A Light Preview: Can Las Vegas Lights FC defeat Tacoma for a third time in 2021?

After their fourth consecutive loss this past weekend, Las Vegas Lights FC will look to get back on track tonight vs. Tacoma Defiance, a club they’ve been able to defeat twice already this season.

Las Vegas Lights FC (5-13-2)

The Lights enter tonight’s match on a five-match winless run, their longest such streak in 2021, with four consecutive losses. Earlier this season, the club ended a four-match losing streak and a two-match losing streak with wins over Tacoma. Now, they look to do it again. But this time, it will be away from Cashman Field.

On the road this season, Lights FC have struggled mightily. They have lost eight and only won two away matches in 2021, conceding 30 goals in those ten fixtures. Based on that track record, the LAFC affiliate might need to win in a shootout as they did in their 4-3 victory at Los Dos. But, Tacoma is a very sturdy defensive club, especially at Cheney Stadium, so it will take a top offensive effort to get the job done.

With LAFC scheduled to play tomorrow, World Cup qualifying, and the departure of Diego Rossi, the number of loanees coming down for this match is tough to predict. But, no matter who comes down from the first team, Las Vegas can deploy dynamic players like Bruce El-Mesmari and Danny Trejo to create some offense. Both have shown flashes this season and could be poised for breakout performances, potentially alongside some attacking options from the first team like Danny Musovski or Bryce Duke. Christian Torres and Tony Leone (who received a red card vs. Los Dos) were both called up to the Mexican U-20 national team and won’t be available.

Vegas Player SpotLight

Frank Daroma: He’s been one of the few consistent performers for the Lights this season and picked up his first assist of the year in the loss vs. Los Dos. While he’s always active defensively and helps control the tempo in the midfield, the club might need him to be a little bit more dynamic passing the ball forward (as he was on his dime to Musovski over the weekend) to break down Tacoma’s stout backline.

Tacoma Defiance (7-5-6)

Who You Should Know

Samuel Adeniran: A 6’5” striker, Adeniran is the club leader in goals (four) and shots (25). Three of his four goals were scored in August.

Taylor Mueller: A crucial veteran presence and club captain, the 32-year-old defender has 866 passes and 54 clearances, both club-highs.

Ray Serrano: Still only 19 years old in his fourth season with the club, the Sounders Academy product leads Tacoma in assists (five) , chances created (19, tied with Jose Carlos Anguiano), and crosses (29).

What You Should Know

  • Currently fourth in the Pacific Division, occupying the final playoff position
  • Unbeaten at home (5-0-3), outscoring opponents 13-5 with three clean sheets
  • Eight-match unbeaten run ended last time out vs. Oakland Roots SC
  • Tied for fourth-fewest goals conceded in the USL Championship
  • Second-fewest shots in the league, tied for sixth-best conversion rate

The Deets

Tonight, 7 PM PT, Cheney Stadium

Las Vegas Lights FC at Tacoma Defiance

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.