Lights FC head coach Chelís (right) poses in Downtown Las Vegas with his son, Lights FC assistant coach Isidro Sánchez. (Idris Erba / Las Vegas Lights FC)
At his introductory press conference in November, Las Vegas Lights FC head coach José Luis Sánchez Solá – ‘Chelís’ – made clear his belief that there is professional-level soccer talent in Las Vegas.
And he is determined to find it.
Chelís and his coaching & soccer operations staff will put together a roster featuring players from around the globe before Lights FC begins play in February 2018 at Cashman Field. But he is adamant on wanting some local Las Vegas flavor in that mix.
The chance to audition for Chelís and potentially become a member of his inaugural Lights FC squad officially comes December 9 & 10, when the club will hold its official Lights FC Player Combine. The combine will take place at Kellogg-Zaher Soccer Complex (7901 W. Washington Ave., Las Vegas, NV, 89128), and is open to both the media and the general public for viewing.
“For a spectacular city, you need spectacular soccer,” Chelís said. “I want to make sure that this team smells like Las Vegas. To do so we must have players that smell like Las Vegas. I want to smell as many local players as possible."
Open registration for the event was closed after a week due to an unbelievable response. More than 700 players registered for the event. Of the $20 registration fee each Lights FC hopeful pays to enter, all proceeds will be donated equally to the UNLV Soccer Foundation, Nevada Youth Soccer Association and Nevada Adult Soccer Association.
“I’m really looking for players, and hope that I can find several from Las Vegas," Chelís added. "This is a great opportunity, and a very unique opportunity in professional soccer.””