Current Roster Reflects Combination of League Veterans, Former Youth National Team Players & a Las Vegas Native Returning Home;
Pre-Season Training Camp Continues Leading Up to March 12th Season Opener.
February 16, 2023 (Las Vegas, NV) — Las Vegas Lights FC announced today the next batch of its 2023 season new player signings, as follows…:
- Jordan Ayimbilia: A 21-year old native of Ghana who played last season for USL Championship title-winners San Antonio FC.
- Jacob Bushue: An Illinois native, he previously played for USL Championship side St. Louis FC before spending the last six seasons playing in Europe (most recently with Finnish club FF Jaro).
- Leonardo “Leo” Diaz: On a season-long loan from one of Argentina’s biggest teams (River Plate), he started in goal against their biggest rival Boca Juniors in the Argentinian Superclasico in May 2021.
- Pablo Soares: Born in New York City to German parents, he has represented the German U-18 Youth National Team and has played his entire professional career to date within the youth development system of German Bundesliga club Borussia Mönchengladbach.
- Lucas Stauffer: A Kentucky native who played collegiately at perennial NCAA soccer power Creighton University, he was selected in the first-round of the 2018 Major League Soccer SuperDraft. He has played professionally in Germany the last four seasons.
- Tabort Etaka Preston: He returns to Las Vegas after spending the 2019 season with Lights FC where he appeared in 29 matches. He played last season in the USL Championship for New Mexico United.
- Andre Zuluaga: He is a goalkeeper who most recently played for Inter Miami II in MLS Next Pro. He is a 19-year native of Miami.
For reference, below is the list of 2023 season players previously announced by Lights FC, bringing the total list of currently signed players to 16 with a month left of pre-season training camp…:
Previously Announced Player Signings (presented in alphabetical order):
- Patricio “Pato” Botello Faz: Born in Mexico and raised in Texas, he was the second leading goalscorer for Detroit City FC last season in the USL Championship after spending the previous two seasons in USL League One.
- Andrew Carleton: Originally from Georgia, he previously played for every level of the U.S. Youth National Team (U-15, U-17, U-18 & U-20), Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United and USL’s San Diego Loyal.
- Zach Carroll: A veteran of USL, he’s played seven seasons in USL Championship including for New York, Orlando and most recently Memphis 901 FC. Played collegiately at University of Virginia and Michigan State University.
- Azriel Gonzalez: Born & raised in Southern Nevada, he will become the 10th player in Lights FC history to have been born in, raised in and/or attended school in the Las Vegas area. Previously trained in Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders FC Youth Academy, he has played professionally in both the USL Championship (Tacoma Defiance) and the Canadian Premier League (FC Edmonton & York United). Has also previously played for the U.S. Under-16 Youth National Team.
- Justin Ingram: A second-year pro, he appeared in 30 matches during his rookie season last year for USL Championship’s Indy XI. As a youth, he also attended training camps for both the Under 15 & Under 19 U.S. Youth National Teams.
- Andres Jimenez Aranzazu: Born in Miami but spent a considerable amount of time in Colombia where he most recently played professionally. He has appeared previously for the U.S. Under-20 Youth National Team.
- Alejandro Mitrano: Trained as a youth in the prestigious New York Cosmos youth academy before starting his professional career in the Czech Republic & Slovakia, before moving to his native Venezuela where he has been playing first-division soccer.
- Eric Oteng: Born in Ghana, he most recently played in the premier division of Finnish soccer. He started his career as part of the acclaimed Right to Dream Academy.
- Issa Rayyan: A graduate of Duke University, he enters his seventh year of professional soccer all with USL Championship with previous stints playing in Philadelphia, Tacoma and most recently Colorado Springs. He also previously attended a U.S. Youth National Team Camp, but retains his eligibility to potentially one day represent the Jordan National Team where both of his parents were born.
Each of the above player transactions are pending league and federation approval. Additional players on the roster to be announced in the coming weeks.
Pre-Season Training Camp:
Lights FC’s pre-season training camp started on February 1st. The first pre-season march took place last Sunday against Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps FC where Lights FC fell by a score of 2-1. The next match is this coming Sunday against Utah Tech University in an exhibition in St. George, Utah. Additional matches scheduled against LAFC2 & L.A. Galaxy 2 in preparation for Lights FC’s season opener on March 12th at Rio Grande Valley FC. Lights FC home opener will take place on May 5th — on Cinco de Mayo.
2023 “FLEX” Season Tickets — Start at Only $200+:
Recently voted the Best Value in Vegas Sports, season tickets start at only $200 and are uniquely structured as “FLEX” tickets. This means you can attend every match in your season-long assigned seat (like a traditional season ticket) or you can “FLEX” it so you can mix-and-match tickets to bring friends & family to specific games (e.g., 1 ticket for 20 games, 2 tickets for 10 games, 2 games with 5 tickets plus 5 games with 2 tickets, etc., etc.). Learn more at LightsFC.com/Tickets.
About Las Vegas Lights FC:
Established in 2017, Lights FC brought professional soccer to the Entertainment Capital of the World. A member of the United Soccer League Championship, the second division professional league in the United States, Lights FC averages close to 7,000 fans per match playing in downtown Las Vegas at historic Cashman Field. Named by Sports Illustrated as the “Most Interesting Team in the World,” the Club is known for its unique match day experience and was recently voted “Best Sports Value” in Las Vegas. Additional information can be found at LightsFC.com.
CONTACT:All Media Inquiries should be direct to: Communications@LasVegasLightsFC.com