Preview | LAFC at Las Vegas Lights - U.S. Open Cup


LAFC at Las Vegas Lights - U.S. Open Cup

Wednesday, May 8 at 7:30pm PT

Location: Cashman Field - Las Vegas, NV 🏟

TV: Free on 🖥, 🖥 and 🖥

Coming off a 3-1 defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes in MLS regular-season play last Saturday, LAFC next travels to face the Las Vegas Lights in the Round of 32 of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, May 8, at Cashman Field.

Outside of a Cristian Olivera goal in the 69th minute, the Black & Gold were unable to take advantage of their opportunities at Levi’s Stadium. The setback drops LAFC to 4W-4L-3D in MLS play and into seventh place in the Western Conference with 15 points through 11 matches played.

LAFC now shifts gears to the 2024 U.S. Open Cup, where it will face off against United Soccer League Championship side Las Vegas Lights for the first competitive matchup between the formerly connected clubs.

Lights In Depth:

Led by first-year head coach Dennis Sanchez, the Lights are looking to advance to U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 for the first time in team history.

The Lights, who began play in 2018, come into Wednesday’s match with a 3W-6L-0D regular season record. They are in the midst of a four-game losing streak and currently sit in ninth place in the 12-team USLC Western Conference.

Las Vegas was LAFC’s official second-tier affiliate for the 2021 and 2022 seasons with LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo leading the Lights in 2021, and current LAFC assistant coach Enrique Duran succeeding him for the 2022 season. Five members of LAFC’s senior roster played for the Lights in those years.

The Black & Gold Can Win If:

They can take advantage of a Lights side that’s still searching for its identity. As the Los Angeles Times reported on Friday, when former MLB All Star José Bautista bought the club in January of this year, he inherited a team with no coaches or players. Sanchez, hired to lead the project on the field, built a roster on short notice – a roster that won three of its first five games before losing its last four in a row. LAFC, which has struggled on the road (0W-4L-1D) in MLS play, can take no road result for granted, and will rely on an attack that has scored 19 goals in 11 MLS matches.

The Lights Can Win If:

They keep the game close and try to punch in a second-half winner. Playing at home against the MLS team that used to send its second-team players to Vegas could provide a bit of David-versus-Goliath motivation for the home team. The Lights normally play in a 4-2-3-1 formation, and may sit back and defend early on to try and frustrate the visitors.

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