LAS VEGAS – Las Vegas Lights FC has added two major names to its Spring Training roster with the announcement that former Mexico internationals Joel Huiqui and Gerardo Lugo have joined the club this week, with the chance to compete in the three February exhibition matches against clubs from Major League Soccer.
Both players have vast experience playing at the highest levels of professional soccer in Mexico, and both have résumés that feature multiple caps with the Mexican National Team.
“This is a clear example of the injustice that exists in our transfer system in Mexico – both are at their peak of their careers, both were key players for Monarcas Morelia and Cruz Azul,” said Lights FC Head Coach Chelís. “Today, they are knocking on doors because they are players who love their profession and have the humbleness to do so. They come to Lights FC to help this team succeed with their experience. All of us should feel proud of having them join this club.”
Huiqui has made 14 appearances for El Tri, including multiple World Cup qualification matches. The 34-year-old defender earned call-ups to the Mexican National Team under three different coaches, including selection to the squad for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. His first international goal came against Germany in 2015 in an international exhibition.
At the club level, Huiqui played for Cruz Azul of Liga MX from 2004-10, after the club paid 5.4 million euros to Club Pachuca. He then played from 2011-15 to Monarcas Morelia of Liga MX.
The 33-year-old Lugo is an attacking midfielder who earned the first of his four caps with the Mexican National Team in 2012. His vast club experience is highlighted by a 2006-12 run with Cruz Azul, where he scored 13 goals in 85 appearances. Lugo also has previous experience playing with Lights FC Head Coach Chelís, making 33 appearances and scoring five goals from 2010-11 with Puebla FC of Liga MX.
“We are breaking the mold of this league – bringing in two veterans from the Mexican National Team shows a true commitment to creating a spectacular team that all of Las Vegas will be proud of from day one,” Lights FC Owner & CEO Brett Lashbrook said. “Today’s announcement is further testament to the draw of playing for Chelís and in Las Vegas.”