A Light Preview: Las Vegas Lights FC set for their 2021 finale vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies

Tonight, the 2021 USL Championship season will come to an end for Las Vegas Lights FC as they host the Tampa Bay Rowdies, the league-leader in points.

Las Vegas Lights FC (6-22-3)

2021 has been an eventful year for Lights FC as an organization. Before the season, the club was announced as an affiliate of LAFC with the team only coming to Las Vegas for home matches. Then, the season started off with some blowout losses before the ship was briefly stabilized. The Lights suffered a club-record losing streak and a nearly three-month winless run, which finally came to an end recently.

Now, there is just one final match to play. For the first time in club history, they will face the Eastern Conference powerhouse Tampa Bay Rowdies. Can Steve Cherundolo’s side spoil the league-leading Rowdies’ trip to Sin City? Or, will the 2021 season end in a similar fashion to how it began for the Lights with a blowout loss?

LAFC are off until Tuesday, which could lead to a significant group of players being loaned down from the first team to stay fresh for the final two matches of the MLS season. Against an elite defensive unit like the Rowdies, the Lights could definitely use as much firepower as possible to join Danny Trejo & Co.

Vegas Player SpotLight

Danny Trejo: LAFC’s 2021 first-round pick has continued to prove that he can be a special player. He scored the lone goal for Las Vegas against Orange County last weekend and has been in excellent form as he gets back to full health. If the Lights are going to do any damage against the best defensive club in the league, you can expect Trejo to play a role.

Tampa Bay Rowdies (22-7-2)

Who You Should Know

Sebastian Guenzatti: One of the most explosive offensive players in the USL Championship, he leads the league with 85 shots, has the second-most goals scored with 21, and has a club-high six assists.

Evan Louro: A former New York Red Bulls Homegrown signing, the 25-year-old goalkeeper has racked up a league-leading 14 clean sheets and has only conceded 22 goals in 30 appearances.

Forrest Lasso: The reigning USL Championship Defender of the Year has put together another impressive campaign, leading the USL-C with 147 clearances to go along with club-highs in blocks (26), duels won (177), and aerial duels won (129).

What You Should Know

  • Lead the USL Championship in points (68), clean sheets (15), and fewest goals conceded (22)
  • Top ten in goals (53), shots (424), and conversion rate (17%)
  • One loss in their last 16 matches, eight consecutive clean sheets from 8/13 to 9/18
  • Made it to the 2020 USL Championship (cancelled due to COVID-19)

The Deets

Tonight, 7 PM PT, Cashman Field

Tampa Bay Rowdies at Las Vegas Lights FC

Author

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.