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Too green: Las Vegas Lights 1, San Diego Loyal 2

Cherundolo’s group battled but couldn’t get the result.

Courtesy of Lights FC Communications

Las Vegas Lights FC hustled, but they lost their second game in a row on Friday, falling 2-1 to San Diego Loyal at Cashman Field.

A game that featured several debutants for Las Vegas led to a second-half equalizer and hope the team could grind out a result, but San Diego’s class in attack won out and they continued their red-hot form in the end.

Three LAFC pros were loaned to Las Vegas for this game, all three starting, in defenders Mohamed Traore and Tony Leone and forward Christian Torres.

Former LAFC man Alejandro Guido opened the scoring for San Diego in the 7th minute, with a quick break off a bad Las Vegas turnover in their own half that the midfielder picked up, then hit a worm-burner from distance.

That was it in terms of goals in the first half, and while San Diego controlled the run of play and had nearly all of the scoring chances in the first 45, the good news for Las Vegas was that the game was not out of hand and they just needed an equalizer to get right back in it.

Torres injured himself a few minutes before the hour mark, the forward making a tackle and feeling a twinge on his trailing leg. It’s unclear if he suffered a hamstring injury of some sort or just a cramp, but the LAFC loanee needed attention from the medical staff and didn’t last much longer before he was taken out of the game.

Las Vegas found the tying goal in the 62nd minute from the player who replaced Torres, with LAFC Academy player Marvin Gamez hitting a second header off a header across the grain, Gamez’s header bouncing off the bottom of the crossbar and off San Diego GK Trey Muse to hit the back of the net. It was Gamez’s first goal at the professional level, at 17 years of age.

But San Diego retook the lead in the 74th minute, as Miguel Berry cleaned up the rebound from Las Vegas goalkeeper Alex Rando’s good save on Corey Hertzog’s initial attempt off another Lights FC costly turnover.

On balance, San Diego had a far more experienced team and they are on a roll of late, so it’s not a shock they found a way to victory. I think this was fully a development game for Lights FC, and Steve Cherundolo gave debuts to the likes of Eric Iloski and Michael Yeboah and playing time to plenty of rookies and youth players. It would have been nice to get the result, but it wasn’t in the cards this time.

Las Vegas will be back in action in just over a week, when they take on Tacoma Defiance next Saturday.

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