A Light Preview: Las Vegas Lights FC at San Diego Loyal

Las Vegas Lights FC will kick off their third season with a matchup vs. expansion San Diego Loyal SC.

Year 3 for Las Vegas Lights FC will get underway tomorrow night when Eric Wynalda’s side travels to SoCal to face San Diego Loyal SC.

Looking at the Lights

While 2019 certainly was an improvement over 2018 for Las Vegas Lights FC, it still wasn’t good enough to make the Western Conference playoffs. The club struggling mightily on the road, only winning two and drawing four matches of their 17 fixtures away from Cashman Field. Early in the season, Wynalda didn’t set his team up in a defensive enough shape during these matches and he was forced to adjust a bit later in the year. Tomorrow’s match gives the 2020 Lights a chance to get off on the right foot.

That should be with a strong defensive setup. San Diego went unbeaten in the preseason and they scored consistently. The Lights won’t want to get into a shootout on the road in their first match against a club with quality scorers up top including Qudus Lawal and 2019 Lights FC star Irvin Parra. It’s not an exciting start, but Las Vegas should be happy to come away with a 1-0 win or 0-0 draw. Slightly amended to the one in my breakdown of the club’s roster, the starting XI could be Goalkeeper: Thomas Olsen, Defenders: Jordan Murrell, Gabe Robinson, Ramon Martin Del Campo, Chancel Ndaye (listed as questionable), Midfielders: Junior Burgos, Javan Torre, Mobi Fehr, Junior Sandoval, Forwards: Seku Conneh, Santiago Echavarria. If Ndaye can’t go, I’d expect Fehr to drop back to right-back with potentially Jose Carrera or Jonathan Levin stepping into the midfield.

Who you should know: San Diego Loyal SC

Joe Greenspan: One of the biggest additions this offseasons in the league. San Diego secured the services of the 2019 USL Championship Defender of the Year and an elite leader in Greenspan.

Qudus Lawal: After earning his way onto the Fresno FC squad, the powerful striker scored ten goals and added three assists in 2019. Now, he looks to be the first-choice option up top for Loyal SC and will use speed and strength vs. the backline for the Lights.

Charlie Adams: He brings experience in the league and set-piece ability to the midfield. Last season for Orange County SC, he connected on 85% of his passes and had five key passes.

The Deets

Tomorrow, 3/7, at 7 PM PST on ESPNews

Las Vegas Lights FC at San Diego Loyal SC

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.