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New Match Preview: Lights FC vs Tacoma Defiance – Game 9

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The Las Vegas Lights return home to Cashman field as they face up against Tacoma Defiance.

 

Lights FC vs Tacoma Defiance
Photo Credit: Beautiful Game Network

Both clubs come into this match on a losing streak trailing the top 2 seeds in their respective groups by multiple wins. Therefore, the Lights need this win just as much as their opponent, if not more. Frank Yallop and his squad look to bounce back from a bad 1-0 loss against Orange County SC.

The Lights were handed their third defeat of the season, leaving them with 1 point at the bottom of group B—no need to panic yet. The team still has 13 games left to play in the season, which gives them more than enough matchups to catch up to the table. Nonetheless, the Lights need to find their rhythm soon because only time will tell until they are at risk of being too many points behind to be in playoff contention for the 2020 USL Championship season

 

The Las Vegas Lights can look to improve their attacking and distribution from their last game. The club struggled to complete simple textbook passes to move down the field, more specifically on their through passes and crosses. And of course, without the passing game, a team is going to have a rough time trying to score goals, let alone get shots on target. To put statistics into perspective, Tacoma Defiance FC has produced 40 shots on target versus to just 19 for the Lights FC. The stat also means that over 60% of Tacoma’s chances are on goal while Las Vegas’ accuracy is around 37%. 

 

 

Going up against Tacoma Defiance could be the matchup the Lights need to get their offense up and running. The Defiance tend to give up a lot of goals, as they have allowed 13 in just seven games played. 

 

However, Tacoma is no team to take lightly. As much as they give up goals, they do an excellent job of returning the favor. They still have a +1 goal difference after all competitions, so the Las Vegas back five need to be just as much on their A-game as the attack. The Lights do a good job of holding the opposition on shots, meaning the fewer attempts taken, the fewer the chances of one of them turning into a goal. 

 

Lights FC vs Tacoma Defiance
Photo Credit: OurSports Central

The player to look out for on Tacoma Defiance is 18-year old forward Alec Diaz. Originally from Puerto Rico, Diaz played three seasons for the Seattle Sounders FC youth team before being drafted by Tacoma. He is now in his third year with the club with a perfect stat line this season: 4 shots on goal and all 4 hitting the back of the net in 5 matches. At such a young age, the Puerto Rican striker has already represented his country on the men’s national team with a few appearances under his belt. 

The last time these two teams faced was back in the 2019 regular season. It was a very physical battle between the two, to say the least. Nine penalty cards were given that night; 3 being red given to Las Vegas Lights’ members Javen Torre, Jesus Gonzalez, and Samuel Ochoa Oregel. The Defiance were able to score within the first 2 minutes of the second half and never turned back. The Tacoma soccer club blew open the lead, and the match ended 4-1. 

This game against Tacoma is crucial for the Lights FC to regain some ground in the division stages. Their next matchup is the Phoenix Rising FC, who sits at the top of their table, on a three-game win streak, and outscoring their opponents with a +15 goal differential. 

 

 

You can catch the game only on ESPN+, at 7:30 pm PT.

 

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-Justin Brooks – Franchise Sports Media

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