Lights FC announced on Friday it has exercised the contract options for the 2019 USL Championship season from four players of their 2018 roster: goalkeepers Thomas Olsen and Angel Alvarez, defender Christian Torres and midfielder Matt Thomas.
Three of the returnees are Las Vegas natives who stood out in the team’s first season. Thomas Olsen took over the starting goalkeeper position in the final four games of the 2018 USL campaign, Angel Alvarez was the backup goalie who made the best of every opportunity he received, and Matt Thomas played 21 games in which he scored three goals, including the first-ever in franchise history.
Additionally, the club has re-signed forward Sammy Ochoa to a new contract. Ochoa led all Lights F.C. players with 2,765 minutes played and 30 starts in 32 games, he was the team’s second leading scorer with eight goals. His bicycle kick score in the final home game of the 2018 season is up for USL Goal of the Year.
Lights FC elected to not pick-up the options of the following players but still remains in active negotiations with each individual to join the 2019 roster: Defender Miguel Garduño, midfielders Carlos Alvarez & Alex Mendoza.
Las Vegas declined options on goalkeeper Ricardo Ferriño, defenders Joel Huiqui, Rodrigo Iñigo & Juan Herrera-Perla, midfielder Daigo Kobayashi, and forwards Juan Carlos Garcia & Daniel Guzman Jr.
The contracts of midfielders Freddy Adu, Eric Avila, Raul Mendiola and Rafael Garcia expired at the end of the season, making them free agents. The club is still actively negotiating with Adu & Avila regarding a possible return to Lights FC in 2019.
Eric Wynalda and his coaching staff will continue scouting players for the 2019 season, including on December 15th when the Club holds its Open Tryouts at Cashman Field. Registration is open at LightsFC.com/Tryouts and has a cost of $25 before December 10th and $50 the day of the event.