Timbers 2 top Lights FC behind Asprilla’s brace

Portland Timbers 2 defeated Las Vegas in their home opener at Merlo Field.

Las Vegas Lights FC finish a two-match road trip with two defeats as they lost to Portland Timbers FC 2 on Saturday night. Dairon Asprila scored twice and Foster Langsdorf tallied once. For Las Vegas, Gabe Robinson provided the lone goal.

Key Stats

19 passes. Pablo Cruz only finished with 19 passes in his 58 minutes of action. A creative, crucial player for Las Vegas, they need him to see much more of the ball.

Two goals. Due to no MLS matches this weekend, Dairon Asprilla was able to come down from the first team and score a pair of goals, a penalty and a ridiculous bicycle kick.

20 fouls committed. Playing with less of possession, Lights FC tried to out-physical Timbers 2. While they committed nearly the same amount of tackles, Las Vegas had double the fouls, 20-9. They also received all three yellow cards issued in the match.

Two penalty kicks. Twice in the first half, Lights FC conceded penalty kicks. While Thomas Olsen was able to keep the first attempt out, Asprilla beat him shortly before the half.

Three Brightest Lights

💡💡💡 Tripa Hernandez: He continues to be the best playmaker for Lights FC. Tripa finished with two successful crosses, two chances created, and a lovely, free kick assist on Gabe Robinson’s goal. He also had a powerful shot saved in the first half.

💡💡 Gabe Robinson: The big, powerful defender blasted home a header from a Tripa free kick. He also won four of his six aerial duels.

💡 Tabort Etaka Preston: Getting his first start, the 20-year-old was exciting to watch as he made runs down the right wing. He showcased good pace and creativity, creating two chances.

Quick Kicks

⚽ Initially, I thought the second penalty may have been an incorrect decision. But, the replay showed that it was much more shoulder to back than it was shoulder to shoulder. Because of that, I think both penalty decisions were correct.

⚽ Alex Harlley was suspended for this match, according to the club. They could have used his pace to combine with Tabort Etaka. Irvin Parra played more of a set-up role vs. T2.

⚽ Kevin Garcia-Lopez is a very aggressive defender, which is good and bad for Lights FC. He was able to get a couple of interceptions and push the action forward, but that also allows him to be caught out of position.

⚽ Stop if you’ve heard this before: The Lights outshot their opponent but had fewer shots on target. Eric Wynalda’s side continues to show an aggressive mindset with a lack of clinical finishing. With a similar story in each of their three matches, Las Vegas has to figure out how to turn their attacking play style into wins. It’s all fine and good to be the more offensive-minded side, but if you don’t win, the fans won’t give you a pass.

Okay, What’s Next?

After what seems like an eternity, the Lights will return to Cashman Field next weekend to face Real Monarchs SLC. The Real Salt Lake affiliate buried LA Galaxy II, 5-0, on Saturday. The 3/30 match is Salute to Golden Knights night with the club wearing special VGK kits. This is also the match that fans got free tickets to from the draw vs. Austin Bold FC on opening night. It should be a buzzing atmosphere in downtown Las Vegas.


Top photo credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-Portland Timbers 2

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.