A Light Preview: Match #15 vs. New Mexico United

After some turbulence off the pitch, Lights FC will look to land an upset at home vs. New Mexico United.

A week ago today, Las Vegas Lights FC played to a 1-1 draw vs. a 10-man Orange County SC at Cashman Field. Since then, some things have been addressed off the pitch, players won’t be available tonight, and there will be some low-priced beverages flowing in downtown Las Vegas. All that and more in your official preview of Las Vegas Lights FC vs. New Mexico United.

Looking at the Lights (4-6-4)

If a week was entirely normal on and off the pitch, it wouldn’t be the Las Vegas Lights FC way. Flashback to 6/8, the Lights play to a 1-1 with OCSC despite having a man advantage the entire second half. Some odd/interesting things to know about this one.

⚽ There were kiddie pools lining the touchline that were available to rent and all of them were occupied during the match.

⚽ After scoring the lone goal for Las Vegas, Irvin Parra did the “Johnny Football” money celebration and yelled don’t mess with my money into sideline emcee Bojo’s mic.

⚽ Speaking of Bojo, he was told by Eric Wynalda in his first half walk-off interview that the club would be more offensive because they could.

Let’s address these one at a time. First, I realized the pools are actually a decent idea after early skepticism. It’s going to be around 100 degrees the entire match tonight and the mini water oasis would feel nice. Second, Parra apologized via Instagram about his comments and Wynalda and Brett Lashbrook offered their clarifications to our friends at SocTakes.com. The leading scorer for the Lights is suspended for the match vs. New Mexico United. Lastly, the Lights were not that more offensive in the second half and they couldn’t score on a team playing down a man on the road. That’s not great.

In regards to the match tonight, it might not be a fun one, unless you are putting down some $2 tequila or $5 tequila-Jarritos mix, named the Waldo. The club will be without Parra and Sammy Ochoa, per the club’s preview. That leaves a lot of responsibility on young players that have not consistently performed. Santiago Echavarria and Preston Tabort Etaka will likely both feature in the attack. They will rely on service from veterans like Pablo Cruz, Jose Villarreal, and Tripa Hernandez for service on the scorching summer pitch in downtown Vegas.

On the backline, I was pleasantly surprised with Javan Torre playing outside on the left. With the highest scoring club in the USL Championship coming to town, Torre, Christian Torres, Gabe Robinson, Dejan Jakovic, and Kevin Garcia-Lopez will need to turn in their best effort as a unit.

Who you should know: New Mexico United (6-2-7)

Kevaughn Frater: He sits atop the USL Championship scoring list at the moment with ten goals. The Jamaican is a nightmare to mark right now with his pace, finishing, and positional awareness. He scored midweek in the dying moments against Colorado Rapids in the US Open Cup.

Santi Moar: Unfortunately, stopping Frater is not enough to slow down New Mexico. They also have one of the players tied for second in goals with nine, Santi Moar. The former Bethlehem Steel man was unstoppable at the start of the season and leads the club in shots, duels won, and is tied for best in chances created.

Juan Guzman: Typically, the player that has the most passes for a club does not have the highest percentage. This is not one of those typical times. The 30-year-old midfielder has 785 passes, good for second in the league, and completes them at a 92% clip. He’s also added 16 interceptions.

The Deets

TONIGHT, 7:30 PM Pacific Time, at Cashman Field

Las Vegas Lights FC vs. New Mexico United

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.