Sacramento Republic FC will make the trip a few hours up I-80 to Reno to take on one of the newest USL teams, Reno 1868 FC in a preseason friendly match on Saturday, Mar. 11. Kickoff is 4 p.m. PT at Greater Nevada Field.
This match will be the first time that the two sides have met as 2017 is 1868 FC’s inaugural season. The match will serve as a preview of the three regular season matchups between the two clubs this season. Republic FC will travel to Reno on Jun. 10 and Oct. 14, while 1868 FC will make the trip to Sacramento on Aug. 19.
Republic FC enter the match after a 2-2 draw with FC Cincinnati on Mar. 4 at Papa Murphy’s Park in a preseason friendly. Republic FC controlled the possession and chances in the match and took the lead late, but a stoppage time goal by former Republic FC defender Harrison Delbridge saw the visitors capturing a draw.
Forward Wilson Kneeshaw and defender James Kiffe scored Republic FC’s two goals against FC Cincinnati. Kneeshaw has three goals this preseason, having also scored in a closed door scrimmage against SF City FC on Wednesday, Mar. 8. Kiffe’s goal was his first of the preseason, but the defender is currently tied for the preseason lead in assists with two. Kiffe had a career-high five assists from his left back position in 2016.
Reno 1868 FC come into the match after beating the Fresno Fuego 4-0 in a friendly match on Mar. 4. Forward Dane Kelly scored a hat trick with Mackenzie Pridham scoring the other 1868 FC goal, as Reno continued their high scoring preseason, scoring 20 goals in six matches.
Republic FC will see a few familiar faces on the pitch with Pridham and Matt LaGrassa playing against their former club for the first time. Pridham made 19 USL appearances for Republic FC in 2016, scoring three goals. LaGrassa, an Elk Grove-native, made 13 USL appearances, scoring a goal and adding two assists.