A Light Preview: Free-falling Las Vegas Lights FC travel to face powerhouse Rising FC

Coming off their eighth consecutive loss, Las Vegas Lights FC will travel to face Phoenix Rising FC, the points’ leaders of the Western Conference.

Las Vegas Lights FC (5-17-2)

How bad is this current losing streak for Lights FC? They have more consecutive losses (eight) than 12 USL Championship clubs have TOTAL this season. There’s been a variety in the losses during the streak with blowout scorelines like 5-1 vs. San Diego and 3-0 last time out vs. Orange County or narrow losses like 1-0 vs. Oakland and multiple 2-1 defeats.

Loudoun United took the crown of the worst goal differential in the league this weekend (they lost 5-0 vs. Pittsburgh), but it’s still Lights FC with the most goals conceded (56). Tonight, the defense and Alex Rando must combine for a nearly flawless effort to slow down the explosive Phoenix attack. The backline will be without Mohamed Traore, who was sent off vs. Orange County, and with LAFC in action tonight vs. Austin FC, it will be interesting to see who is available for head coach Steve Cherundolo. One player that could provide some defensive support is new signing Dekel Keinan. Turning 37 years old today (Happy Birthday), Keinan brings experience from the UEFA Champions League, international soccer, and the English Premier League to a roster primarily of players in their teens or early 20s.

Without being hyperbolic, I truly believe Lights FC coming away with even a point tonight in Phoenix would be the upset result of the season. What was the club’s last result before the losing streak began? A 2-2 draw at home vs. Rising FC…

Vegas Player SpotLight

Dylan Presto: He’s made three straight appearances and back-to-back starts at right-back for his first action this season for the Lights. The 16-year-old has held his own and shown flashes of the quality he could bring to LAFC someday. He has five interceptions and has completed 45/60 passes.

Phoenix Rising FC (14-3-5)

Who You Should Know

Aodhan Quinn: He earned a place on the USL Championship Team of the Week after scoring a goal and setting up another in the club’s win over Los Dos. The veteran midfielder also created seven chances and per the league, he became the third-ever player to tally 35 goals and 35 assists (regular season) in USL Championship history.

Santi Moar: The Spanish forward is the club’s leader in goals (11) and shots (53). He’s also added four assists and 44 key passes.

Darren Mattocks: Signing with the club last month, the 31-year-old MLS veteran striker has scored twice in three appearances with Rising FC. His pace is still a gamechanger and his arrival helps lessen the blow of Rufat Dadashov’s departure.

What You Should Know

  • Tied for most goals scored (50), most shots (425, 88 more than second-best Louisville City)
  • Third-fewest goals conceded (23), best goal differential (+27)
  • Unbeaten at home (8-0-3), outscoring opponents 32 to 8 at Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex
  • Four home matches all-time vs. Lights FC: Four wins by a combined 18-2 margin

The Deets

Tonight, 7:30 PM PT, Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex 

Las Vegas Lights FC at Phoenix Rising 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.