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 Louisville City FC

Serrano Scores Again as LouCity Takes a Point at Las Vegas

May 18, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Louisville City FC News Release


Louisville City FC's Ray Serrano on the field
Louisville City FC's Ray Serrano on the field
(Louisville City FC, Credit: RJ Forbus)

Ray Serrano came on as a substitute Saturday to score for the third straight game, helping Louisville City FC pull back a point in a 2-2 away draw to Las Vegas Lights FC.

LouCity scored the opener but conceded twice before the halftime whistle. Serrano offered up an equalizer at Cashman Field that kept City unbeaten in its last four USL Championship games, marking the first time this year the boys in purple rallied to get a result.

Of course, they've only trailed one other time amid a dominant, 7-1-1 start to a season that's just past the quarter mark.

"We should probably go and win that game, but all in all, it wasn't near good enough and we need to make sure we're better in the first half on the road," said coach Danny Cruz. "There's definitely some positives to take from the second half - the execution of tactics, mentality and fight. But we needed to be a little more clinical in front of goal.

"It's a difficult place to play the way we want to play, but I tell the guys all the time that it doesn't matter the field or the weather. We need to give the game what it needs in order to come away with three points."

LouCity entered Saturday having outscored its last three opponents by a 10-0 aggregate score. However, Las Vegas proved more formidable from the moment high pressure forced a Lights turnover leading to Taylor Davila's opener in just the seventh minute.

Las Vegas answered by controlling 64.4 percent of first half possession while flipping the score. Valentin Noel half-volleyed in the Lights' first goal thanks to a fortuitous 16th-minute bounce in the box before Charlie Adams - once a LouCity player during the club's inaugural season in 2015 - gave the hosts their lead on a 36th-minute free kick.

The game went to halftime with Las Vegas ahead 2-1 despite numbering only 0.17 expected goals, according to Stats Perform.

"We started with a really well-taken goal from (Davila), but I thought the rest of the half was completely unacceptable," Cruz said. "I know if you look at the stat sheet, it doesn't look like we conceded much. But I wasn't happy with the mentality defensively. I thought we didn't get stuck in. There weren't enough tackles, and we let them dictate the game with the ball."

Cruz made three changes out of the locker room, subbing in Serrano along with wingers Amadou Dia and Jansen Wilson. LouCity had the better of the chances from there, and it showed up on the scoreboard as of Serrano's 70th-minute goal.

Kyle Adams played a long diagonal ball to Wilson that set up the opportunity. Wilson's cross in landed to Wilson Harris, whose flick on was spilled by the Vegas keeper. Serrano finished the second chance to cap Saturday's scoring.

"It was just front-foot mentality," Serrano said of LouCity's second half adjustments. "We came in wanting to press the opposition more and create chances from our press. That kind of worked out - we got the equalizer - but we were unfortunate not to get at third."

Individually, the 22-year-old Serrano said he's "committed and focused on my goals playing for the team and everything in general, putting all the puzzle pieces together." He went goal-less in 2023 but has already numbered five goals and three assists in 2024.

A draw left LouCity five points behind the first-place Charleston Battery - still the only club to beat the boys in purple this season - on the Eastern Conference table. City has played two fewer games, though, than the Battery.

Next weekend, it's another road trip for Cruz's squad, which travels to meet USL Championship expansion side Rhode Island FC for the first time at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Game Summary: Las Vegas Lights FC vs. Louisville City FC

Date: May 18, 2024

Venue: Cashman Field

Kickoff: 10:30 p.m. ET

Weather: 88 degrees, clear

Scoring

Las Vegas Lights FC (2, 0, 2)

Louisville City FC (1, 1, 2)

Goals

Las Vegas Lights FC:

16' Valentin Noel (Gaoussou Samake)

36' Charlie Adams

Louisville City FC:

7' Taylor Davila (Elijah Wynder)

70' Ray Serrano

Lineups

Las Vegas Lights FC: 1 - Nicholas Ammeter, 33 - Gennaro Nigro, 23 - Emrah Klimenta, 4 - Fabien Garcia, 20 - Shawn Smart (59' 22 - Joe Hafferty), 6 - Charlie Adams (77' 9 - Riki Alba), 26 - J.C. Ngando (88' 24 - Maliek Howell), 72 - Gaoussou Samake (59' 77 - Zander Romero), 27 - Valentin Noel, 14 - Solomon Asante, 10 - Edison Azcona

Subs not used: 3 - Hayden Sargis, 56 - Raiko Arozarena, 60 - Sawyer Crisostomo, 79 - All Gue, 90 - Khori Bennett

Head coach:

Louisville City FC: 18 - Damian Las, 3 - Jake Morris (46' 25 - Jansen Wilson), 32 - Kyle Adams (C), 5 - Arturo Ordóñez (85' 6 - Wes Charpie), 4 - Sean Totsch, 2 - Aiden McFadden (46' 13 - Amadou Dia), 17 - Taylor Davila, 23 - Elijah Wynder (46' 7 - Ray Serrano), 21 - Jorge Gonzalez (77' 24 - Tola Showunmi), 14 - Wilson Harris, 16 - Adrien Perez

Subs not used: 12 - Danny Faundez, 11 - Niall McCabe

Head coach: Danny Cruz

Stats Summary: Las Vegas Lights FC / Louisville City FC

Shots: 8 / 19

Shots on Goal: 4 / 5

Possession: 60.5% / 39.5%

Fouls: 11 / 16

Offside: 0 / 3

Corner Kicks: 3 / 7

Discipline Summary

Las Vegas Lights FC:

55' Shawn Smart (yellow)

Louisville City FC:

48' Wilson Harris (yellow)

62' Kyle Adams (yellow)

Referee: Joshua Encarnacion





Images from this story

Louisville City FC's Ray Serrano on the field
Louisville City FC's Ray Serrano on the field

(RJ Forbus)
  

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