SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes and Reno 1868 FC today announced the two clubs have extended their affiliate partnership through the end of the 2019 season, with an option for 2020. The teams’ original two-year partnership agreement ran through 2018.
“We are very excited to announce the extension of our partnership with Reno,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. “We would like to give each player the opportunity to have his own pathway. By working together on the technical and commercial sides, led by Ian Russell, Eric Edelstein, Andy Smith and the whole team, we are thrilled to announce that we will be extending this partnership together.”
The unique partnership has seen the Quakes lead all aspects of soccer operations, while Reno oversees the business side, including corporate partnerships, ticket sales and marketing. This sort of ‘hybrid’ affiliation was one of just two between MLS and USL sides in 2017, along with the Houston Dynamo and Rio Grande Valley FC.
Reno 1868 had their inaugural season in USL in 2017, finishing with the league’s best goal-differential (+36) and fourth-best record (17-7-8), while scoring a league-record 75 goals en route to the postseason. The club also had numerous award-winners, including Most Valuable Player (Dane Kelly), Rookie of the Year (Chris Wehan), Assists Champion (Wehan), First Team All-League (Kelly, Wehan) and Second Team All-League (Jimmy Ockford).
Following the 2017 season, the Earthquakes signed three players from Reno: Wehan, Ockford and Luis Felipe. The young trio each played key roles in the team’s success during their inaugural campaign, accounting for 17 goals and 15 assists between them.
Numerous Earthquakes players have spent time on loan with the USL side, including midfielders Fatai Alashe and Jackson Yueill, and goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell. Reno defender Thomas Janjigian also competed for San Jose during the team’s Fourth Round win over the SF Deltas in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.