Video Courtesy: USL

Match Recap:  Lights FC vs Tacoma Defiance – 8/20/2020


The Las Vegas Lights light up the scoreboard in a much-needed win against Tacoma Defiance. 


The Las Vegas soccer club secured their first win of the 2020 USL Championship season beating Tecoma 3-1. Unfortunately, they still remain at the bottom of the table, but they can look to use this momentum and rhythm going into the next game against a tough opponent with Phoenix

Tonight’s matchup was much less physical from the last time these two clubs faced as nine penalty cards were given out versus to only one in this game. Yallop’s game plan with a 4-2-3-1 formation, constant ball pressure and backdoor runs worked tonight as the Lights were able to score two goals in the first half. 


Photo Credit: Sounders FC

Although Tacoma Defiance had possession for most of the game, the Lights FC were able to keep the ball on the opposing side, which left Tecoma scrambling to find outlets to move downfield. The first goal came from Junior Burgos being at the right place and right time with a pass from Junior Sandoval. Burgos was able to shoot off his right foot on the run, which left goalie Cristian Herrera flat in his tracks. This was the club’s first goal since July 25, when they played their first game back into the revised schedule. 

The Lights got their second goal on the board when forward, Rashawn Dally made a sharp cut towards the back post when Yamikani Chester served up a perfect cross; allowing Dally to tap it in with ease. Burgos and Dally now lead their squad with two goals, each heading into the 6th game. Midfielder, Sandoval put the icing on the cake in the 67th minute with the third goal for Las Vegas on a fast breakaway, assisted by Vegas homegrown, Frank Frischknecht. 

Tecoma Defiance did not put a lot of pressure on the Lights’ defense as they were only able to put four shots on target. However, Azriel Gonzalez, who is also a Las Vegas native, scored a consolation goal for Tecoma in the 84th minute from careless transition defense by the Lights.   Defiance would have gone on to score two more goals if it weren’t for being a few inches caught offside.


The Lights looked like a whole new and improved team since their last match.


They improved in almost every aspect of the game when it came to shots on target, shooting percentage, and overall passing percentage. More specifically, the club’s passing accuracy on their opponent’s half of the field. This is what allowed Las Vegas to keep the majority of their possession on the other side of the field. 


Frank Yallop LV Lights
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports

There is nothing more draining (physically and mentally) to a team when they are moving downfield at a good pace, and that one bad pass attempt leads the opposition with an interception and a counter-attack going the other way against a stumbling back 4. 

The Lights FC can use this win to boost their confidence and chemistry on the field. Building momentum is crucial for teams like the Lights, who added 15 different roster spots this season. Viewers can expect a slow start like the club has had because it takes time and in-game experience to figure out the team’s tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses.

After being asked about today’s game, head coach Yallop said, “We wanted to press the team, we wanted to get after them[Tecoma] … there’s a few moments we could be better at.”

Going into this next game, Las Vegas has to execute the forward, pressing scheme against Phoenix Rising FC, who does a stellar job at breaking down their opponent’s backline.


You can catch the Las Vegas Light’s next matchup against Phoenix on August 22, 7:30pm PT on ESPN+.


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-Justin Brooks – Franchise Sports Media

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