Reno 1868 FC players are once again kings of goal scoring in North America after the team recorded six goals in a rout of Portland Timbers 2 Saturday night.
Playoff-bound Reno crushed Portland 6-1 in front of 5,640 fans, putting the club up to 69 regular season goals this year (a USL record).
Reno forward Dane Kelly, who returned Saturday from a one-match suspension, reclaimed the top spot in the race for the USL’s Golden Boot. Kelly opened up scoring in the 10th minute to put Reno up 1-0 after an assist by defender Kip Colvey.
Three minutes later, Kelly notched his 18th goal this season (most in the USL) to put Reno up 2-0 after an assist by Chris Wehan. The assist was Wehan’s 11th this season, the most in the USL.
Kelly wasn’t done as he found a sprinting Lindo Mfeka in the 32nd minute for Mfeka’s fourth goal in two matches.
Reno entered halftime with a commanding 3-0 lead and the club didn’t take the foot off the gas pedal after halftime.
Forward Antoine Hoppenot recorded his 10th goal this season in the 49th minute to put Reno up 4-0 after an assist by Matt LaGrassa. Ten minutes later, Reno was up 5-0 after another Hoppenot goal, with the backheel assist from Mfeka.
Hoppenot became the second Reno player to score 10 or more goals this year.
Reno’s final goal of the night came from sub Mac Pridham who put Reno up 6-0 before Portland broke up the clean sheet in the 73rd minute after a goal by Max Ornstil.
Reno is now within two points of first place in the USL’s Western Conference and remains in sole control of second place.
Reno will host Western Conference leaders Real Monarchs SLC on Sept. 30 at Greater Nevada Field (6:45 p.m.) in a showdown for first place. That match will feature Oktoberfest sponsored by RN&R. The first 1,868 fans will receive a Bavarian hat courtesy of Wild 102.9 FM.
Reno 1868 FC Postgame Quotes
Head Coach Ian Russell
On the win…
“It was a good win tonight. We’ve had three games in a week so it’s always concerning when you have that many games, especially playing against a fresh team like Portland. So a good result, good season so far. We just want to keep it going into the playoffs.”
On what’s behind the offense right now…
“I think we’ve been kind of doing it all year. We just have a lot of players that can score goals on this team. Whether it be our defenders, strikers or midfielders. So we just hope to continue scoring like this while also trying to avoid conceding goals.”
On what’s next…
“We come back to face a tough Real Monarchs SLC team next Saturday. We’re closing in on first place and we know this will be an important match for us.”
Midfielder Lindo Mfeka
On playing in cold conditions…
“I mean the cold weather is not my favorite, but right now it’s serving us well. We want wins like we got today. It feels pretty good.”
On his big night…
“It’s all my teammates. If you look at the goals and how they went in, most of the work they did was for me and I just tap it in. So I am just trying to look for it and get in the box.”
On the team…
“I mean it’s amazing. All these guys are professional players. They’ve been playing for a while. Learning from all of them is just great. I could ask for a better place.”
Forward Antoine Hoppenot
On what was different this time against Portland Timbers 2…
“I think we just finished our chances. I think the first time we had a lot of chances as well, we just didn’t finish. Today, Dane started off scoring two great goals with his head. That helped put us at ease and we scored the other ones.”
On Lindo’s assist…
“Lindo has had a couple of incredible games. He’s been playing really well and has been putting people in really good spots. He just makes it so easy for everyone when he plays well. And he’s certainly done that.”
On what is clicking…
“I think we just got comfortable with one another. We understand what runs people are making and it makes it easier once you are on the same pages. We’ve been doing that all year and we’re just going to try to keep it going.”
Reno 1868 FC Press Release