After the 4-0 loss to Orange County SC Saturday’s match offers a chance to bounce back. Tacoma Defiance seek a win in Sin City, as they take on the Las Vegas Lights FC at Cashman Field. Lights FC and Defiance split their first two matches back in 2018 with both winning their home affair. Since then, Las Vegas and Tacoma brought in new coaches. In Las Vegas that’s former US Men’s National Team star Eric Wynalda instituting the systems that brought him success with Cal FC and the Atlanta Silverbacks.
“I know they are a hard working team. Last year there were issues of organization and work ethic. This year I don’t think that’s the case,” Defiance coach Chris Little said of Las Vegas Lights FC. “I think they work hard and any time you play a team like that it’s going to be a tough game in a good environment.”
Cashman Field atmosphere
Now as the lone tenants of Cashman Field, Las Vegas Lights FC are getting even more creative with their matchday atmosphere. Saturday’s match is part Spring Break celebration and part foam party. With a crowd inspired by llamas, Elvis impersonators, and the Vegas lifestyle, Cashman’s atmosphere reflects the bright lights of the enigmatic place it calls home.
“I see it as opportunity. What a great opportunity to learn!” Coach Little is excited about the vibrant, unique atmosphere. “If our players want to go and play at CenturyLink Field in front of 45,000 people, this will be a great introduction for them. Going into a raucous environment, loud – it’s great. It’s a really good opportunity. This is why we do it. We’re excited about it and the challenge. I think that just adds to the players, they relish it and want that.”
Las Vegas Lights FC notes
- Eric Wynalda takes over as coach. His philosophy is disciplined and empowers individuals to create.
- Pablo Cruz is the attacking force for Lights so far this year with 9 chances created (14th in Western Conference) to go along with a goal and an assist.
- Stout defense at home. In their first two home matches Las Vegas has yet to give up a goal. Keeper Thomas Olsen is one of seven Western Conference net minders to have two shutouts.
Defiance: No players injured. Some absences due to U-17 GA Cup.
Tacoma Defiance and U.S. Youth National Team players like Ray Serrano, Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, Josh Atencio and Danny Robles will be linking up with the U-17s, as well as recent First Team signee Danny Leyva.
Lights: Bryan de la Fuente – OUT – Lower Body Injury
How to Watch
Stadium: Cashman Field, Las Vegas, Nevada
Kickoff Time: Saturday, April 13 (7:30 p.m.)
Home: Las Vegas Lights FC (1-3-1 -3)
Away: Tacoma Defiance (2-4-0 -10)