A Light Preview: Las Vegas Lights FC head to The Bay to face Roots SC

Last weekend, Las Vegas Lights FC got back on track with a home win over Tacoma Defiance. Tonight, they travel up north to The Bay to face Oakland Roots SC for the first time ever.

Las Vegas Lights FC (3-6-1)

Saturday’s win over Tacoma was Lights FC’s tenth match of the 2021 season, which makes for a good time to reflect on the journey thus far. The season started off rough for the LAFC affiliate as they lost each of their first four matches (all on the road) and were outscored 15-3 in that stretch. Back-to-back results at home and a win on the road vs. Los Dos got the club back on track before two consecutive home losses.

Then, they closed out their homestand with the 1-0 victory over Tacoma last weekend. The win moved Lights FC up six places on the USL Championship Power Rankings as the club now sits in 19th. That is a pretty fair position for Steve Cherundolo’s side. They are extremely young, sometimes mistake-prone at the back, and rely heavily on matchday loanees from LAFC for their offense. But, they have proven that they can compete with (and beat) some quality sides and they are tough to prepare for with their energy and pressure.

As the backline continues to tighten up and the young squad gains experience, the Lights will continue to get results and become tougher to beat.

Vegas Player SpotLight 

Mohamed Traore: The 18-year-old Senegalese defender was acknowledged on the bench of the USL Championship Team of the Week for his performance vs. Tacoma (five tackles, three clearances, two chances created). He’s proving himself to be a steady presence at left-back and he will be relied upon to help slow down the Roots attack down that flank tonight.

Oakland Roots SC (1-3-3)

Who You Should Know

Jeremy Bokila: He has a club-high two goals as the primary striker up top. He wasn’t in the matchday squad for Oakland vs. Sacramento last time out, but that was his only match missed this season.

Akeem Ward: A 2019 first-round pick in the MLS SuperDraft, the right-back leads Oakland in interceptions and tackles won. He’s also a threat going forward with four key passes.

Jesus “Chuy” Enriquez: The skillful winger leads the club with ten chances created and has scored one goal to go with one assist this season.

What You Should Know

  • Have played the fewest matches in the USL Championship, only win came back in May vs. LA Galaxy II
  • Fewest goals scored (six goals in seven matches), no goals scored from outside the box, tied for 16th in conversion rate
  • Average 51% possession, two clean sheets

The Deets

Tonight, 7 PM, Las Positas College Turf Field

Las Vegas Lights FC vs. Oakland Roots 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.