Fresno FC at Las Vegas Lights FC Preview
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - One season after Las Vegas swept Fresno FC in the regular season, Los Zorros have the opportunity to do the same to the Lights on Saturday, Sept. 14th when they kick off at 7:30 p.m. from Cashman Field. Fresno took the first meeting on Aug. 3 with a 2-1 victory powered by the brace from forward Jaime Chavez. Chavez turned on that day when he bagged two goals against his former coach Eric Wynalda. Since that night, he's scored six goals in six games to lead Fresno with nine. Fresno will look to build on its latest result - a 3-2 win over Reno - and inch closer to clinching a playoff spot as their magic number of 7 continues to fall. Las Vegas, losers of two straight and winless in its last four matches, will aim to bounceback on their home field where it is 7-3-4. Leading the way under coach Wynalda is forward Irvin Parra who has netted 10 goals and five assists in his first season with the Lights, to become tied for the franchise record. Defensively, despite being the team that fouls the most in the USL Championship, the Lights have strong netminder in Las Vegas native Thomas Olsen. In 28 games this season, Olsen has nine clean sheets, the fourth-highest tally in the league.
Fresno won most recently, a 2-1 result on Aug. 3, 2019
SET PIECE MACHINE
Nearly 1/3 of all Fresno FC's goals in the 2019 USL Championship season have come from set pieces, including its six most recent goals.
7 - The Foxes are stalking the next playoff spot and could clinch as early as Wednesday, Sept. 18th.
THE FRANK YALLOP CONNECTION
Fresno FC GM Frank Yallop is responsible for providing opportunities for the three-most successful coaches in the USL Western Conference this season. Yallop hired Fresno FC head coach at the end of 2017, hired assistant coach Rick Schantz while he was Director of Soccer Operations at Phoenix Rising FC in 2016, and hired player-turned coach Ian Russell as an assistant to the MLS San Jose Earthquakes in 2008.
For the third time in the last four weeks, Fresno FC has secured 3 points in the final minutes. Defender Ramon Del Campo scored two game-winning goals against OKC and Colorado Springs, respectively, and midfielder Emir Alihodzic converted a penalty at the 94th to beat Reno.
Jemal Johnson is two goals away from scoring 50 in his professional career. He has seven this season and 18 overall since he signed with Los Zorros in 2018 for a career total of 48. - Cha-Cha-Chavez: Forward Jaime Chavez had a hot August, scoring six goals in six games, increasing his season total to nine. This is after he had just scored 3 in the first 15 games of the season.
THE FRESNO FORTRESS
Fresno is 8-1-4 at Chukchansi Park in 2019 and unbeaten in its last nine matches at home. Fresno won five in a row at home for the first time in club history from May 22 to August 3, 2019.
Fresno FC hit the 40-point mark with its Week 22 win over Las Vegas Lights FC, beating last year's total of 39 with 13 games to go. Wherever Fresno finishes this season, it will be a new franchise points record.
Fresno's defensive record remains tied for second-best in the conference, allowing just 28 goals through 26 games. CJ Cochran has recorded six clean sheets and 62 saves this season.
CREATE, CREATE, CREATE
Juan Pablo Caffa's 50 chances created are most among his teammates and seventh-most in the Western Conference.
Center back Ramon Martin Del Campo and goalkeeper CJ Cochran are the only players to have not missed a single minute of action for Fresno FC in 2019. The two have started every USL Championship match for Los Zorros, racking up a total of 2,340 minutes each.
GOALS. GOALS. GOALS.
Speaking of converting, Los Zorros have scored 45 goals through 26 games this season after a three-goal performance against Reno, surpassing 2018's clip of 44 with eight games remaining.
LAST ONE ON THE ROAD
Los Zorros run of three consecutive road matches comes to a close Saturday at Las Vegas. Fresno returns to the Valley for two games next week, playing RGVFC Toros on Wednesday, Sept. 18 and the first-place Phoenix Rising FC on Saturday, Sept. 21.
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United Soccer League Championship Stories from September 14, 2019
- Switchbacks FC Drop Result in First Trip to New Mexico - Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
- Zorros Fall in Las Vegas, Return to the Valley for 2 Games in 4 Days Next Week - Fresno FC
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- Indy Eleven Clinches Playoff Berth with 2-1 Win over Bethlehem Steel FC - Indy Eleven
- San Antonio FC Earns Crucial 3-1 Win at Home to OKC Energy FC - San Antonio FC
- Rowdies Held to 1-1 Draw by Atlanta - Tampa Bay Rowdies
- Hartford Athletic Falls in First Dillon Stadium Match Under the Lights - Hartford Athletic
- Hounds Zap Battery, 1-0 - Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
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- Battery Fall 1-0 in Physical Battle with Pittsburgh - Charleston Battery
- North Carolina FC Falls 1-0 at Swope Park Rangers - North Carolina FC
- Reno 1868 FC Signs Ivan Valencia - Reno 1868 FC
- Real Monarchs SLC Dismantles Portland Timbers 2, 5-1 - Real Monarchs SLC
- T2 Fall to Real Monarchs Slc Saturday - Portland Timbers 2
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