Photo courtesy David Calvert / Reno 1868 FC
RENO, Nev. – Two of the top-five goalscorers in the 2017 USL regular season could square off when No. 3-seed Reno 1868 FC makes its USL Cup Playoffs debut by hosting No. 6-seed OKC Energy FC in the Western Conference Quarterfinals on Saturday night at Greater Nevada Field, with Reno’s USL Golden Boot-winner Dane Kelly and OKC’s Jose Angulo potentially taking center stage for two potent attacks. Kickoff for #RNOvOKC is set for 8:45 p.m. ET and the game can be seen live on the USL Match Center.
@Reno1868FC had a historic inaugural season in the USL, setting a single-season record with 75 goals to finish just outside the top two in the Western Conference. At the forefront was the attacking trio of Kelly, who recorded a single-season career-high of 18 goals to claim the Golden Boot, rookie Chris Wehan, whose 12 assists also led the league, and Antoine Hoppenot, who bridged the two with 12 goals and six assists to finish second on the team in both categories. Reno’s defense was also solid, posting 10 shutouts, but after leading the USL with 199 shots on goal – an average of 6.2 per game – and a 19.8 percent conversion rate that ranked only behind Real Monarchs SLC, it will be 1868’s FC attack that will draw the spotlight in its first postseason.
@EnergyFC brings playoff experience into Greater Nevada Field, with the side having won at least one game in each of the past two postseasons. Last year OKC managed that as an underdog as well, scoring two late goals to defeat then No. 2-seed Rio Grande Valley FC in a thrilling contest in South Texas. This year, though, Energy FC is coming into the playoffs looking ready to make a run after winning four consecutive games to conclude the regular season. Angulo has led the way in those efforts, scoring six goals and adding three assists in October to lead OKC back to the postseason. Energy FC’s last defeat came in a 3-0 loss in Reno last month, a fact that could only add to the visitors’ motivation going in.
66 – Reno 1868 FC forward Dane Kelly’s career-best total of 18 goals this season moved him to 66 goals all-time in the USL regular season, the most of any player in the league’s modern era.
189 – OKC Energy FC completed the most corners and crosses in the league with 189 in the regular season, which came on an accuracy rate of 31.91 percent.
Reno (4-4-2) – GK: Matt Bersano; D: Kip Colvey, Jimmy Ockford, Brenton Griffiths, Nick von Niederhausen; M: Luis Felipe, Matt LaGrassa, Lindo Mfeka, Chris Wehan; F: Antoine Hoppenot, Dane Kelly
OKC (4-4-2) – GK: C.J. Cochran; D: Richard Dixon, Mickey Daly, Anthony Wallace, Kyle Kyland; M: Alex Dixon, Juan Pablo Guzman, Jose Barril, Miguel Gonzalez; F: Jose Angulo, Wojchech Wojcik
Reno – None
OKC – None
REF: VICTOR RIVAS
AR1: Seth Martin
AR2: Stephen McGonagle
4TH: Shawn Stimpson