Video Credit: USL

FSM Essential Recap: Lights FC vs Riverhounds – Game 8

Franchise Sports Media

The Las Vegas Lights FC bounced back from back-to-back losses to hand the Pittsburgh Riverhounds their first loss of the season. 


Lights FC vs Riverhounds
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

The Las Vegas Lights FC faced off against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday in the second game of a three-game homestand. Despite losing to undefeated Colorado Switchbacks last week, The Lights FC was able to defeat another undefeated team in the USL Championship this week, with a first-half goal from no other than USL Championship top goal scorer and assist maker Daniel Trejo. It was enough to secure a 1-0 win. 

The Lights FC came out in yet another new formation this week, making it their fifth new formation of the season. The formation, 5-2-3, saw Tomas Romero return in goal as goalkeeper instead of Abraham Romero, making it his first appearance in the starting lineup since the 5-4 win in the game of the season a few weeks back against El Paso Locomotive. Antonio Leone and Alejandro Lara kept their places at center back and were joined by Dekel Keinan as the third center back in the backline.

Mohamed Traore and Morten Bjorshol remained as the starting left and right backs. Captain Daniel Cristosomo remained as the only starting midfielder in the lineup. He was joined by Alvaro Quezada as the second midfielder, as Frank Daroma and Jorge Almaguer were benched and brought in as second-half substitutes. Cal Jennings and Trejo kept their spots in the lineup as forwards, while they were joined by Roberto Molina, who replaced Christian Torres as one of the forwards. 

The Lights came out as powerful as they had been looking all season in the first half. The team dominated possession in the first 45 minutes of the game. They were able to sneak in a goal in the 27th minute, as Quezada made a brilliant interception in midfield and played the ball to Trejo, who slotted it in the bottom right corner for his league-leading sixth goal of the season. The remainder of the half was entirely in the Lights FC’s hands, as they allowed Pittsburgh no shots on target and no dangerous chances for the rest of the half. 

Although we are used to a high press by the Lights FC regardless of whether they are winning or losing, the team came out very defensive in the second half. The Lights FC knew how dangerous of a team Pittsburgh can be and decided to play as defensively as possible to secure the win. Despite only having one shot on target and 39% possession in the second half of play, the Lights FC displayed defensive brilliance, and T. Romero came up huge with four outstanding saves in the second half, as they succeeded in being the only team to defeat the Riverhounds this season. 


The main takeaway from this game is that the Lights are here to stay for this USL season.


Lights FC vs Riverhounds
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Not only did the Lights FC almost beat an undefeated team last week, but they bounced back after that loss and defeated another undefeated team yesterday. The Lights FC has been at the peak of their performance this season. The team has displayed incredible flexibility in their style of play, as they continue to switch formations and styles while shuffling players into different positions based on the teams that they play against, rather than sticking to what sometimes works, which is what lost them the majority of their games last season. 

On top of that, we have arguably the best player in the league in Trejo, who can’t stop scoring and assisting goals. He continues to lead the league in both criteria for the fourth straight week, encouraging the team to follow his brilliance. 

The Lights FC currently sit in fourth place in the Western Conference and seventh in the whole league with a 4-3 record, only four points away from the top. If someone were to say that the Lights would be one of the best teams in the league before the beginning of this season, especially after suffering 23 losses last season, they would’ve been a laughing stock. The Lights FC continues to defy any odds placed to have a winning record, despite being an underdog in the sportsbook in nearly every league game of the season. 

The Lights’ last game in this homestand will be against LA Galaxy II this upcoming Saturday, April 23rd, at 7 PM. Make sure to catch this game on ESPN+.

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-Murad Omaish – Franchise Sports Media

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