After downing Didier Drogba’s Phoenix Rising FC on the road Saturday, Republic FC turn their sights to Reno 1868 FC for a Wednesday night showdown at Greater Nevada Field. Before Wednesday’s kickoff, get to know Republic FC’s opponent.
Despite controlling a seven-game unbeaten streak, Reno find themselves on the outside looking in within the Western Conference. Their last win came just over a week and a half ago, when they defeated Republic FC 3-2 in comeback fashion at Papa Murphy’s Park. Prior to the defeat of Sacramento in their best performance of the season, the Reno side logged three straight draws and are coming off of their fourth draw in five games, this one against Seattle Sounders FC 2. 1868 FC started off the year with a rough 1-5-1 record, but have since turned things around as they aim to climb the ladder in the conference standings.
New to the club as of Monday is San Jose Earthquakes Academy standout, Ivan Valencia. A defensive midfielder by trade, Valencia has been known to pivot between a holding midfield position and attacking midfield. The 19-year-old out of Guadalajara, Mexico has been one of the premier academy players in the MLS and has played with fellow academy players against Bayern Munich. Valencia is a hard worker and will likely prove his worth through his technical play.
Antoine Hoppenot has proved a playmaker thus far in the 2018 season for Reno 1868 FC. The 27-year-old midfielder/forward scored 12 goals for Reno last season, but despite the fact he has yet to find the back of the net this season, he’s already notched four assists, leading his squad. The French-born-American has averaged 24.9 passes per 90 minutes in 2018, connecting for 16 key passes and winning 41 of his 91 duels.
Sacramento Republic FC made their way out onto the front foot in the early going of their last meeting with Reno 1868 FC, however three late goals proved their undoing, allowing their first home loss at Papa Murphy’s Park on May 12. Republic FC netted the early goal within two minutes of the opening whistle as Jure Matjasic took a one-touch shot on goal, tallying his first goal for Sacramento. Cameron Iwasa followed suit 10 minutes later, controlling a long ball with his chest before breaking into a dead sprint towards goal. Iwasa beat the keeper, doubling up their opponent and taking the lead into the half. However, starting in the 57th minute, Reno 1868 FC stormed back with three goals in five minutes, and were able to hold on to the 3-2 line through the final whistle.
Reno 1868 FC has surprisingly fared better away from Greater Nevada Field this season then they have at home. All three of the team’s losses have come at home, as well as their 2-0 win against OKC Energy FC April 28, and a lone draw. However, on the road Reno has captured points in all six games they have played, good for a 2-0-4 record.
Republic FC will look to snap Reno 1868 FC’s seven-game unbeaten streak when they kickoff at 7:30 pm this Wednesday at Greater Nevada Field.
Updates will be provided via Twitter at @SacRepublicFC or using #USOC2018.
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