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Vargish's View: Switchbacks Look For Similar Result Against Reno At Home

By Roland Vargish, 05/03/18, 9:00AM MDT

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Photo Courtesy Reno 1868 FC

Reno 1868 FC visit Weidner Field this Saturday evening to face the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Cinco de Mayo, with Colorado Technical University sponsoring a cushion giveaway for the first 500 fans.  

The Switchbacks are winless since a rampant 4-0 win against Saturday’s opponents on April 14th at Greater Nevada Field in Reno.  A narrow 2-1 loss for the Switchbacks in Sacramento was followed by a goalless draw with the Seattle Sounders FC 2.  Last Saturday, the Switchbacks were unlucky to lose 1-0 at Champions Soccer Stadium at OC Great Park to Orange County SC.

“No matter what the score of the first game, this Saturday is still a home game and we have to win those and play well and use our strengths,” said Switchbacks Head Coach Steve Trittschuh.  “We’ve talked over and over about scoring. We’re just not finishing our chances right now. Defensively we’re strong and we’ll need that because Reno have good players.”

“The big win against them definitely adds to our confidence because we know they’ll be thinking about it,” said Marty Maybin.  “They’ll be ready for a new start and it sets us up for a competitive game. They’re a good team – we saw that earlier this year even though we won – but we’re glad to be back home and ready for the week.”

Reno 1868 FC played to a tense 0-0 draw against Rio Grande Valley FC on Wednesday morning at H-E-B Park in Edinburg, Texas.  Not a typo: the 09:30 MT kickoff was by far the earliest in the USL, as the rescheduled match had to be shoehorned into a packed schedule for both clubs.

Statistically, Reno slightly edged Wednesday’s match, with RGV FC ‘keeper Nicolas Corti making five saves to keep Reno scoreless.  

Midfielder Kevin Partida was named a starter on the USL’s Team of the Week after his strike against the Oklahoma City Energy FC set Reno 1868 FC on their way to last Saturday’s 2-0 win.  Former San Jose Earthquakes striker Danny Musovski leads Reno 1868 in goals with 3 after scoring a match-winning brace against the Portland Timbers 2 on April 21st in a 2-1 Reno 1868 FC victory at the University of Portland’s Merlo Field.

Musovski was removed from the 0-0 draw against RGV in the 57th minute for Brian Brown.  Reno 1868 FC Head Coach Ian Russell will no doubt be hoping his star hitman Musovski will be fit for Saturday’s match against the Switchbacks, with this weekend’s hosts well aware of the quality Reno will bring.

“We know they’re a dangerous team and they’ve been able to score some goals,” said Trittschuh.  “[Danny] Musovski is a player who can score goals in this league. [Antoine] Hoppenot is a good player too.  Kevin Partida on Team of the Week after the goal. Being able to have a week here before Saturday will help us and we can watch Reno.  They’ll be trying to get one after earlier this season – that’s one of the things we’re going to have to be ready for this time. They’re going to be full of energy and we have to match that.  We can’t think of the 4-0. They’ve changed themselves since that game. On Wednesday, we’ll get to see a little bit more of what they’re about and that will help with the rest of our week.”

Goals from AJ Ajeakwa, Luke Vercollone, and Jamal Jack set the Switchbacks on their way to the 4-0 win on April 14th.  Reno 1868 FC are undefeated since the large loss to the Switchbacks, with back-to-back wins against the Portland Timbers 2 and Oklahoma City Energy FC coming before Wednesday morning’s draw against Rio Grande Valley FC.

“They know we beat them in the last game and they are going to try even harder to get the win,” said Jamal Jack.  “It’s good we’re back and we will come back full-force at home. It’s going to be a close game – both teams will be going all out for all three points.”

“Reno are on a bit on a run of not losing now,” said Saeed Robinson.  “I expect a competitive game and a close game – the first game against them shouldn’t matter.  They like to possess the ball and pass quickly so it’s going to be hard to play that way on our field the way it is now.  Hopefully we will use being here to help us and spend some time together working while Reno have a tough game in the week.  They’re a good team and we must worry only about Saturday.”

The Switchbacks will remain in Colorado Springs after this weekend’s match as they prepare for their first Friday night home game of 2018 with the inaugural visit of the Las Vegas Lights FC to Weidner Field.  Pikes Peak Brewing Company will be sponsoring a hat giveaway on Military Appreciation Night for Las Vegas’ visit on May 11th. Fans are encouraged to wear RED to Remember Everyone Deployed.  Tickets start at just $12 and are available here.