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Reno-based club says it will have a UPSL expansion team this spring

A Reno club said it is starting a UPSL expansion team. (Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)

Battle Born FC has a new local rival.

A few days after the Carson-based United Premier Soccer League team announced its expansion franchise, the Reno-based Sierra Nevada Football Club followed suit.

The club announced Thursday it has launched Sierra Nevada FC Premier, a men's UPSL expansion team that plans to play in the upcoming spring season. The league has announced the addition of Sierra Nevada FC Premier; the Battle Born FC expansion team has not been announced by the UPSL.

Joe Henry will serve as the club’s manager with Rob Moreland serving as head coach and Paul Gonzalaz as the assistant coach. Moreland has previously coached at Wooster High, Reno High and Spanish Springs High.

“We are excited to put some emphasis on local talent,” Moreland said. “My goal is to help these guys realize they can potentially go pro one day.”

The club will hold tryouts this Saturday at Golden Eagle Regional Sports Complex from 9-11 a.m. Those looking to try out need to bring their ID and be prepared to sign a waiver. There is no cost.

Moreland was the head coach of the Wooster boys varsity team from 1992-98 before coaching the Reno High boys varsity team from 1998-2002 where he led the team to two regional titles. Moreland then coached the Reno High girls varsity team from 2003-07 before finishing his high school coaching career at Spanish Springs High from 2008-14 where he led the team to a regional title in 2010.

Moreland is no stranger to the world of semi-professional soccer as he coached the Reno Rattlers, one of Reno’s earliest professional teams, in the United States Interregional Soccer League (now the United Soccer League) from 1994-95. He was named coach of the year in 1995 for the Western Division.

The UPSL is a wide-ranging league that has more than 300 teams in more than 30 states. Founded in 2011, the UPSL has seven conferences and plays two seasons with regional play culminating in a playoff system that crowns a single national champion. The UPSL has a promotion and relegation system. Only teams in Division I can compete for the national championship. Sierra Nevada FC Premier has not yet named a home field.

This is not Northern Nevada's first foray into the UPSL as Western Nevada FC/Nevada Coyotes dabbled in the league before folding. Reno lost its previous pro soccer team, Reno 1868 FC, last November after the team shuttered after three seasons in the USL, citing the impact of COVID-19 regulations on revenue.

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