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 Las Vegas Lights FC

USL Championship Legend Solomon Asante Leads Trio of New Las Vegas Lights Signings

February 23, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Las Vegas Lights FC News Release


LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Las Vegas Lights FC announced today the club had signed two-time USL Championship Player of the Year Solomon Asante and experienced defenders Fabien Garcia and Gaoussou Samaké ahead of the 2024 USL Championship season. The transactions are pending league and federation approval.

Asante joins the Lights as one of the most decorated players in the USL Championship's history. The Ghanaian forward has recorded 52 goals and 53 assists in 161 regular season appearances since his arrival at Phoenix Rising FC in 2018 and is the only player to have won the league's Player of the Year award in consecutive seasons (2019, 2020).

The 33-year-old won two Western Conference titles during his time with Phoenix and is one of only two players in league history to have accumulated both 50 goals and 50 assists in the Championship's regular season. In 2019, his haul of 22 goals and 17 assists set a league record for most goal contributions in a single regular season, while he currently ranks second in league history with 53 regular season assists.

"We are delighted to welcome a player of the caliber of Solomon Asante to the club," said Lights Sporting Director Gianleonardo Neglia. "His creativity in the final third has made him one of the most exciting players to watch in the Championship, and we believe he will make a major impact for our club this season."

Garcia makes the move to Las Vegas after starring for San Antonio FC over the past two seasons. The French center back made 63 appearances for SAFC across the regular season and playoffs and helped lead the side to the 2022 USL Championship title. This past season he was among the top center backs in the league, leading all defenders in the regular season with 66 interceptions, 258 recoveries, and 55 tackles at a 67.1 percent success rate. The 29-year-old has made 111 appearances overall in the Championship, having previously competed for Austin Bold FC.

"Fabien Garcia has been one of the most consistent center backs in the USL Championship in recent years," said Neglia. "His ball-winning ability is second-to-none and on top of that he has great passing qualities that will fit solidly into our back line. He's an ideal fit for the squad we are building."

Samaké arrives in Las Vegas having most recently competed for D.C. United in Major League Soccer, where he made five appearances in the 2023 season. The 26-year-old began his professional career in his native Ivory Coast with ASEC Mimosas before joining Loudoun United FC in the USL Championship on loan in the 2021 season. Samaké's successful loan stint saw him acquired by D.C. prior to the 2022 season, after which time he continued to appear on loan for Loudoun, accumulating 37 appearances overall in the Championship.

"Gaoussou has consistently shown his qualities as a left-sided defender in the Championship," said Neglia. "That was a big reason why we were eager to bring him aboard this season, to offer both defensive quality and an ability to create chances from wide areas when he gets into the final third."

Las Vegas Lights FC will kick off the new campaign on Saturday, March 9 when it visits Memphis 901 FC before its home opener against FC Tulsa on Saturday, March 16 at Cashman Field.


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