“It felt like a loss – From all of the games, that’s the one that hit us the most.”— “Now, we just look at it as another opportunity to go out and get three big points.” -Carlos Alvarez
LAS VEGAS (June 30, 2018) — In the first meeting, Lights FC scored early in the match, and with a relentless offensive attack in the first half, created several more prime scoring opportunities. But it never converted another chance, gave up an equalizer late in the first half and ultimately felt as though it lost two points on the Western Conference table as opposed to gaining the one it did via the draw.
A chance to make up for that result comes Saturday night, as Lights FC (4-6-4, 16 points) looks to get back on track early in a stretch on the schedule in which it plays eight of 10 matches on the road. At 5:30 p.m. PT, Lights FC will kick off against Tulsa Roughnecks FC (1-8-7, 10 points). The match will air locally on myLVTV and stream nationwide on ESPN+.
“The big thing we want to fix in this meeting is that we have the opportunity to get on them in the very beginning,” Lights FC Head Coach Isidro Sánchez said. “We had a lot of opportunities in the first 25 minutes of the first meeting, but scored just one. Obviously, now, the whole team, we’re in a different moment.”
A big difference entering this second meeting for Lights FC is that the club’s offensive attack has seemed to have found a consistent groove during the month of June. So far, the club has tallied 10 goals in four matches in June – its highest-scoring month so far in 2018.
Meanwhile, along with the motivation that comes with wanting to avenge the May 5 result, Lights FC’s focus on the match should be sharp given Tulsa’s recent, sudden upward trend.
On Monday, following a winless start to the season through 15 matches, Tulsa made a coaching change, appointing Michael Nsien as the club’s new Head Coach. In turn, the team responded on Wednesday night by registering its first 3-point result of the season – a 2-0 victory over LA Galaxy II.
“The first thing that changes with a team with a new coach is that everyone starts from zero – All of the players, they have the same opportunity, so it’s a big motivation for them,” Sánchez said. “More specifically with this team, they built more from the back (on Wednesday). Second, it’s just a detail, but it’s how Joaquin Rivas changed position. With the previous coach, he played along the sideline, mostly on the right side. With this coach, he’s more based in the center.”
It was Rivas who scored the aforementioned equalizer in the first meeting between the two clubs at Cashman Field, and he will be the focal point for the Lights FC defense yet again, as the Las Vegas High School and UNLV alum leads Tulsa in scoring this season with six goals.
“We have to make sure we do the right things defensively, and then just create as much as possible,” Alvarez added. “We had a lot of chances and we didn’t put them away (the first time). The main thing is making sure we put away our chances this time, and we have to stay hungry.”
PHOTO/Notes: via Lights FC