Lights FC midfielder Rafael Garcia trains with the club on Tuesday, August 7, in preparation for Saturday's road match at Saint Louis FC. (Maddie Dobbins / Lights FC).
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As Las Vegas Lights FC continues to reinforce a now healthy roster during the mid-summer stretch, the club on Thursday signed 5-year Major League Soccer veteran and 2-time MLS Cup champion Rafael Garcia for the remainder of the 2018 season.
The 29-year-old defensive midfielder, originally from Granada Hills, Calif., joined MLS side LA Galaxy in 2012, and was with the franchise through 2017. During that time, he made 45 MLS appearances, helping the club to MLS Cup championships in both 2012 & 2014.
"Rafa is a unique player, because he is experienced, but also has the hunger of a younger player," Lights FC Technical Director Chelís said. "That is why he'll be very important for us in this final part of the season. He is a hard-working, holding midfielder, and I'm sure that he will never stop during the minutes he plays. He will give maximum effort for this team."
While with LA Galaxy, Garcia was also teammates with current Lights FC midfielder Raul Mendiola. Mendiola was also a midseason signee for the club this summer, and has added a jolt to the Lights FC offensive attack, scoring five goals over the course of 10 appearances.
Entering Saturday's 5:30 p.m. road match at Saint Louis FC with a fully healthy roster, the addition of Garcia, who is eligible to play immediately, gives the club's technical staff 23 players on hand and available.
Last weekend, Lights FC gained some ground in the chase for a Western Conference playoff berth with the win, and now look to keep momentum building during a busy August. Saturday at 5:30 p.m., Lights FC (7-9-5, 26 points) aims to complete a season sweep of Saint Louis FC (7-6-8, 29 points). Lights FC won the first meeting between the two at Cashman Field on July 7, 1-0.
While the team is away, Carlos Alvarez & fellow Lights FC non-traveling players, plus Cash the Soccer Rocker, will host a free poolside watch party for Saturday's match at Plaza Hotel & Casino.
Saturday's watch party begins at 5 p.m., and the night will feature signature cocktails from Jameson, Absolut and Malibu, plus a photo booth, putting green and bingo, featuring Lights FC prizes for the winners.
Following Saturday night's event in DTLV, the final two installments on the "Saturday Night Lights" slate will be upcoming home matches on Aug. 18 and Aug. 25.
August 18, will be UFC Night at Cashman Field, with UFC legend Forrest Griffin, plus current fighters Joseph Benavidez and Claudia Gedalha on hand at the match and interacting with fans at the Zappos pregame tailgate party.
For a full rundown of available ticket promotions - including the popular "Ticket and Grub" combo - and special offerings this month at Cashman Field, visit LightsFC.com/August.