Irvin Raul Parra is four goals away from matching his career high in USL Championship, when he scored 11 times in the 2017 season.
Las Vegas, NV – After battling out a difficult eight-day stretch in which they played 3 games, it's time to regroup for Lights FC by facing Orange County SC in the beginning of a two-match homestand.
"Beating teams on the lower half of the table at home is one thing, but being able to stand up against opponents like Orange County, New Mexico and OKC at home is a different equation,“ stated Lights FC manager Eric Wynalda. "This is a really good test, probably our biggest. I’ve seen a lot of good fight in practice, they are recognizing the situation they’ve put themselves in, and they want to dig their way out of this hole.”
After jumping to fifth place by defeating Colorado Springs on May 11, Las Vegas has gone winless in their last three USL Championship matches in which only one point was earned. Now it's time to turn the page and focus in the next task at hand, with Lights FC having their next five games against teams who are currently in USL Cup playoffs spots.
“Mentally we do need to be stronger," stated Wynalda. "We’ve had some bad results, but the one in Reno hurts the most, mainly because in the last part of the game the focus wasn’t there. You go through stretches like this sometimes, whether it’s fatigue or poor form. Good teams dig themselves out of it; they have that opportunity now.”
While the defensive line has continued its stellar performances at home by compiling 5 clean sheets in 6 matches, offensively Lights FC's attacking unit has been shutout in their last 3 regular season games.
“We’ve had plenty of chances, but we went through a stretch like this earlier in the season where we really struggled to find the back of the net", said Wynalda. "We have to put the work in this week to get that mentality back that we can score goals, we will score goals, and not go out there and be passive. I think that’s what we saw against Reno, that’s what we saw against Tulsa, and all this stuff is fixable. We have 3 of our 4 next games at home and there is plenty of opportunities for us to jump back up the standings.”
Orange County is riding a six-match undefeated streak in USL Championship action, including a 2-1 win over RGV Toros in their most recent match.
Braeden Cloutier was named head coach of OCSC ahead of the 2018 season, where he led the team to be the only team in the Western Conference to reach 20 wins. After finishing the regular season as the best team in the conference, Orange County SC was eliminated in the USL Cup playoffs Western Conference Final.
Darwin Jones is the team's leading scorer with 6 goals, with the Southern California squad having an undefeated record in 2019 when he puts the ball in the back of the net.
MLS veteran Patrick McLain is one of three goalkeepers that has seen action with OCSC this season. He has 22 saves in 7 games, racking up 3 clean sheets so far in 2019.
Pablo Cruz has seen action in every Lights FC game of the 2019 USL Championship season, being a part of the team's starting lineup ten times.
Lights FC didn’t get their fourth league win at home until their ninth match at Cashman Field in 2018, this year it only took them 5 games to get to that mark. Las Vegas surpassed their longest undefeated streak at Cashman Field from their inaugural year with 6 consecutive games USL Championship games without losing at home in 2019.
Las Vegas is one of four Western Conference teams in USL Championship that remain undefeated at home in 2019. Lights FC has the highest efficiency while playing at their stadium with a record of 4 wins, 2 draws and no losses (77.7% efficiency).
The Las Vegas-born & raised goalkeeper is tied for second-best in USL Championship with six clean sheets, which is two more than the number of times Lights FC shutout their opponents in a total of 38 games in 2018. 'TKO' hasn't allowed a goal in five of the six regular-season matches that Las Vegas has hosted in the 2019 season.
Against Sacramento on May 4, Olsen saw his streak of 368 minutes without conceding a goal at home stopped. Now he has an active streak of 180 minutes in which he hasn't allowed opponents to score on him at Cashman Field.
Parra is Lights FC's leading scorer with 7 goals, which is tied for sixth-best in USL Championship. Meanwhile, he's tied for the team lead with 3 assists and leads the league with a total of 51 shots taken.
Parra is one of only three players in USL Championship that has at least 7 goals AND 3 or more assists in 2019. In 2017 he was the first player in league history to record double-digit goals and assists while playing for Seattle Sounders 2 and Orange County SC.
He's only 25 years old, but Jose Villarreal is an MLS veteran as he made his debut with L.A. Galaxy in July 2012. He signed a Homegrown Player contract with Los Angeles, winning the MLS Cup title twice in his time with them.
Villarreal was traded to Orlando City for the 2018 season and signed with Lights FC as a free agent last week. Less than 48 hours after his first practice with Las Vegas, "Chepe" made his debut with the team in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup where he was used as a substitute and he served an assist against Orange County FC on May 29. Three days later he was part of Lights FC's Starting XI against Reno, where in 50 minutes he recorded 3 shots.
Three Lights FC players have been in the team’s starting lineup for the team in each of their 13 matches of the 2019 season: Thomas Olsen, Javan Torre, and Irvin Parra. Out of them, only Olsen has been on the pitch for every minute the team has played.
Lights FC mutually agreed to part ways with defender Eric Gonzalez. Gonzalez played in a total of 6 matches, all as a starter. He made his pro debut with Las Vegas on March 9.
Bryan de la Fuente - OUT - Lower Body Injury
Dollie - Llama - OUT - Probllama
** Lights FC's game against Orange County SC marks the beginning of the "Summer of Soccer" initiatives delivered by Zappos, which feature the lowest priced tickets in club history! Tickets for the 6 matches between June 6 and August 24 start at only $10, giving everyone in the Valley the opportunity to enjoy Lights FC pro soccer in Downtown Las Vegas.
** Saturday’s match kicks off at 7:30 p.m., start time for all Lights FC home regular season matches in 2019. For on-site ticket purchase at Cashman Field, both the box office and will call open at 2:00 p.m. on gameday. Tickets are available at LightsFC.com/Tix and at every La Bonita Supermarket in Las Vegas.
** Saturday's Zappos Tailgate Party, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Cashman Field plaza, will feature beer specials, tailgate games for adults and kids, music, the Zappos llamas Dottie and Dollie, Lights FC merchandise, and much more.
** The new Pitchside Pool Party will debut this Saturday, with multiple "swimming pools" located pitchside to bring fans as close to the action as possible. Each pool rental is priced at $50 and can be reserved at LightsFC.com/PoolParty, calling 702-728-GOAL or by visiting the Lights FC Guest Services Booth at Cashman Field on match days.
** The party doesn't stop at the end of the action on the pitch. After every Lights FC home match, Two Roots Brewing and Zappos will host the "Happier Hour" post-game party at Cashman Field's Club Level Restaurant. Team players and manager Eric Wynalda will make an appearance at the party that is open to fans of all ages that are in attendance at Cashman Field.
Las Vegas Lights FC fans will be able to follow-up along with every match of the 2019 USL Championship season via national & local media outlets.
Saturday's game (7:30 p.m. kickoff) will be aired locally on MyLVTV with broadcasters Jeff Radcliffe and Devon Kerr announcing the action.
The match will also be aired on ESPN+, while the Spanish-language radio broadcast with Alvaro Puentes & Alejandro Romo on the call can be listened at ESPN Deportes 1460 AM & online on LVSportsNetwork.com.