The new era of Las Vegas Lights FC soccer started off well as they went into halftime last night tied at zero with LA Galaxy II. Unfortunately for Lights FC head coach Steve Cherundolo, there were two halves to play as his squad conceded five times in the second frame to walk away with a 5-0 defeat in his USL Championship debut.
20-7 shots, 10-2 shots on goal: With heavy advantages like that in the attack, it’s no surprise that Los Dos were able to fly past the Lights in the second half. Galaxy II were also able to get 14 of those shots off inside the box, which is a very bad sign for a defensive unit.
3/12 Aerial Duels, 42% accuracy on 19 crosses for LA: Los Dos dominated the battle in the air vs. Lights FC. They won nine of 12 aerial duels, which helped them connect on 42% of their 19 crosses. If you’re unable to consistently win the ball in the air, you will often come away with less opportunities in the attack and more times you have to defend at the other end.
Three Brightest Lights
Frank Daroma: The 20-year-old product of the Barca Academy provided a burst of energy when he was able to get on the ball, pushing the action forward from the midfield. He completed 23/24 passes and created two chances, plus four interceptions.
Danny Trejo: Coming on to start the second half, the LAFC first round pick boosted the attack, nearly notching an assist minutes into his appearance. Playing just 45 minutes, he was able to create two chances, put a shot on target, and showcase some explosiveness on the ball.
Bryce Duke: He was all over the pitch for Lights FC, involved in 19 duels and attempting 46 passes. Duke won six fouls on the night, picked up a key pass, and made two tackles.
- Let’s keep things in perspective: This was a young team getting its first official match action against a club that made the playoffs last season. Sure, the scoreline looks rough and conceding five goals in one half is inexcusable. But, this is just the season opener and they did hold Los Dos scoreless in the first half. Plus, the sad truth is there will be more matches like this with such a young roster.
- The first goal was the exact type of goal that can deflate a team. The Lights have a great counter-attack and just narrowly miss opening the scoring. Then, seconds later, Kai Koreniuk finds the back of the net at the other end.
- It was certainly an omen for the second half as the Las Vegas defense was far less organized after the break and didn’t do well closing down chances on the rebound.
- Both with experience in FC Barcelona’s Academy in Arizona, Duke and Daroma are a nice combination in the midfield. The pair of 20-year-olds are active and aggressive, offensively and defensively, and will help this club immensely with their work rates.
- Goalkeeper Tomas Romero made six saves, but he will be frustrated with himself at some of the goals he conceded. Duncan Turnbull was available behind him on the bench while Phillip Ejimadu was the one player listed on the injury report.
- Romero was one of eight players loaned down for the match by LAFC. One of the others was Danny Musovski, a native of Henderson, Nevada and a former star at UNLV. Replaced by Trejo after halftime, he wasn’t able to tally a shot on goal and was caught offside three times as he expected an earlier through ball.
- CC Uche was the inaugural captain in the “Las Dos Era” of Las Vegas Lights FC. The former Ohio State Buckeye was credited with an own goal on LA’s second score of the night, a tough break after Romero couldn’t control the original shot.
- Lights FC are still looking for their first-ever victory over Galaxy II.
Another Wednesday matchup lies ahead for Lights FC as they will travel up to the capital to face Sacramento Republic FC on 5/12. Mark Briggs’ side opened its season with a 1-0 win over Los Dos on 4/30.