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Match Preview: Sacramento Republic FC vs Reno 1868 FC

By Eddie Ralph, 10/13/17, 11:45AM PDT

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October 14, 2017; 7:00 p.m. PDT Kickoff

Sacramento Republic FC finish their three-match road stretch and the USL regular season when they travel about 100 miles east on I-80 to take on Reno 1868 FC on Saturday, Oct. 14. Kickoff is 7:00 p.m. PT at Greater Nevada Field. The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide. Republic FC are hosting watch parties at SacTown Sports Bar in Old Sac and The Brass Tap in Rocklin.

The match is the fourth and final meeting between Republic FC and Reno 1868 FC this season. Republic FC won the first matchup between the two, a 2-0 victory in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play on May 31, but Reno has come away victorious in both of the previous two matches, a 2-0 win on Jun. 10 and a 2-1 win Aug. 19. 

Republic FC come into the match after a 1-0 loss to Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Saturday, Oct. 7.  Despite the loss, Republic FC clinched a playoff spot with Orange County SC’s loss to Reno 1868 FC on Saturday.  Depending on the result of their match against Reno and results around the USL, Republic FC can finish as high as 6th or as low as 8th in the Western Conference standings.

Defender James Kiffe can become the first player in Republic FC history to start in every USL match in a single season with a start against Reno.  He would also become just the second player ever to appear in every USL match in a single season, joining Danny Barrera who played in all 30 USL matches for Republic FC last season.  Kiffe has made 38 consecutive USL starts dating back to Aug. 13, 2016.

Saturday will mark the return of Emrah Klimenta and Trevin Caesar who missed the last two matches representing their national teams in World Cup Qualifying matches.  Klimenta started and played the full 90 minutes in Montenegro’s 4-2 loss to Poland on Oct. 8, while Caesar made substitute appearances for Trinidad and Tobago in their 3-1 loss to Mexico on Oct. 6 and their 2-1 win over the U.S. on Oct. 10.

Republic FC are 1-1-1 in their history on the last day of the regular season, but have not lost since playing LA Galaxy II to a 2-1 defeat on Sept. 6, 2014.  Since then, Republic FC have played Orange County SC to a scoreless draw on Sept. 22, 2015 and beat Tulsa Roughnecks FC 4-0 in last season’s regular season finale on Sept. 24, 2016.  Interestingly enough, Republic FC have played the last regular season match at home just once in their history and that was in 2014.

Reno 1868 FC come into the match following a 4-1 win over Orange County SC on Saturday, Oct. 7.  With the win, Reno have now scored 73 goals on the season, most of any professional club in the country.  Despite their strong offense, Reno are also in the top third of the league defensively, allowing 37 goals in 31 matches.

Rookie midfielder Chris Wehan has taken the league by storm this season, scoring seven goals and leading the league with 12 assists.  The midfielder was a star at the University of New Mexico, scoring 31 goals in 80 collegiate matches.

Dane Kelly has also impressed this season, leading the league with 18 goals on the season.  Kelly has also added four assists to pad his resume for USL MVP.  The forward is the USL’s all-time leading goal-scorer with 66 goals in seven USL seasons.

Republic FC will host two official watch parties at SacTown Sports Bar in Old Sacramento and The Brass Tap in Rocklin. SacTown Sports Bar is located at 106 J St and The Brass Tap is located at 5150 Commons Dr. in Rocklin.  Fans are encouraged to arrive early for best seating.

The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide. Updates of the match will also be provided via Twitter @SacRepublicFC or using #RNOvSAC.