Match Preview vs. OKC Energy FC
Las Vegas, NV - The "Summer of Soccer" delivered by Zappos is fired up in Downtown Las Vegas after Lights FC recorded their second straight upset win, defeating El Paso Locomotive FC and New Mexico United in back to back weeks, both teams being positioned in the top four positions of the Western Conference. Now Las Vegas seeks their third consecutive victory by hosting OKC Energy FC on Saturday, June 29 at 7:30 p.m.
"Getting the win was fantastic, it was clearly a collective effort," said Lights FC manager Eric Wynalda. "Now we have an opportunity build off of the principles applied against El Paso, but still being more offensive coming home and having our next two games in a six-day span at Cashman."
A two-match homestand concludes for Las Vegas on July 4 against L.A. Galaxy II. Afterward, they'll have twenty days before playing their next USL Championship match.
"It'll be huge if we're able to get 6 points this week. You can't ask for much more going into the break," stated goalkeeper Thomas Olsen. "That's what we're hoping for, especially going into the start of the second half of the season. We're feeling good right now, we just gotta keep it going." The road victory lifted Lights FC to ninth place with 22 points, but the team's mindset remains at not getting too high on a win or too low when the positive result isn't obtained on the field. "We're going in with the same mentality that we've been working with every day," said Las Vegas defender Christian Torres. "We remained focused on the next challenge, keeping a positive mentality. At practice, we always work focused on going out for the win. Now we have two home games that are key to keep rising in the standings."
Tabort Etaka Preston has scored goals in consecutive matches for the first time this season, Lights FC went on to win both games.
SATURDAY'S OPPONENT: OKC ENERGY FC
Energy FC saw their six-game undefeated streak snapped with a 4-1 loss at home against Phoenix Rising FC, who won their seventh consecutive match.
Steve Cooke is in his second season coaching Oklahoma City. Missing the playoffs in 2018 ended with a roster overhaul for Energy FC, including the addition of former Lights FC midfielder Rafael Garcia. Jamaica native Deshorn Brown is the team leading scorer with 8 goals, followed closely by his fellow countryman Owayne Gordon who has 4 goals and 6 assists.
OKC goalkeeper Cody Laurendi leads USL Championship with 55 saves this season. He has 3 clean sheets in 2019, all of them in home games. Thomas Olsen's seventh clean sheet of the 2019 season earned him a spot in USL Championship's Team of the Week for week 16.
LIGHTS FC NOTES HEADING INTO SATURDAY'S MATCH:
Lights FC remains as one of only two 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 5 wins, 3 draws and no losses (75% efficiency).
Las Vegas has a goal differential of plus 15 in the 8 regular season matches they've played at Cashman Field this year, scoring 19 goals and only conceding 4.
This match marks the midway point of the season for Lights FC, who are tied with OKC Energy FC for the final two playoff spots in the conference.
The only team Las Vegas hasn't faced this season is Fresno FC, who they'll take on until August 3, 2019.
The Las Vegas-born & raised goalkeeper is fourth-best in USL Championship with seven clean sheets, which is more than double the three times Lights FC shutout their opponents in a total of 38 games in 2018. 'TKO' hasn't allowed a goal in five of the eight regular-season matches that Las Vegas has hosted in the 2019 season. His 42 saves have him tied for fourth-best in the league.
"TKO" was selected to USL Championship's Team of the Week for Week 16 after shutting out El Paso's offense in Lights FC's 1-0 road win. Olsen's leaping save in the 85th off of an Omar Salgado shot was voted as "Save of the Week".
In a game where Lights FC shined defensively, Christian Torres was the brightest player on the pitch for Las Vegas. The Tijuana native racked up a total of 10 clearances, supporting a very solid backline that shutout El Paso's offensive unit.
TABORT ETAKA PRESTON
After having a two-month stretch without scoring a goal, Tabort Etaka Preston put the ball in the back of the net in back-to-back games, increasing his season total to four goals.
IRVIN RAUL PARRA
Parra is eligible to return after being unavailable the last two matches due to suspension. He leads Lights FC with 8 goals, with all but one of them being scored at Cashman Field.
After being a starter and playing full games for Lights FC in three consecutive matches, defender Dejan Jakovic has been recalled by MLS side Los Angeles Football Club. The Canadian National Team member remains eligible to return to Las Vegas at LAFC's convenience.
UNAVAILABLE REPORT Junior Sandoval - OUT - Suspension (Yellow Card Accumulation) Bryan de la Fuente - OUT - Lower Body Injury Dollie - Llama - Probllama
https://youtu.be/LzZsFhn84us Check out the behind the scenes video of our #MostEpicVegasNight photoshoot for Lights FC's 2019 team photo, the first 3,000 fans in attendance at Cashman Field this Saturday will get a free poster with the team picture.
HERE IS EVERYTHING ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW AHEAD OF SATURDAY'S MATCH VS. OKC ENERGY FC:
** The "Summer of Soccer" delivered by Zappos continues at Cashman Field, featuring the lowest priced tickets in club history! Tickets for the next 4 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 first 3,000 fans in attendance will receive a free poster with Lights FC's 2019 team photo titled "Most Epic Vegas Night". Also, the first 1,500 fans to enter Cashman Field will get a free "USA t-shirt" courtesy of Station Casinos. ** 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 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. OKC ENERGY FC:
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 the Las Vegas CW with broadcasters Jeff Radcliffe and Dale Schilly 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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