1868 FC Soccer at Greater Nevada FieldSep 07, 2019 01:34PM ● By Dallas Melum
Recently, I had the honor of being invited to “the pitch” for a Reno 1868 match vs. the Phoenix Rising FC. Unfortunately, Reno was shut out 3-0 for their first loss at home in 2019. Only the club’s 6th time being shutout, ever! So, way back in 2015 you may have heard our community was welcoming another professional sports franchise. This was the Reno 1868, who competes in the USL Championship, or the second professional tier behind the MLS. While not every team in the USL is affiliated with a team in the MLS, the Reno 1868 and San Jose Earthquakes share an affiliation. Much like their “ballpark-neighbors,” the Reno Aces with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Now, the Reno-Sparks area has two great options to enjoy at this beautiful ballpark.
The Reno Aces boast big names coming through town on rehab assignments and simply making their way to “the show.” Well the Reno 1868 is doing the same thing. Last season, Brian Brown, a then 26-year-old Forward, took home top-5 honors for scoring in the USL with 17! At the time of the article, he is away playing with the Jamaican National Team in the Gold Cup. The San Jose Earthquakes purchased three players from Reno in 2017. These players were, Jimmy Ockford, Luis Felipe, Chris Wehan. Reno currently has 3 players under the age of 18 on the roster! A 15 & two 17-year-olds. This “young” franchise shows a lot of potential.
While there is not much stadium transition to take note of from “Aceball” to the 1868 matches, there is indeed a change in the crowd. During a soccer match, cheering is non-stop and noisemakers are encouraged (drums, vuvuzelas, & even old fashioned rowdiness). Soccer matches also include two extended breaks between periods. On this wonderful, windless, summer night, those break periods also included a mad rush to the $1 beer stand in the outfield pavilion - another good reason to check out an 1868 FC match!
Check Reno1868fc.com for full schedule, $1 beer nights, and all things 1868 FC. Here's a list of the final four home matches and some fun Fall 2019 events:
· 10/ 7 Súper Clásico De Leyendas @ 4 pm
· 10/7 vs. Fresno FC @ 6:45 pm
o Noche Latina & Fireworks
· 10/10 vs. Tacoma Defiance @ 6:45 pm
· 10/28 vs. Real Monarchs SLC @ 5:45 pm
o Soccer Ball Giveaway
· 11/5 vs El Paso Locomotive FC @ 5:45 pm
o Oktoberfest Weekend & Beer Stein Giveaway
Whether the title of “America’s Favorite Pastime” is still relevant today, baseball has a rich history within the states and has always been considered part of the big three major sports in America; Baseball, Football, and Basketball...listed in order by revenue. Until recently, the game of soccer in America had been far behind international competition. Shout out to the US Women’s Soccer Team for starting multiple movements in America with their World Cup victory. Soccer is a game that has a history that dates farther back than that of the United States of America, so one could argue, that our position is collectively understandable. Yet as Americans, “competition” is a personal affair, thus here we are with the Reno 1868 competing in the USL Championship.
Overall, my night at 1868 FC was truly an amazing experience. I ran into a good friend who introduced me to a bunch of other fun people, had some great food, cold beer, and got pumped up by the energy of the crowd; so many fans stoked to be there hyping up their Reno 1868 team. Mostly everyone I talked to was there for their first time besides a few die-hards. Come to think of it, the real die-hards were in the stands giving the rest of us a taste of the true Reno 1868 experience. Reportedly, the weekends are when the butts fill the seats and the place is rockin’. However, this Tuesday night there was a good number of children, which was great to see because this truly is a community affair. After the games, the kids usually get to run on the field and meet the mascot. There is a little play place beyond the outfield berm. the best part, however, is seeing the kids get inspired by local athletes; envisioning themselves in their shoes, shooting for the same goals, and dreaming big.