as a perfect 3-0 finish will secure the top finish.
Sacramento has given Reno trouble this season, with Reno still looking for the first win against Republic this season. The two sides met just two weeks ago, with a stoppage time goal by Aidan Apodaca tying the game at 3-3.
Reno enters on an absolute tear as of late, going unbeaten in the last seven games. In those seven games, Reno has scored three or more goals six times. The 28 goals in the seven-game stretch brought 1868 FC's season-long goal total to 38, which is tied for best in the league.
Leading the attack for Reno has been the stellar play midfielder Christiano François and forward Foster Langsdorf. François leads the team in assists with five, tied for fourth in the USL. François has six goals as well, second on the team and 13th in the league. François is one of only two players in the league to have at least six goals and five assists. Meanwhile, Langsdorf has scored in a club-record seven straight games, bringing his goal total to a team-leading eight. The total is tied for the fourth-most in the league.
Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. PT from Greater Nevada Field. 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 at https://www.reno1868fc.com/page/show/5906159-where-to-watch, and information on where to participate in in-person watch parties can be found at https://www.reno1868fc.com/-watchparties.
Scouting report - Sacramento Republic FC
* Sacramento enters the game on a nine-game unbeaten streak, going 6-0-3 in the process.
* Dariusz Formella leads the team in goals with six.
* Sacramento is 2-0-1 against Reno this season.
* Sacramento has drawn their last two games, each by 3-3 scorelines.
Inside 1868 FC
- With a win against Tacoma on last week, Reno locked up a fourth-straight trip to the USL Championship Playoffs. The club has yet to miss the playoffs in any of its first four years of existence. Reno's focus now turns to securing home playoff games, first by securing the top spot in Group A. A win against Sacramento will clinch the group, and a home playoff game in the first round. If the boys in blue win out, they can secure the top spot in the entire USL Championship.
- Reno and Donner Pass Derby Rival Sacramento meet for the fourth time this season, with Reno going 0-2-1 against Republic FC in the first three instances. Sacramento is five points behind Reno in the standings, with both clubs guaranteed playoff appearances. 1868 FC leads in each of the first three tie breakers as well, with advantages in total wins (10 to 7), goal differential (+21 to +7) and total goals (38 to 22)
- Reno's 31 points are tied for the second-most in the entire USL, trailing only Western Conference opponent San Antonio FC's 33, with San Antonio playing one more game. The +21 goal differential is third in the USL, trailing only Phoenix (22) and Pittsburgh (29).
- Reno is unbeaten in seven-straight games, the longest such streak of the season. The seven-game streak is tied for the third-longest unbeaten streak in club history, and longest since 2018. If Reno avoids a loss on Saturday, it will make eight straight and tie for second-longest all time. Additionally, Reno is unbeaten this season when scoring even a single goal.
- Foster Langsdorf has scored in seven-straight games for Reno, bringing his season total to eight. The streak is is the longest in club history, passing Dane Kelly's six-game streak in 2017. Langsdorf's eight goals on the season lead the team, and are tied for the eighth most in the league. Langsdorf's goals have come quickly, with the forward averaging a goal every 78.8 minutes. The minutes per goal mark is second on the team behind Aidan Apodaca's 49.
Saturday, September 26 - v Sacramento Republic FC
6:00 p.m. PT kickoff @ Greater Nevada Field
Broadcast: ESPN+ (national), Nevada Sports Net (local)
Radio: ESPN Radio 94.5
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