Las Vegas Lights FC announced the first decisions regarding its 2020 USL Championship roster.
As we move into December, Las Vegas Lights FC have begun to put together their roster for the third season in club history. Today, the Lights announced that they picked up the contract options for Thomas Olsen, Javan Torre, Gabe Robinson, Jonathan Levin, Junior Sandoval, Edwin Rivas, and Santiago Echavarria. In corresponding moves, they declined the options on Irvin Parra, Sammy Ochoa, Angel Alvarez, Bryan De La Fuente, Christian Torres, Kevin Garcia Lopez, Panzani Sousa, Victor Rojas, and Pablo Cruz. The deals for Jose Villarreal, Adam Hobbs, Tabort Etaka Preston, and Mobi Fehr all expired at the conclusion of the season. In the official release, the club and technical director/manager Eric Wynalda mentioned that they are still negotiating with some of the players that didn’t get their option picked up.
The biggest surprise of the announced moves is declining the option of all-time leading goalscorer Irvin Parra. The physical forward led the club in goals and assists during the 2019 season (15 G, 7 A). He caused a bit of a disturbance during the season when he made insinuations about not being paid, but that seemed to blow over quickly and he continued to lead the attack down the stretch.
Bringing back a core of Olsen, Torre, and Robinson will help set a foundation for the club’s 2020 defense. Rivas and Echavarria performed well in limited moments last season and they could see expanded roles next season. Levin and Sandoval are quality rotational players and both are steady.
Of the players that are out of contract or had their option denied, I’d say the top three the club should be working to bring back would be Parra, Tabort Etaka, and Sousa. Who knows if any of them are on the list of players currently being negotiated with, but Parra is a consistent performer and Tabort Etaka and Sousa have a lot of potential.