In their 2020 season opener, Las Vegas Lights FC took one point on the road vs. San Diego Loyal SC.
Las Vegas Lights FC did something last night that they only did six times in 17 matches last season: get at least one point on the road. In their 2020 USL Championship opener, Lights FC secured a 1-1 draw with San Diego Loyal SC, via an early goal from Junior Burgos and an equalizer from SD’s Charlie Adams.
Shots: Lights FC 21, Loyal SC 3. This is an eye-catching stat that the road team was able to put the hosts under this type of pressure with that large of a gap between the two sides. While only five were on frame, that’s a quality offensive output in a season opener where there was some clear rust. On the flip side, that revamped Lights backline did well to cut out attacking moments before San Diego could test rookie Lalo Delgado, also holding Loyal to zero corner kicks.
17 interceptions: The Lights were able to get in the passing lanes and prevent Loyal SC from building up a rhythm. Sure, San Diego held 59% of the possession, but when you’re turning the ball over, it doesn’t allow for sustained success in the attack.
Three Brightest Lights
💡💡💡 Junior Burgos: What a debut for the El Salvadoran! His long-distance goal was a thing of beauty, but he was also great outside of that. He created three chances and was really good on the ball going forward.
💡💡 Ramon Martin Del Campo: The marquee signing for the Lights this offseason did not disappoint. He led the backline in limited San Diego’s chances, including chasing down Irvin Parra late in the match with a chance to score a winner on the break. He tallied three interceptions, two clearances, and connected on 82% of his passes.
💡 Grant Robinson: I was really impressed with the rookie midfielder. He was confident on the ball, drawing three fouls, and was aggressive in defense with four interceptions. He also wasn’t afraid to fire a long diagonal ball from the center of the park.
This was definitely an improved team for Las Vegas. They were composed at the back and got forward when the time was right. An opening night draw is definitely something they can build on.
With some rust in their opening match, there wasn’t a lot of final passes played in the attacking third by Lights FC. As chemistry builds between the attacking players, there should be some more distribution in the box.
It will be interesting to see how things go between the sticks for Las Vegas. Thomas Olsen was clear first-choice option last season, but Eric Wynalda started rookie Lalo Delgado, despite the Lights having nobody listed on the injury report. Also, there was this since-deleted tweet yesterday from TKO that you can see below. Has Delgado overtaken the incumbent in goal or was this more of an isolated decision? Either way, Olsen is a great ambassador for the club and he will represent himself well whether he’s the starter or not.
I’m not sure Mobi Fehr is best suited in a role on the outside, typically more influential from the midfield. When everyone is cleared to play and fully fit, he will likely be shifted into a central position.
Seku Conneh has some serious skill on the ball. Multiple times, he was able to dribble around defenders with a serious of nutmegs and quick turns. Once his shooting sharpens up, he looks like he could play a serious part in the Lights attack.
Las Vegas Lights FC will host Sacramento Republic FC at Cashman Field next Saturday. Republic FC finished level at 1-1 in their opener at home vs. FC Tulsa. Tickets are still available to attend the second-ever “Guaranteed Win Night” where the Lights will either win the match over Sacramento or give you a free ticket to the next match at home.