SAN JOSE, Calif. – Reno 1868 FC has officially signed the United Soccer League’s all-time leading goal scorer, Dane Kelly, pending USL and federation approval. The 25-year-old has scored 48 goals over six USL seasons, and he marks the first player signing in 1868 FC’s history.
“Dane (Kelly) will be an excellent addition to the team,” said Ian Russell, head coach of Reno 1868 FC. “He has a lot of USL experience and definitely has a nose for the goal.”
Kelly was born in Jamaica where he started his professional career with Tivoli Gardens of the Red Stripe Premier League. He led the League as top scorer in 2010 with 15 goals. In 2011, Kelly was recruited for the USL’s Charleston Battery, where he eventually played five seasons. While with the Battery, he was named the club’s Player of the Year and earned All-League First Team honors.
“I’m most excited to play for Reno 1868 FC because it has a great future,” said Kelly. “If the assistant coach from the San Jose Earthquakes can come down to Reno, obviously there is something special.”
Kelly’s creativity and knack for finding the back of the net made 1868 FC’s first signing a no-brainer.
“Having the leading goal scorer as our first signing is big, especially for an expansion team,” said Andy Smith, general manager of Reno 1868 FC. “He will build even more excitement for our fans.”
Additional players are expected to be announced throughout the week.
Greater Nevada Field will host up to 18 matches in 2017, with 16 coming as regular-season matches for Reno 1868 FC during their inaugural USL campaign. The USL previously announced that the regular season will expand to 32 matches beginning in 2017. The club will play its first preseason match against the MLS’ San Jose Earthquakes on February 18.
Since the franchise was announced in September 2015, Reno 1868 FC has unveiled its club name, colors, crest and home jersey kit. Ian Russell, a former assistant coach of the San Jose Earthquakes, was announced as 1868 FC’s head coach on November 22. The away kit and additional coaching staff will be announced at a later date.