Match Preview vs. New Mexico United
Las Vegas, NV - Lights FC continues the "Summer of Soccer" delivered by Zappos with a matchup against New Mexico United. This game represents an opportunity for Las Vegas to show what they're made of against the team that is currently in first place of USL Championship's Western Conference.
"It means everything for us," said Lights FC midfielder Mobi Fehr. "We're playing at home and it's time to prove ourselves that we can play and we can beat teams that are in the top half of the table. It's a great opportunity for us for sure."
Following recent results, Eric Wynalda promised changes on the team roster and it began with the inclusion of Canadian National Team veteran Dejan Jakovic, who arrived via a loan from MLS side LAFC. Jakovic made his debut last week with Las Vegas in its 1-1 draw against Orange County SC.
"Dejan has had enough time to really figure out his surroundings, he knows what's to the right of him and to the left of him now," stated Wynalda. "It's difficult to come into the team on Thursday and then jump right into the starting lineup and play as well as he did on Saturday, I'm really happy with that."
Lights FC players have a sense of urgency with the season almost being halfway through, especially with how results haven't come as of late. Making this match against New Mexico an even more important one.
"We all want to show the whole league that we can play because we have a lot of talent here," said Lights FC midfielder Junior Sandoval. "There are experienced guys, players with talent that are growing as pros and all we have to do is keep improving, the results will come and I think we can get the best out of New Mexico."
Thomas Olsen has only conceded three goals in 7 home matches during the 2019 USL Championship season.
SATURDAY'S OPPONENT: NEW MEXICO UNITED
New Mexico United is one of seven expansion franchises that made their debut in the 2019 USL Championship season, where they're currently in the top of the Western Conference standings with 25 points. Their match in Las Vegas is their second of a six-game road trip, which began on Wednesday night when they upset MLS side Colorado Rapids in penalty kicks during the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup after finishing regulation and extra time tied 2-2. United's Troy Lesesne was voted the USL Championship's Coach of the Month for May after leading the club to an undefeated month that saw his team win three of its four regular-season games. This is his first job as a head coach after being an assistant with USL squads Charleston Battery and Charlotte Independence. Kevaughn Frater leads the league with 10 goals, followed closely by his teammate Santi Moar who has scored nine times this year. The 19 combined goals between Frater and Moar match or surpass the number of goals scored by 20 of the other 35 teams in USL Championship besides New Mexico, who is tied with Phoenix Rising for the highest scoring offense in the league with 31 goals. Cody Mizell has been the starting goalkeeper for New Mexico in each of its games this year, leading the Western Conference by racking up 46 saves. He comes into Cashman Field riding the high of defeating a MLS team in penalty kicks on Wednesday night in Colorado. After missing three games due to injury, right back Kevin Garcia Lopez has been a part of Lights FC's Starting XI in their last 3 league matches in which he played the full 90 minutes.
LIGHTS FC NOTES HEADING INTO SATURDAY'S MATCH:
Lights FC didn't get their fourth league win at home until their ninth match at Cashman Field in 2018, this year it only took them 5 games to get to that mark. Las Vegas surpassed their longest undefeated streak at Cashman Field from their inaugural year with 7 consecutive USL Championship games without losing at home in 2019.
Las Vegas is one of three Western Conference teams in USL Championship that remain undefeated at home in 2019. Lights FC has the highest efficiency in the West while playing at their stadium with a record of 4 wins, 3 draws and no losses (71.4% efficiency).
The Las Vegas-born & raised goalkeeper is tied for second-best in USL Championship with six clean sheets, which is two more than the number of times Lights FC shutout their opponents in a total of 38 games in 2018. 'TKO' hasn't allowed a goal in five of the seven regular-season matches that Las Vegas has hosted in the 2019 season.
Olsen has had streaks of 368 and 180 minutes without conceding a goal at Cashman Field this year.
Having 41 caps with the Canadian National Team and more than 100 Major League Soccer appearances, Dejan Jakovic brings experience and leadership to Lights FC's defensive line. He arrived in Las Vegas via a loan from MLS side Los Angeles FC (LAFC).
