A nine-goal barrage and third-straight shutout puts Reno in USL record book
Goal. Goal. Goal.
The Reno 1868 FC public addresser got a vocal workout on Monday as the home side put together a United Soccer League record setting 9-0 demolition of LA Galaxy 2.
The win in front of 5,140 fans was the largest in USL history and pushed Reno’s goal differential to a USL best +19.
“I don’t think this was something I planned for or thought about,” Reno coach Ian Russell said. “It just shows that our team can score a lot of goals. We can get goals from any position. A lot of different players can score goals.”
The commanding win, coming just three days after a scoreless draw with Phoenix, pushed Reno (7-4-4) into a two-way tie for fourth place with Sacramento. It’s now 5-1-3 at Greater Nevada Field and is unbeaten at home in its last eight. Los Angeles (3-11-2) fell for the sixth time in its last seven.
While the offense grabbed the headlines, keeper Matt Bersano quietly turned in his third consecutive clean sheet for a defense that hasn’t allowed a goal in over 315 minutes of soccer. Bersano’s six shutouts put him alone in second place in the USL. San Antonio’s Diego Restrepo has seven.
“I think it was just one of those nights where everything kind of worked,” Russell said. “It was one of those magical nights.”
The scoring barrage started with a strong assist just three minutes in when Los Angeles netted an own goal. Five minutes later, Dane Kelly scored his 13th goal this season off a Chris Wehan assist to snap a three-match scoreless streak. Kelly is now one back of Charleston’s Romario Williams for the USL lead.
In the 11th minute, defender Jordan Murrell scored off a Seth Casiple assist, their first hookup of the night.
Reno entered halftime with a commanding 4-0 lead and did not stop after coming back onto the pitch.
Another Murell goal in the 49th minute, with another assist by Casiple, made it 5-0 Reno.
In the 66th minute, Wehan found Matt LaGrassa on a cross into the box and LaGrassa headed in Reno’s sixth goal of the night.
“We’ve been joking about it as a team,” LaGrassa said. “I mean, I take a lot of shots and tonight I was able to find the back of the net. It felt good.”
The goal tied Reno 1868 FC’s mark for most goals this season.
Wehan scored goals of his own in the 76th (assist to Antoine Hoppenot) and 84th minutes to finish with two goals and two assists. That 8-0 lead tied the previous USL record set in an 8-0 win by VSI Tampa Bay against Antigua Barracuda FC in 2013.
In the 88th minute, Darwin Espinal etched Reno 1868 FC into the record books with Reno’s ninth goal of the night and his first in a Reno 1868 FC uniform. It was just Espinal’s third match with Reno.
Reno wraps up a three-game homestand on Saturday with an international friendly against Atlas FC of Liga MX. First touch is at 7:30 p.m.
A road match next Saturday at Vancouver (4-8-3) precedes a home meeting with Portland (1-13-2), Saturday, July 22.