Reno 1868 FC readies for final friendly against Sacramento Republic
RENO, Nev. (News 4) —
Following the 1868’s 1-0 loss to the San Jose Quakes, head coach Ian Russell talked about the team's conditioning.
With only one friendly left before the regular season, the team feels they’re in the best shape they’ve been in all year.
"We’re in our final stretch, we got a couple of weeks before our first game so the guys are, I’d say about 85-90 percent at their top fitness level,” said Russell.
Saturday’s match welcomes Sacramento Republic FC, one of the premier franchises in the United Soccer League -- and the 1868’s potential rival.
"Well first of all, they’ve been kind of the top team in the western conference the last 4 years, so we know there’s going to be a big challenge for us. But I think we just want to limit their time on the ball and press them and try to make it a game where we can get on top of them,” said Russell.
For midfielder Matt LaGrassa, when he hits the pitch on Saturday, he’ll be taking on his former team for the first time.
“I think it’s just excitement more than anything. I obviously still have friends that play there, I know the front office there and a lot of people involved with the club and I’m just excited. One to see them all but to compete with them. I think this rivalry is going to be great,” LaGrassa said.
“I think for him it’s kind of a special game, anytime you leave a team and go play your former team. It’s kinda different but we know these guys, we scout them a lot, they’re our neighbors, so we know them and we’re just ready to play,” said Russell.
The 90-minute match against Sac Republic starts at 4 p.m. Saturday at Greater Nevada Field.