Reno’s professional soccer team ceases operations | NevadaAppeal.com
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Reno’s professional soccer team ceases operations

By Carter Eckl ceckl@nevadaappeal.com
Reno 1868's Corey Hertzog celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal of the Western Conference Semifinals against Phoenix Rising last month.
Ron Harpin

RENO – Reno 1868 FC first began play in 2017, but Friday morning the club up north announced it was ceasing all operations, following the 2020 season.

“Like you, this isn’t the way we saw 2020 going. With that said, we have made the gut-wrenching decision to cease our participation in the USL Championship,” said Reno 1868 FC president Eric Edelstein in a press release. “Today we find ourselves in a world-wide community beset by a pandemic and we are unexpectedly forced to make a tough decision. I am heartbroken to let go of Reno 1868 FC and I apologize to all who are disappointed that we are ending our participation in the USL Championship.”

Through its four seasons of existence under general manager Doug Raftery and head coach Ian Russell, the club had an impressive record of 62-26-28.

The 2020 season for Reno was a bumpy ride for the entire USL after play was initially postponed after the season’s first two contests due to the ongoing pandemic.

After returning to play in the middle of July, the 1868 put together a 10-2-3 clip to earn the No. 1 in the USL playoffs before getting ousted by Phoenix Rising FC in penalty kicks in the Western Conference semifinal.

Reno was one of only three professional soccer teams to play in an existing baseball stadium.

“Soccer in America is quickly outgrowing baseball stadiums. The club believed a soccer stadium in northern Nevada would be necessary for soccer to expand and compete in the current landscape of second division professional soccer,” read the press release. “This prospect for 1868 FC was difficult pre-COVID-19, but in a prolonged pandemic it became unrealistic.”