A Light Preview: Can Las Vegas Lights FC avoid a third loss to Republic FC in 2021?

Coming off a hard-fought draw vs. Phoenix Rising FC, Las Vegas Lights FC will look to finally get the best of Sacramento Republic FC, who have already defeated them twice this season.

Las Vegas Lights FC (5-9-2)

Earning a draw vs. Rising FC is an impressive result for the young Lights FC squad, the first time Phoenix has dropped a point from a winning position this season per USL HQ’s Nicholas Murray. Las Vegas led early, then trailed late before Mohamed Traore’s blast secured a point at home. Outside of the result specifically, the players showed that they weren’t afraid of the moment and played on the front foot for a good portion of the match. Obviously, the venue changed, but this looked like a completely different team than the one that got their doors blown off, 5-1, in Phoenix early on in the season.

For the LAFC affiliate, the focus must turn to improving on the road. They have lost six of their eight away matches this season, only defeating Los Dos and Oakland Roots SC away from Cashman Field. It’s natural for clubs, especially with young rosters, to fare worse when playing on the road. But, if this club has any chance of making the playoffs, they need at least a point from matches like this.

Vegas Player SpotLight

Bruce El-Mesmari: The Mexican youth international has played less than 100 minutes for the Lights since debuting last month. But, it doesn’t take long watching him to realize he has a special ability on the pitch. Against Sacramento, his dribbling, pace, and creativity will be vital to getting three points on the road. He doesn’t have a goal or an assist yet, but it feels like it won’t be long before he picks up his first.

Sacramento Republic FC (4-6-6)

Who You Should Know

Dan Casey: Second on the club in minutes played, the center-back leads Republic FC in passes, clearances, and blocked shots. He also scored a goal vs. Phoenix Rising FC earlier this season.

Duke Lacroix: The USL veteran, who can play on the wing or at left-back, has a club-high three assists and 17 chances created. Defensively, he has 19 interceptions and 16 tackles won.

Tucker Bone: He leads Sacramento with five goals (from only 14 shots), but he hasn’t appeared in a match since scoring a brace vs. Las Vegas on July 14th.

What You Should Know

  • Tied for 25th in goals scored and shots
  • Unbeaten in their last five matches (two wins, three draws)
  • Tied for most red cards in the league, top five in yellow cards

The Deets

Tonight, 8 PM, Heart Health Park 

Las Vegas Lights FC at Sacramento Republic FC

Carson A Merk

Reporting live from Sin City, I have covered both RGVFC and Las Vegas Lights FC since their inceptions. I also write profiles to highlight players from the NCAA to USL to NWSL and everywhere in between.