RENO, NV - Lights FC's struggles away from Cashman Field continue, as they dropped the first leg of the Silver State Cup against Reno 1868 FC by a score of 4-0.
"Clearly it's a horrible loss for our team because it's our main rival, it stings more," said Lights FC manager Eric Wynalda. "The fact they (Reno) had ten days to prepare for this game made it somewhat problematic when we were playing our third match in eight days".
After going scoreless in the first 40 minutes of the match, 1868 FC capitalized on Corey Herzog being left unmarked inside the 6-yard box to open the score and give them a 1-0 lead into the halftime break.
Shortly after the second half kicked off, Reno once again found the back of the net with a brilliant Herzog floater pass over a Lights FC defender found Jamaican national team member Brian Brown who scored his eight goal of the season to extend his team lead.
Tabort Etaka Preston and Edwin Rivas were used as substitute players for Las Vegas, revitalizing the team's offense and generating opportunities, but they couldn't find a way to put the ball past goalkeeper Matt Bersano.
With Lights FC pushing forward trying to cut Reno's lead, 1868 FC took advantage of open spaces left in the Vegas defensive third by adding goals from Raul Mendiola in the 79th minute and Duke Lacroix in the 86th with shots from the penalty arch to seal the final score with a 4-0.
"We need to be men about it, we need to take a good look in the mirror and move forward," stated Wynalda. "We're better than this, we've played poorly in the last few games. We need to make sure this trend doesn't continue."
This was the first time since the Silver State Cup series started in 2018 that the score ended up with a goal differential greater than one score.
For just the second time in the 2019 season, Lights FC was out-shot and surpassed in possesion by their opponent in a match.
There has been a huge difference in the way Lights FC has performed at home and on the road, Las Vegas now has to take advantage that 5 of their next 7 matches will be played at Cashman Field.
"If we're going to turn this thing around, it's right now", said Wynalda. "We need to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and get back to work, get the results at home and then move on from there. We have to go one game at a time."
Las Vegas will kick off a two-game homestand on Saturday, June 8 by hosting Orange County SC, following it up with a match against current Western Conference leaders New Mexico United on Saturday, June 15. Tickets for all Lights FC matches at Cashman Field are available at Lights FC.com/Tix and at every La Bonita Supermarket in the valley.