TAMPA, Fla. – Reno 1868 FC announced Friday that it had ceased operations following the 2020 USL Championship season.
Reno 1868 president Eric Edelstein said the franchise’s demise after four seasons was do to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects.
“To our fans, our players, our community partners, and everyone who has been involved with Reno 1868 FC, we hope you and your families are safe and healthy amidst these challenging times,” he said in a statement. “Like you, this isn’t the way we saw 2020 going. With that said, we have made the gut-wrenching decision to cease our participation in the USL Championship.
“Today we find ourselves in a world-wide community beset by a pandemic and we are unexpectedly forced to make a tough decision. I am heartbroken to let go of Reno 1868 FC and I apologize to all who are disappointed that we are ending our participation in the USL Championship.”
Reno 1868 FC achieved success on the field throughout its four seasons in the USL Championship, reaching the playoffs on all four tmes while posting a regular season record of 62-26-28. In 2020, Reno finished with the best record in the Championship’s regular season (11-2-3, 36 points) before being eliminated in the Western Conference semifinals by Phoenix Rising FC in a penalty shootout.
“We are extremely grateful to Reno 1868 FC, owner Herb Simon, and the entire Reno community for the contributions they have made to the USL Championship during their time in the league,” said USL President Jake Edwards said in a statement. “We wish everyone associated with the club the very best in the future.”
Reno head coach Ian Russell recently was named to 2020 Championship co-coach of the year, and in the past season became the second-fastest coach to oversee 60 regular season victories, reaching the mark in just 112 games. The club had six players named to the Championship’s All-League Team in four seasons, with Dane Kelly (MVP, Golden Boot 2017) and Chris Wehan (rookie of the year, assists champion 2017) earning individual awards in the club’s colors.
Reno was the the third professional soccer team in the USL to use an existing baseball stadium to play professional soccer.
“All of us in the Reno 1868 FC organization are grateful to our supporters, season ticket members, community partners and everyone who had a hand in our accomplishments,” Edelstein said in a statement. “We took on an opportunity to be a part of the fastest-growing sport and league in North America. While our time has ended sooner than we had hoped, we part with gratitude for journey and optimism for the future.”