1868 Life (A Game Review Blog) RNOVRGV

Rio Grande Valley FC Toros would come to Reno on Wednesday for the third Reno 1868 FC match in a week. This would be the first time Reno took on Rio Grande Valley this season. 

Pregame thoughts

I was fairly confident about this one. More so than I was about the Reno vs Sacramento game (1868 Life (A Game Review Blog) RNOVSAC). Beating Sacramento and the way Reno did it gave me some of that confidence. The other thing that boosted my confidence was that Rio Grande Valley lost to Austin Bold in their last league match. The reason that that is significant is that Reno come from behind win against Austin. 

I thought that Reno needed to continue to play how we did on Saturday. I think that playing that way is really important at this point in the season. I think that they need to start stringing wins together if they want to get into the playoffs and make an impact. The only way to do that is to play at the same level they played against Sacramento. 

What happened in the first half? 

It’s not in the highlights but both teams would get fairly good chances in the first minute of play. 

Reno would almost score off of a corner kick in the 19’ minute. I did think that there was an unusually large amount of corner kicks during the match. Reno would get like two or three at a time. There was a total of 13 corner kicks by Reno. 

Reno would score on a rocket of a shot in by Sam Gleadle in the 23’ minute. The shot was right footed and came from just outside the box. The shot went right into the top right corner. The keeper didn’t have a chance. The play was set up by Duke Lacroix (who got the assist). Duke put the ball in open space just in front of Sam. Sam was able to get to the ball before the Rio Grande Valley defender, taking the defender out of the play in the process. Sam created space by going wide to get around the other defender. When he had space, he took the shot. 

In the 32’ minute, there was a yellow card issued to Jacob AKanyirige. He started out with the San Jose academy team. He signed with San Jose back in 2017. He is only 17 and it doesn’t look like he has played at all for San Jose outside of the academy. He is on loan to Reno from San Jose. This was his second game in Reno. This was the first game where he got playing time. He was substituted at the half for Sergio Rivas. 

Reno would score again in the 45’ minute. This would be another goal by Sam Gleadle. This time the assist would come from Gilbert Fuentes. Fuentes would carry the ball through most of the midfield. He would set up Sam by putting the ball just past the defenders. The keeper came out way out of position to try to challenge for the ball. Sam would only have to tap it once to put it in the net. Sam had way to much space for the keeper to try to come out to try and challenge for it. If he could just tap it in he could have gone around the keeper. I think Corti should have stayed in the net. I think that he could have challenged Sam to take a difficult shot. His defenders were coming back to help him out. That meant that he didn’t have a strong passing option. Corti making the wrong choice and challenging for the ball means that that goal is all on his fault. 

In the 47’ minute, Sam would hit the crossbar after a corner kick. I was in the Douglas Alley Renegades cage when this happened. Being right there and only a few feet from the net is exciting. When he took the shot, I thought it was going in. When I heard the rattle of the crossbar I couldn’t believe it. Sam was only inches away from a hat trick.  

Reno would score the again in the 58’ minute. Corey Hertzog would get this one off of an assist from Sam Gleadle. The play would be set up by Reno at the top of the attacking third. None of the defenders from Rio Grande Valley could stop any of the Reno ball carriers. The ball was in front of Sam inside the box. This would draw two defenders with all five of the defenders in the box watching. Sam then put a pass through the two defenders guarding him and past a third defender to get the ball, Corey. Corey would just tap the ball right into the back of the net. The whole play was a really bad effort from the Rio Grande Valley defense. They started the play by coming out of position to try to challenge for the ball. None of them were marking their men. All of them were watching the ball. I don’t think any of them knew that Corey or Cade Cowell was in the box. I think Reno did a good job to recognize the faults in the Rio Grande Valley defense. They did a great job on that play of being aware of where everyone was and getting the ball to them. Overall, it’s a play I like to see and that I would like to see more of. 

Reno would score the last goal of the game in the 51’ minute. This one would be scored by Zach Carroll and assisted by Seth Casiple. Zach would put a left-foot shot into the bottom left corner from the center of the box. The shot would come following a corner kick. Zach kicked the ball while it was still in the air. He was being guarded pretty heavily. There was nothing anyone from Rio Grande Valley could do once he took the shot. The defender couldn’t have been guarding him any better. Corti was still in the middle of the net and wasn’t prepared for the shot to come from where it did. I think this play was a good way for Reno to show that no matter what Rio Grande Valley did they couldn’t stop Reno from scoring. The keeper was in position and preparing for a shot. The defender defending the shot couldn’t have been in a more shot restricting position. 

Referee thoughts 

There was a total of four yellow cards throughout the game. I think there should have been more. I thought a lot more should have been called. There were at least three different times that play basically stopped because players on both sides thought a foul would be called that wasn’t. To me, I think that’s a really bad sign. I think that that means that as a ref you’re not doing your job right or you don’t know what you are doing. One thing that really stood out to me was the foul by Kevin Rodriguez in the 90’ minute. By that point, the game had been decided about 30 minutes ago. He decided to foul a Reno player. I don’t know if he was upset about the result or what but he looked like he had the intent to injure on that foul. I think any challenge coming that late in the match with any intent to foul or if it is going to be a yellow card should be a red card. I think that’s one major mistake that the ref made. I did really like the line judges though. I thought that called a fair game. That was the only positive about the officiating from the game. I give the officiating 2/10 overall. That’s only one less point then the last Reno game. 

After match thoughts

I did think that Rio Grande Valley would play a little better than they did. I thought their offense would have created a few more chances and capitalized on one. Their offense didn’t show up at all last night. Their performance though leads me to believe that they don’t have any offense at all. Their recent scores basically prove that. With this win, Reno is building a lot of momentum in the past week. I would love to say that the Phoenix home game was the clubs turning point in becoming a top team in the west. We won’t know if that is true until the end of the season but right now it looks like that is the direction Reno is headed in. The way they played in these last two games is how they need to play if they want to keep that second-place spot. If they continue down this road I can see them being a top contender for the cup. 

Current standings

7/4/19

West 

1. Phoenix Rising FC 

2. Reno 1868 FC

3. Fresno FC

4. Portland Timbers 2

5. El Paso Locomotive

East 

1.Tampa Bay Rowdies

2. Indy Eleven 

3. New York Red Bulls 2

4. North Carolina FC

5. Nashville SC

Next match 

Friday, July 12, 2019. Liga MX comes back to Reno for the third year in a row. Reno will be taking on Club America U20’s. The game will take place at Greater Nevada Field. Kickoff will be at 7:30. This none league matchup will be the third time Reno 1868 FC has taken on a Liga MX team. Reno is 0-3 against Liga MX teams. 

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