Lights and Rapids finish level in Vegas

In their second, and final, match of Soccer Spring Training 2019, Las Vegas Lights FC draw with Colorado Rapids.

After blowing out Toronto FC 5-1 earlier this month, Las Vegas Lights FC closed out Soccer Spring Training with a 2-2 draw vs. Colorado Rapids at Cashman Field. The hosts opened the scoring not long before the half when Cristhian “Tripa” Hernandez got out on the break after a quick free kick and buried a shot. In first-half stoppage time, Dillon Serna leveled things for Colorado. Nicolas Mezquida scored from a long way out in the 60th minute to put the visitors up, but Christian Torres would equalize a few minutes later.

Three Brightest Lights

Alex Harlley: The man they call Acapulco was always involved in the attack vs. Colorado before subbing off. Whether he was battling to win the ball in the air, putting shots on frame, or breezing past defenders down the wing, he’s tough to deal with.

Christian Torres: He was finding his way to dangerous areas all night and finally found his goal in the second half.

Tabort Etaka Preston: His appearance was brief, but it was memorable. He was able to showcase his pace and skill on a late play, eluding a defender and firing a shot off the post that would have won the game.

Quick Kicks

⚽ After the two matches vs. MLS sides, I think the Lights’ versatility will be one of their biggest strengths. They are able to create dangerous opportunities playing the ball wide, slowly working it up the middle, or with long balls over the top. A varied attack is a difficult attack to stop.

⚽ It was disappointing to not see Tim Howard play in his trip to Vegas, but he was a class act and took a little time after the match to take pictures and sign autographs.

⚽ Speaking of goalkeepers, I’m not sure if Thomas Olsen misread the shot that gave Colorado their second goal. It was from a good distance out and didn’t have a ton of pace, but Olsen didn’t seem to track it quick enough and was beat far post.

⚽ Pablo Cruz is feisty and I don’t think it will take him long to get under his opponents’ skin this season. He is a scrappy, skilled player that does not back down. I expect Lights fans will love his tenacity.

⚽ It looked like Vegas native Matt Thomas was playing some left-back in the second half and that might be a good move. His pace fits the position perfectly and he will not need to force things as much as he did last season when he was playing in the attack.

⚽ The clubs played a closed-door scrimmage earlier in the day, with Colorado winning that one 3-0.

Okay, What’s Next?

With their two major preseason scrimmages in the books, Las Vegas Lights FC will continue to prepare for their season opener at home vs. Austin Bold FC on March 9th.


Photo credit: 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.