Dejan made his debut with Lights FC on June 8 against Orange County SC, 2 days after joining the team's practice sessions. Jakovic was a starter and played the full 90 minutes.
He's only 25 years old, but Jose Villarreal is an MLS veteran as he made his debut with L.A. Galaxy in July 2012. He signed a Homegrown Player contract with Los Angeles, winning the MLS Cup title twice in his time with them.
Villarreal was traded to Orlando City for the 2018 season and signed with Lights FC as a free agent in the final week of May. Less than 48 hours after his first practice with Las Vegas, "Chepe" made his debut with the team in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup where he was used as a substitute and he served an assist against Orange County FC. He has played in both USL Championship matches since, as a starter on the road against Reno and as a substitute at home against Orange County SC.
UNAVAILABLE REPORT Irvin Parra - OUT - Suspension Sammy Ochoa - Excused Absence Bryan de la Fuente - OUT - Lower Body Injury https://youtu.be/qfAnC5nsj1s Bojo & DJ Ocho take advantage of the $2 tequila shots & $5 Waldos during the #SummerOfSoccer at Cashman Field!
HERE IS EVERYTHING ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW AHEAD OF SATURDAY'S MATCH VS. NEW MEXICO UNITED:
** The "Summer of Soccer" delivered by Zappos continues at Cashman Field, featuring the lowest priced tickets in club history! Tickets for the next 5 home matches up to August 24 start at only $10 courtesy of the Terrible Herbst's Ten Buck Tixs, giving everyone in the Valley the opportunity to enjoy Lights FC pro soccer in Downtown Las Vegas. ** Saturday's match kicks off at 7:30 p.m., start time for all Lights FC home regular season matches in 2019. For on-site ticket purchase at Cashman Field, both the box office and will call open at 2:00 p.m. on gameday. Tickets are available at LightsFC.com/Tix and at every La Bonita Supermarket in Las Vegas. ** The Zappos Tailgate Party begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Cashman Field plaza, where fans can enjoy beer specials, tailgate games for adults and kids, music, the Zappos llamas Dottie and Dollie, Lights FC merchandise, and much more. ** The Pitchside Pool Party features multiple "swimming pools" located pitchside to bring fans as close to the action as possible. Each pool rental is priced at $50 and can be reserved at LightsFC.com/PoolParty, calling 702-728-GOAL or by visiting the Lights FC Guest Services Booth at Cashman Field on match days. ** Fans in attendance over the age of 21 will have the opportunity to take advantage of new drink specials during the Summer of Soccer. Specially priced $2 Los Altos Tequila shots and $5 Waldo's will be available at all Cashman Field bars. Invented by Lights FC manager Eric Wynalda, a "Waldo" features any flavor of Jarritos (Wynalda's preference is is Mandarina & Toronja) and Los Altos Tequila. ** Media credential on-site pick-up and entry begins at 4:30 p.m. Credentials can be picked up at Media Check-In, located at the Zappos Gate. For all other media-related inquiries, please visit our Media Center . ** The party doesn't stop at the end of the action on the pitch. After every Lights FC home match, Two Roots Brewing and Zappos will host the "Happier Hour" post-game party at Cashman Field's Club Level Restaurant. Team players and manager Eric Wynalda will make an appearance at the party that is open to fans of all ages that are in attendance at Cashman Field.
WHERE TO WATCH & LISTEN TO LAS VEGAS LIGHTS FC VS. NEW MEXICO UNITED:
Las Vegas Lights FC fans will be able to follow-up along with every match of the 2019 USL Championship season via national & local media outlets.
Saturday's game (7:30 p.m. kickoff) will be aired locally on MyLVTV with broadcasters Jeff Radcliffe and Tom Traxler announcing the action.
The match will also be aired on ESPN+ , while the Spanish-language radio broadcast with Alvaro Puentes & Alejandro Romo on the call can be listened at ESPN Deportes 1460 AM & online on LVSportsNetwork.com . ?
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