Reno 1868 FC falls 1-0 in preseason home opener
A converted penalty kick was the deciding factor Saturday night as Reno 1868 FC fell 1-0 to Switchbacks FC.
Reno 1868 FC players braved the elements Saturday after half a foot of snow covered Greater Nevada Field earlier that morning. Thanks to the efforts of the Reno 1868 FC and Reno Aces’ front office, Reno was able to play one of its final preseason matches leading up to the March 17 regular-season opener against Swope Park Rangers.
The first and only goal of the night came early as Switchbacks FC earned a penalty kick in the fifth minute after a Jordan Murrell foul. Defender Jordan Burt converted the chance to put Switchbacks FC up 1-0.
Reno had its chances in the first half with newcomer Jerry van Ewijk nearly converting a one-on-one chance with Switchbacks goalkeeper Steward Ceus. Veteran goal-scorer Antoine Hoppenot and fellow forward Brian Brown made up for Reno’s seven shots on target in the first half.
As Switchbacks FC held back and played a defensive heavy second-half, Reno was unable to penetrate as often leading to the narrow defeat.
Despite the loss, Reno saw a number of newcomers make their debut at Greater Nevada Field such as midfielder Guy Abend, defender James Kiffe, forward Mark Gonzalez and forward Danny Musovski among others.
Reno will play its final preseason match at Greater Nevada Field on Wednesday, March 7 against Real Monarchs SLC at 5:45 p.m. Tickets for that match and all matches are available at Reno1868FC.com.
Head Coach Ian Russell
On the overall performance…
“We had plenty of chances to score, but we’ll get better at finishing as we close out the preseason.”
On the weather…
“It was extremely cold. But they guys who came out, were die-hards.”
On the amount of minutes played…
“We had a lot of guys play 90 minutes tonight. We’re going to have another group of them play 90 against Real Monarch SLC.”
Defender Jordan Murrell
On the weather…
“Once you get running, you don’t even notice the cold.”
On the chances missed…
“Sometimes that happens. But we will get back to the training ground and work on our finishing.”
On the back four...
“I love the boys, from front to back. Everyone who works their tale off, that is what matters.”
Forward Antoine Hoppenot
On the preseason experience…
“I feel like we put ourselves in game-like positions today and saw situations we’ll see during the regular season.”
On preparing for the next match…
“We are able to watch the video and see things that we did wrong and right. Real Monarch SLC was the best team in the Western Conference last year and I think it will be a good test.”
On style of play this year…
“I think we’ll find ourselves on the ball this year more than we did last year.”