Lights FC destroy Defiance, 5-0

A night of goals, foam, and fun in Downtown Las Vegas last night as the Lights secure a blowout win.

Las Vegas Lights FC scored early and often against Tacoma Defiance last night in Las Vegas. Irvin Parra finished with a hat trick and Tabort Etaka Preston added a brace in the 5-0 home win.

Key Stats

πŸ”‘ NINE shots on target. Almost every other match this season, I’ve written about how the Lights were getting a lot of shots off but few on frame. Last night, they had 18 shots and half of those on goal. They scored five goals in the this match…maybe there’s a correlation?

πŸ”‘ 20 crosses. On the front foot all night, Las Vegas did well playing out wide and firing service into the area. They connected on 30% of their 20 crosses.

πŸ”‘ Zero goals conceded. Another home clean sheet for Thomas Olsen, who has now gone over 300 minutes at home without allowing a goal. He and the Lights backline were not bombarded by quality chances, but they cut out any that occurred and earned the shutout.

Three Brightest Lights

πŸ’‘πŸ’‘πŸ’‘ Irvin Parra: Against his former side, Parra bagged a hat trick. He used his pace, strength, and poise from the penalty spot. Funny enough, he actually could’ve had a couple more on the night.

πŸ’‘πŸ’‘ Tabort Etaka Preston: Getting the start, the youngster from Cameroon scored the opening goal with a quick left-footed shot and added a second strike in the second half. He looks to be an explosive player.

πŸ’‘ Kevin Garcia-Lopez: The right-back finished with two chances created and two tackles, but his impact and effort go beyond the box score. More on him in a moment.

Quick Kicks

⚽ I spoke with Eric Wynalda after the match about how important Garcia-Lopez is to the club. He said, “The guy’s got an engine. When he speeds it up, there’s nobody better. He gives us so much on the offensive side of things, even if he isn’t getting the ball, he stretches the defense.” Wynalda added, “You saw some of the defensive runs he made. If he gets mad and wants to chase you down, you are absolutely not going to outrun that kid. We love him.”

⚽ Owner Brett Lashbrook has to be thrilled. While this was only the club’s second win, they’ve played exciting soccer and had another 7,000+ night of attendance last night. The special themes or gimmicks each match have come off well and there’s no reason to believe the fan support will fall off anytime soon. The club is still unbeaten at home.

⚽ I definitely want to see the Parra-Preston pairing up top again next match. The pace and skill of Preston combined with the strength and speed of Parra make for an exciting duo.

⚽ Speaking of forwards, I thought Alex Harlley would be “that guy” for the Lights this season. There’s a chance he still could be, but with only one goal and twice finding his way outside of the squad without injury, it looks like he will need to earn his way back to being a first-choice player up top.

⚽ In previous matches, I mentioned that Pablo Cruz did not get enough of the ball. Well, the playmaker had plenty of it last night and the results were positive. He connected on 95% of his 56 passes and created two chances. The more he’s on the ball moving forward, the better the Lights will be.

⚽ Wynalda mentioned post-match that he really implored his players to stay focused despite the big lead to help keep the clean sheet. They did well and TKO was there in goal when needed.

Okay, What’s Next?

The Lights will travel to South Texas next weekend to face RGVFC. The Toros secured their first win of the season last night, defeating OKC Energy 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.