A Light Preview: Match #1 vs. Austin Bold FC

Las Vegas Lights FC kick off their 2019 USL Championship season against a bright, bold opponent tomorrow.

Yes, it’s finally here. No more friendlies, no more waiting, it’s officially the 2019 USL Championship season. While RGV FC and Tacoma Defiance kick off the action tonight, Las Vegas Lights FC start their season tomorrow at Cashman Field against Austin Bold FC.

Looking at the Lights (0-0-0)

From the preseason, I can tell you confidently that this is not last year’s team. The 2018 Lights had little idea how to defend, especially on the break, and didn’t seem to have an attacking gameplan. In his first preseason, manager Eric Wynalda has the club playing disciplined in defense and quickly in the attack.

Alex Harlley and Irvin Parra were the main attacking threats in the preseason friendlies and that should carry over to the USL Championship season. Parra did exit the club’s friendly vs. Orange County SC with a knock, but there was no indication it was severe.

To make this opening match even more interesting, Lights owner Brett Lashbrook has guaranteed a victory. If the Lights do not defeat Bold FC, that includes a draw, every fan in attendance will get a free ticket to the 3/30 match vs. Real Monarchs SLC. Will this lead to fans rooting for a Lights defeat to get free tickets? We shall find out.

Who You Should Know: Austin Bold FC (0-0-0)

Kris Tyrpak: Before a disappointing 2018, the winger was a consistent performer in the USL. He’s scored 23 goals in just under 100 USL matches and has five assists. He will be a key attacking player for Bold FC.

Jermaine Taylor: While Tyrpak is a quality USL veteran, Taylor is an experienced player from the division above. The defender has nearly 150 MLS appearances with Houston, Portland, and Minnesota. Most expansion sides struggle in defense, but the veteran Taylor should provide stability to the backline.

Diego Restrepo: The 2017 USL Goalkeeper of the Year stays in Texas after starring for San Antonio FC in recent years. He’s established himself as a master of the remarkable save and he’ll be motivated to show he can excel away from San Antonio.

The Deets

Las Vegas Lights FC vs. Austin Bold FC

Tomorrow, 3/9, at 7:30 PM Pacific Time

Cashman Field in downtown Las Vegas


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.