1868 Looks to Lock up Playoff Spot against Tacoma Defiance
Wednesday, September 15 - v Tacoma Defiance
6:30 p.m. PT kickoff @ Greater Nevada Field
Broadcast: ESPN+ (national), Nevada Sports Net (local)
Radio: ESPN Radio 94.5
After a draw at the death on Saturday against Sacramento, Reno 1868 FC returns home for a matchup with Tacoma Defiance that could lock up the playoffs for Reno. With a win or draw, the boys in blue will clinch a top-two spot in Group A and a fourth straight playoff berth.
"We've got to handle business at home," said head coach Ian Russell. "It's a big game for us, it's our game in hand. If we can win and get three points it's going to put us in a really good position."
Reno enters on a five-game unbeaten streak, thanks to forward Aidan Apodaca's heroics in the closing seconds of Saturday's game.
Trailing 3-2 in stoppage time, Apodaca was able to secure a lofted ball from Brent Richards and put a rocket into the back of the net. The draw secured a point on the road for Reno, and kept the lads atop Group A with 25 points.
A win in Sacramento would have clinched a playoff spot, but the draw set up a chance to clinch in front of an empty Greater Nevada Field.
Tacoma enters the match struggling as of late. The Defiance were unbeaten in their first three games after the USL Championship season was restarted in July, before making an August 8 trip to Reno. 1868 came out on top 2-1, and Defiance has yet to win a game since.
All time, Reno has never lost to Tacoma. The club owns a 5-0-3 record against Defiance, one of eight USL clubs to never beat Reno. Of the eight winless opponents, Tacoma has had the most games against Reno as well.
In the sides' two previous matchups this season, Reno has won 3-1 and 2-1.
The game will be played at Greater Nevada Field, where Los Azules have seen plenty of success in 2020. In Reno's five home games this season, the team has gone 5-1-0 and averages 3.2 goals per game compared to 2.8 on the road. The last time out at GNF saw Reno put up seven goals against Portland Timbers 2.
Leading the way for Los Azules has been an electric stretch of games from forward Foster Langsdorf. Langsdorf has scored in five straight games, bringing his goal total to a team-leading six. The five game streak is the second-longest in club history, behind Dane Kelly's six-game streak from 2017.
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 - Tacoma Defiance
* Tacoma enters the game on a five-game losing streak, the first loss of which was at the hands of Reno on August 8.
* Tacoma (2-7-1) sit third in Group A, 18 points behind Sacramento for the second spot.
* Tacoma is tied for 23rd in the league in goals scored with just 15 on the year.
* Alec Diaz leads the team in goals with four in just seven games.
Inside 1868 FC
- Reno has a chance to clinch a playoff spot against Tacoma. If the boys in blue avoid a loss, they're guaranteed a top two spot in Group A and a spot in the playoffs. Reno's "magic number" on Tacoma is one.
- Reno is unbeaten in five-straight games, the longest such streak of the season. The five-game streak is the fifth-longest unbeaten streak in club history, and longest since a 16-game streak in 2018 that ended on July 28. Additionally, Reno is unbeaten this season when scoring even a single goal, and has yet to lose a game played on a Saturday.
- Reno is 5-0-3 all time against Tacoma Defiance (including 2017-18 when the club was Seattle Sounders II). Tacoma is one of eight different USL Championship clubs to have never beaten Reno. Of those eight clubs, Tacoma has had the most attempts at beating Reno. Wednesday's game will mark the ninth-ever meeting between the two sides, and third this season. Reno has won the first two games in 2020 by scores of 3-1 and 2-1.
- Foster Langsdorf has scored in five straight games for Reno, bringing his season total to six. The streak is the second-longest in club history, trailing Dane Kelly's six-game streak from 2017. Langsdorf's six goals on the season lead the team, and are tied for the 10th most in the league. Langsdorf's goals have come quickly, with the forward averaging a goal every 83.3 minutes.
- Reno takes on another Group A foe this week, and the club is currently situated atop the group with 25 points. Sacramento is tied with 25 points as well, but Reno has the first two tiebreakers over Sacramento, with more total wins and a +17 goal differential compared to Republic FC's +7. On the season, Reno is 5-2-1 against Group A, and 3-0-0 against out of group opponents.
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