1868 Life (A Game Review Blog) RNOVSA

San Antonio FC came to Reno on Saturday to take on Reno 1868 FC. In Reno’s previous game they played some of their best soccer all year. San Antonio was coming off of a loss to Sacramento Republic FC. 

Pregame thoughts

Reno had to be sharp on both ends. I saw San Antonio as more of an offensive threat than other teams we had played recently. I also thought Reno should do what they have been doing a lot recently and score multiple times in a short period. Something like two goals in ten minutes. They have been doing that a lot lately to start or end halves. I didn’t think it was that far off from being a realistic expectation. 

If san Antonio was going to win I thought they would have to be sharp on defense. I was thinking that they would have to be more aware of what’s going on than they normally do. Mainly just watching out for Reno’s counter-attack. I thought their offense should be patient. I figured if they were doing things right on defense then the offensive opportunities would come. Then just don’t let Reno get up early. I don’t think any team wants to let goals in early but I think it should be emphasized when teams play Reno.  

What happened in the first half?

San Antonio Scored early in the 12’ minute. The goal was scored by Cristian Parano. It was a left-footed shot from outside the box. It was assisted by Walter Restrepo. 

Reno got a yellow card in the 14’ minute. Eric Calvillo was shown the card because of a hard foul. 

San Antonio got a yellow card in the 23’ minute. Bradford Jamieson got the yellow card for a handball. 

Bradford Jamieson was subbed out in the 35’ minute due to injury. It didn’t look like much when he went down after taking a shot that missed wide of the net. I thought he might have messed injured his leg because he took the shot from the infield part of the field. I was thinking that he might have gotten injured due to the field conditions. I found out later that he had a preexisting groin injury. He might have just retriggered his injury. 

San Antonio scored again in the 44’ minute. Cristian Parano would score again. The goal was assisted by Pecka. 

Reno received another yellow card to end the first half. This time the card would go to Gilbert Fuentes. He was given the card for a dive. 

What happened in the second half?

In the 50’ minute, Reno was shown another yellow card. The card was given to Eric Calvillo. It was his second of the night and he was sent off. He was given this card for a bad foul.

San Antonio would get their third of the night in the 56’ minute. Frank Lopez would get this one. Pecka would get the assist on this one as well. 

San Antonio would turn around and score in the very next minute to make it 4-0. This one would be scored by Jack Barmby and assisted by Walter Restrepo. 

Reno would get a yellow card in the 59’ minute. This one would go to Kevin Partida. He was given the card for a bad foul. 

Reno would finally score in the 71’ minute. This would be an unassisted goal by Sam Gleadle. 

The last thing that happened was that Moises Hernandez got a yellow card in the 82’ minute for a bad foul. 

After Match Thoughts

To start, San Antonio was playing way more aggressive than us. The referee should have put a stop to it early but didn’t. Ninety percent of the calls went San Antonio’s way in this one. Reno tried to match how aggressive San Antonio was playing. I think that we tried to do this because nothing was being called. This is part of why I think we got so many cards. 

Our midfield is really what killed us. They played flat. After San Antonio got the ball there was nothing we could do about it. Calvillo, Fuentes, and Haji didn’t even look like they wanted to be there. I think these three players are the reason our midfield played like garbage. None of those players were attacking defense. They looked like they were barely moving. They didn’t move the ball well.  

Eric Calvillo is a player from San Jose. This was his second game in Reno this year. He got sent out less than five minutes into the second half. I honestly think that he is garbage. He has only made a couple of appearances with San Jose. I think they sent him here just to get playing time. 

The only players I thought were making a difference in the game were Sam Gleadle and Corey Hertzog. Sam, despite being a sub made a significant impact on the game. Not only did he score for Reno but he was the hardest working guy on the field. There were a couple of times I saw that he made an offensive play and turned around and made a defensive play. 

Why did things turn out the way they did? It’s really simple. It’s because of the San Jose Earthquakes. Recently they have been more involved in what’s going on on the pitch. The first couple of years they have pretty much left Reno alone. They have trusted Reno to properly develop their players. Which Reno has done a good job of so far. Then in July, something changed. Out of nowhere halfway through our season San Jose decided that they wanted us to play their system. To me, that doesn’t make any scene. We’re in the middle of the season. We’re doing well and now you want to change things up? Why didn’t you make these changes at the beginning of the season? Why don’t you wait until the end of the season? Why now? 

This hurts everyone. The players and staff have to adjust to the new system. That adjustment period is a period in which the team will not be as competitive. This will make it harder for the team to win. This will hurt the team in the standings. Those factors will also hurt the teams’ ticket sales as well. 

On top of making changes to our system. San Jose is also not happy with the amount of playing time their players are getting. They are now telling Reno who they can play and how much time different players are getting. San Jose went as far as to send players to Reno the day before a match, and then tell Reno that their players have to play. Those players only got in a single practice before the game. That doesn’t prepare them enough to be helpful to anyone. This also affects the current player’s mindsets. It shows them that no matter how hard they work or how good they are that San Jose players come first. This has to be frustrating for the players and is extremely frustrating as a fan. 

As a coach this sucks. You are being told what to do and how to do it. The whole point of a coach is to make decisions so that the team can be successful. What San Jose is doing right now could kill the team. It looks like San Jose wants to turn Reno into a reserve team. I think it was a miracle that Ian Russell stayed with Reno for 2019. I do not expect him to come back next year. 

Unfortunately, Reno 1868 FC has to rely on a partnership with an MLS team. It’s in the foundation of the club. The club has such a low budget for players, that if we don’t have a partnership with another team we won’t be able to be competitive. Our budget is so small we would never be able to attract players like Dane Kelly, Chris Wehan or Brian Brown. We wouldn’t be able to because we have to spend most of our budget on the bulk of the team with not enough funds to secure top players. 

So there is a lot of issues created by outside factors as to why we didn’t even play competitively on Saturday. Those issues have allowed us to see even deeper issues in the clubs foundation. Ultimately, if we continue to play like this we won’t make the playoffs. We were fighting for first but I think most fans would agree that that is an unrealistic expectation at this point. 

This game does get me upset thinking about it. It puts into perspective how much Reno is at the mercy of San Jose. Our boys are good at putting a tough loss behind them quickly. I’m hoping that they can do that this week. I don’t expect us to win our next match. A win would be huge for us. However, it wouldn’t make a difference in the standings. 

I hope you enjoyed this blog. I know it’s not like how these normally go but I had a lot to say. I would love to hear what your thoughts are on this. Stay tuned for more.  

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