Video Credit: USL

New FSM Essential Preview: Las Vegas Lights FC 2022 Season

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Lights FC (0-1) | New Mexico United (1-0)

 

It’s official. The Las Vegas Lights season is finally upon us again!

 

Lights FC vs United
Photo Credit: Lights FC

The Lights are looking to make their fifth official season in the USL Championship a turnaround after a series of underwhelming seasons since their official team debut in 2018. 

Now before you ask, “Well what’s gonna be different this time around?”, let’s look at all the changes that the Lights have made going into the season. 

We’ll start off with the biggest talking point, and that’s the deal with the Los Angeles Football Club. The Lights and LAFC agreed to a player loan agreement ahead of the 2022 season, making the Lights the official affiliate of LAFC in the USL Championship.

LAFC is one of the biggest clubs in Major League Soccer. They signed Lights’ former head coach, Steve Cherundolo, as their new head coach, making last season’s assistant coach, Enrique Duran, the new official head coach of the Lights heading into the 2022 year. Duran is a Spanish International with a resume that includes working for one of the biggest clubs in the world, FC Barcelona, and a CONCACAF title with LAFC’s U-13 team in 2018. 

 

How does this benefit the Lights?

 

Lights FC vs United
Photo Credit: Lights FC

The Lights are now basically an extension of LAFC with this deal and are now a farm factory for a powerhouse MLS team. 

The Lights defense should be a much-improved unit with the likes of LAFC home-grown youngster Erik Dueñas and Senagalese youngster, Mohamed Traore, joining the squad on loan from LAFC. LAFC took Cal Jennings, Christian Torres, Tomas Romero, Danny Musovski, Julian Gaines, and Antonio Leone on loan for this campaign. Players from LAFC’s reserves list with USL Championship contracts will most likely be joining the Lights at some point during the season, where they will provide MLS experience and talent to this Lights squad. 

Some new signings that will be added to the squad also include midfielder Chase Bromstedt, a four-year starter and graduate from the University of Tulsa, midfielder Jorge Almaguer, an FC Dallas Academy, and North Texas SC product, and goalkeeper Abraham Romero, who just completed a championship-winning season with league rivals Orange County SC. Almaguer was the only player of the bunch to make his Lights debut against New Mexico United this past Sunday, March 13th. 

 

Unfortunately, the Lights were not able to capitalize against New Mexico and fell short with a 2-0 loss away from home. 

 

Lights FC vs United
Photo Credit: Lights FC

Despite the loss, the Lights showed great glimpses of their new style of play under their new head coach, Duran. The Lights controlled the possession with 56% but lacked in their offensive half with only two shots on target the whole game. 

The biggest struggle that the Lights faced was defending set-pieces, where they conceded the 2 goals; a Harry Swartz header from a corner kick in the first half, and a Neco Brett header from a freekick in the second half. The players also seemed to tire towards the end of the game, which was probably a direct result of playing at an altitude outside of their comfort zone, and over twice as high as Cashman Field

There is plenty to be hopeful for in this upcoming season for the Lights. The team brought in a good balance of youngsters and experienced staff and players, and now with the LAFC agreement, they can train with one of the best teams in the MLS. Las Vegas will have the opportunity to pull players from that team’s reserve list to help them through this season, and as long as they continue to capitalize on learning from their mistakes and maintaining composure, the sky’s the limit. 

We know the last couple of seasons have been underwhelming for the Lights, but this season is possibly the most promising and important one for the team since their 2018 debut. 

For more information and news on the Las Vegas Lights FC, check out lasvegaslightsfc.com or call 702-728-4625

 

 The first home game of the season for the Lights will be against Phoenix Rising SC this Saturday, March 19, at Cashman Field. 

 

Las Vegas Lights FC                  Las Vegas Lights FC               Las Vegas Lights FC               Las Vegas Lights FC               Las Vegas Lights FC                  Las Vegas Lights FC               Las Vegas Lights FC              

 

-Murad Omaish – Franchise Sports Media

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