A Light Preview: Las Vegas Lights FC prepare to face league-leading Phoenix Rising FC

After getting back in the win column last time out vs. Orange County SC, Las Vegas Lights FC face the tall task tonight of trying to upset the best club in the USL Championship, Phoenix Rising FC.

Las Vegas Lights FC (5-9-1)

Following a stretch of playing five matches in just 17 days, Lights FC have been off since that win over OCSC on July 27th. That break from competitive matches should allow for nagging injuries to heal and to step away and recharge the batteries a little bit.

While the Lights have been off, LAFC played on Wednesday. In the second half of the club’s blowout loss to Sporting Kansas City, Bryce Duke, Danny Musovski, and Alvaro Quezada (his MLS debut) all appeared off the bench as Musovski also scored the lone LAFC goal. That could impact their availability on Saturday vs. Phoenix. In other LAFC-Las Vegas news, Lights FC captain Danny Crisostomo signed a first-team deal this week. It remains to be seen how much that will remove him from the mix for USL Championship action.

The previous encounter between these clubs in 2021 was not a pleasant one for Steve Cherundolo’s side. Rising FC set USL Championship records with 41 shots and 19 shots on goal in a 5-1 blowout in Arizona.

One unexpected factor for tonight will be the smoke in the air throughout Las Vegas from the wildfires in California. It has blanketed the city and the air quality will be far from ideal for the players tonight.

Vegas Player SpotLight

Alex Rando: Phoenix did not welcome Rando kindly to the professional ranks as they fired shots at (and past) him from beginning to end in his professional debut back in May. While Rando set a record for saves in a match, he will hope for a less busy encounter tonight vs. Rising FC. With more experience under his belt, the former Virginia Cavalier could play a pivotal role if Lights FC are to score a massive upset.

Phoenix Rising FC (11-2-2)

Who To Know

Solomon Asante: The reigning back-to-back league MVP leads Rising FC in goals, assists, and chances created. His skill on the ball and pace to run in behind make him a nightmare to try and defend.

Aodhan Quinn: A proven veteran in the league, Quinn has been a nice addition for Phoenix. His third goal of the season was the match-winner midweek vs. Oakland and he also has one assist and 21 key passes to his name.

Santi Moar: Directly below Asante on the club leaderboard, Moar is second on the team in goals, assists, and chances created. The Spanish forward is tied with Asante for the club-high in shots and also has won the most fouls.

What To Know

  • Seven-match unbeaten run (last loss came on 6/19 vs. San Diego Loyal SC), four consecutive victories
  • Both of the clubs losses this season have come on the road
  • Lead the league (or tied for the league-lead) in points, goals, shots, and clean sheets. Second-fewest goals conceded
  • 7-1-1 record all-time vs. Las Vegas Lights FC, including the 5-1 win earlier this season

The Deets

Tonight, 7:30 PM Pacific, Cashman Field

Phoenix Rising FC at Las Vegas Lights 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.