Lights FC’s attack can’t get on track in shutout loss to El Paso

In a crucial home fixture, Las Vegas was kept off the score sheet in a home defeat.

After a two-match road swing and with a 10K cash drop on the agenda, last night should have been a triumphant return for Las Vegas Lights FC at Cashman Field. Instead, the important late-season fixture turned out to be a 3-0 loss to El Paso Locomotive FC. Josue Gomez scored a second-half brace after subbing into the match and Sebastian Velasquez converted a penalty kick for El Paso.

Key Stats

🔑 One shot on target for Las Vegas. The El Paso defense did well to force the Lights into firing shots from outside the area or wide of the mark. Once LVLFC conceded the goal, the visitors sat major numbers behind the ball for the rest of the way.

🔑 20 fouls conceded by Lights FC. Trying to push the action and play physically, the Lights were whistled for double the fouls that Locomotives FC were (20-9).

Three Brightest Lights

💡💡💡 Tabort Etaka Preston: With El Paso committing major numbers to the defense, Tabort Etaka pressed the action with his pace and dribbling ability. He created four chances for Las Vegas and went 2/4 on crosses.

💡💡 Javan Torre: He completed 32/36 passes and was pushed forward to almost a left-wing position as the second half wore on.

💡 Mobi Fehr: Back in the starting lineup at Cashman Field, the midfielder completed 93% of his 44 passes and 90% in the attacking half. He was able to move the ball around and from defense-to-attack.

Quick Kicks

⚽ There were three crucial calls by the referee and I don’t believe he really missed on any of them. On the first penalty, there was definitely contact and definitely some theatrics to embellish the contact. But, it was a penalty. The second one was a bit softer, but again, there was absolutely contact in the box as another correct penalty was awarded. Lastly, for anyone doubting the second yellow on Junior Sandoval, it very much looked like a caution-worthy foul to me, likely fueled a bit by frustration late in the defeat.

⚽ Regarding the penalties, the crowd exploded when Thomas Olsen stopped the first shot from the spot. It definitely flipped momentum to the Lights briefly and was one of the best crowd reactions I can remember, as I tweeted. That says a lot because it was a smaller crowd than usual at Cashman Field.

⚽ Not enough last night from the Inglewood Connection, Irvin Parra and Jose Villarreal. Neither saw enough of the ball and their attacking presence could’ve done wonders for the Lights.

⚽ Another player that’s needed to do more is Pablo Cruz. After Eric Wynalda said that he’ll be one of the best players in the league, he only has one goal and two assists in 25 appearances. He’s created a lot of chances, but at some point, that needs to turn into production.

⚽ Speaking of Eric Wynalda, he departed the sideline before the final whistle and there is no indication he was sent off. It was definitely a frustrating result for the USMNT legend and his side.

⚽ For the second straight year, the Cash Drop appeared to go off without an issue on a windy, warm night in Las Vegas. It appeared to be as composed as that kind of chaos can be.

What’s Next?

📅 Well, this next match is certainly a mismatch on paper. 14th-place Lights FC will host the hottest team in all of North American soccer on Wednesday when Phoenix Rising FC come to town. They won their 18th straight match this season last night over San Antonio FC.