The Lights find goals and their first win of 2020 vs. Tacoma

Las Vegas Lights FC break out with a big win over Tacoma Defiance at Cashman Field.

After struggling to score goals and going winless in their first four matches, Las Vegas Lights FC reversed both trends as they scored three goals in a 3-1 victory over Tacoma Defiance last night at Cashman Field. The Juniors, Burgos and Sandoval, each scored once and FC Cincinnati loanee Rashawn Dally added the other. Azriel Gonzalez, a Vegas native, scored the consolation goal for the Seattle Sounders FC affiliate when they were already down 3-0.

Key Stats

Five shots on goal. After only putting one effort on frame vs. Orange County SC, the Lights were more clinical with their efforts last night as they put five shots on goal and three of them in the back of the net.

Eight corners and 17 tackles. These are obviously two very different categories, but both of these numbers were season-highs for Las Vegas and they illustrate the aggressiveness that the team played with. They tried to assert themselves in the midfield with physical play and force Tacoma to defend and knock the ball behind for corner kicks.

Three Brightest Lights

Junior Burgos: He scored the opening goal for the Lights (which may have been helped by a deflection from Tacoma’s Taylor Mueller) and had his fingerprints all over the attack. Burgos finished with five shots (two on target), three key passes, and attempted ten crosses.

Yamikani Chester: The pacey attacker brought energy and effectiveness in his final third to his second appearance with the Lights. He picked up the assist on Rashawn Dally’s goal and connected on 32/37 passes.

Johnny Fenwick: On the backline, Fenwick was active, picking up three interceptions and four clearances. He also completed 80% of his passes.

Quick Kicks

  • That’s a big win for the Lights. Not only is it their first of the season, but it also came with more than double their season total of goals in one match.
  • 2019 first-choice goalkeeper Thomas Olsen came on at the break to replace Lalo Delgado, who has started every match this season. While I didn’t notice a clear-cut moment of him limping, Yallop wouldn’t have taken off his starting keeper unless it was forced by injury.
  • The addition of Seth Moses has been great thus far for the Lights. The holding midfielder did well in his distribution again in his second appearance and really does well to contest everything crossing into the midfield.
  • Another standout player that didn’t make my top three was Jordan Murrell. The Canadian left-back did well to get forward to help spread out the Tacoma backline.
  • Las Vegas absolutely controlled the first half, but Tacoma didn’t go quietly in the second frame, getting more forward.
  • The counter-attack by the Lights for the third goal was crisp as Jose Carrera won the ball, sprung the break, and played the ball to Blake Frischknecht before the striker set up Sandoval’s finish. Frischknecht looked likely in his stint off the bench.
  • Minnesota United loanee Noah Billingsley made his debut, playing 61 minutes at right-back and registering three fouls and one tackle.

What’s Next?

A tall task awaits Frank Yallop’s side this weekend as the Lights are set to host Phoenix Rising FC. A perennial power, Rising FC sits atop the Group B table and they have the most goals scored in the USL Championship, eight from Junior Flemmings, co-leader for the league’s Golden Boot.

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.