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 Spokane Velocity FC

Spokane Velocity FC Opens Road Trip against Lexington SC

April 12, 2024 - United Soccer League One (USL1)
Spokane Velocity FC News Release

ONE Spokane Stadium is proving to be a fortress for Spokane Velocity FC, which has won its first three home games during its inaugural season.

Velocity's dominant stretch at home includes a narrow 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Force in the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on April 3. The victory was secured by a go-ahead goal in the 85th minute from midfielder Luis Gil.

Head coach Leigh Veidman's squad looks to carry its momentum on the road as it embarks on a three-game trip that begins on Sunday at 1 p.m. PST against Lexington Sporting Club.

Lexington is coming off its fourth loss in a row after falling 3-0 to 2022 league champions South Georgia Tormenta FC on April 6. The club was without goalkeeper Amal Knight, who received a red card during Lexington's 3-2 loss to Greenville Triumph SC on March 29. Knight is tied for first in USL League One with two clean sheets and is second in saves with 12.

If eligible to play on Sunday, Knight will look to slow down Velocity's aggressive front line, which leads USL League One with 114 touches in the opposition's 18-yard box. Velocity is also first in accurate long balls per match with 35.8 and third in average possession at 53.2 percent.

"We've got to be versatile in our attack, especially if we're going to be a team that plays football like we do," Veidman said after Velocity's win over the Force. "That's something that we've got to continue to work on and it's going to take time to continue to work on."

Velocity employs a balanced attack up front, with five different players each registering one goal in USL League One play. The team's leading shot-taker Kimarni Smith averages 3.2 attempts per game, but has yet to find the back of the net in 2024.

With five of its six games having a one-goal difference, Velocity relies heavily on its back line to limit opponents' scoring chances. The defense is anchored by goalkeeper Carlos Merancio, who's third in USL League One with 1.5 goals conceded per match.

Another standout for Velocity's defense has been center-back Marcelo Lage. The 24-year-old is sixth in the league with 5.5 clearances per match. At 6-foot-5, he's able to use his length to break up passes inside the 18-yard box and win duels.

While it's still early in the USL League One regular season, Sunday's matchup provides a valuable opportunity for both teams to rise in the standings. Velocity (2-2) is sitting in fourth place, but another win would propel the club to No. 3. Lexington (1-3-1) is positioned sixth and is looking for its first win since March 15.

Following its match against Lexington, Velocity will travel to play Las Vegas Lights FC in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday. The winner will advance to the Round of 32.

Veidman's club will resume USL League One action on April 20 against the Richmond Kickers, who Velocity previously defeated 2-1 in its first-ever home opener at ONE Spokane Stadium.

Velocity will return home on April 27 to host Central Valley Fuego in the first game of the league's inaugural in-season cup competition, the USL Jägermeister Cup. The tournament includes a group stage and a knockout round that creates additional matches of consequence in the annual calendar.

Fans are invited to a watch party at Brick West Brewing on Sunday to watch Velocity take on Lexington Sporting Club. There will be prize giveaways, a branded koozie for the first 100 fans, and more. The match will also be streamed on ESPN+.

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