Reno 1868 FC welcomed United Soccer League’s Orange County SC in the club’s season kickoff, Saturday night at Greater Nevada Field. With 5,691 fans in attendance, 1868 FC walked away with a 2-0 defeat.
Reno’s newest professional franchise is now 0-2-1 overall, 0-1 in league play.
“We started off slow and did better in the second half. We had some chance to score, but couldn’t finish,” Reno coach Ian Russell said. “We’re an expansion team so it’s going to take a little time to figure out all the players and we will get better as we go.”
In the 45th minute, OC forward Markus Lacroix whipped a ball toward the goal from the left corner to hit the inside post and beat Reno’s keeper Andrew Tarbell and brought the score 2-0 minutes before the half. It was his second goal of the night.
Reno 1868 started off strong in the first half with a chance in the opening minute. Forward Dane Kelly ran the ball down the right side of the pitch only to be stopped by the hands of Orange County goalkeeper Charlie Lyon. In the 31st minute, Orange County’s Lacroix opened the scoring with a left-footed shot from the center of the box into the bottom left corner of the net. Lacroix then scored again in stoppage time before the half.
Kelly had a good chance to tally a goal for Reno 1868 in the 52nd minute, but was taken out in the box from a rough challenge and awarded no penalty. Reno 1868 made a tactical substitution by taking out Mackenzie Pridham for Brian Brown in the 56th minute to change up its offense. Immediately after taking the pitch, Brown had a chance to earn a goal back, but overshot the ball off his right foot from the right side of the box.
“It was an unfortunate result,” Reno midfielder Chris Wehan said. “There were a few mistakes in the first half, and we came out strong in the second half. We just couldn’t find the back of the net.”
Reno remains at Greater Nevada Field on Saturday for a home match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2. First touch is at 7 p.m.
“It should be a good game,” Russell said. “They are an MLS side so we expect to see some good talent and it should be a good game for us.”