Las Vegas Lights FC return for their fifth season in 2022, and they had a slew of announcements this week.
The club renewed their affiliation agreement with LAFC for a second season. This seems to indicate Las Vegas will be the reserve team for LAFC, before LAFC joins MLS Next Pro, the new MLS reserve league, in 2023.
With 2021’s Lights FC coach, Steve Cherundolo, now the head coach at LAFC, Las Vegas have appointed Enrique Duran as their head coach for 2022. Duran was assistant coach for the club last season, so he’s been promoted. The Spain native has previously worked for global powerhouse FC Barcelona and managed the LAFC academy team that won the U-13 Concacaf Champions League title in 2018.
Joining Duran on the coaching staff will be Stephen Campos and Omar Zeenni as goalkeeper coach.
With Lights FC’s preseason kicking off this past week, the club has 10 players rostered for the season to come: returning players Danny Crisostomo, Frank Daroma, Bruce El-Mesmari, Dekel Keinan, Alvaro Quezada, Nathan Sepulveda and Danny Trejo. Joining them is three newcomers: goalkeeper Abraham Romero, who won the 2021 USL Championship title with Orange County SC, midfielder Jorge Imanol Almaguer, a product of the FC Dallas academy with experience playing for North Texas SC in USL League One, and midfielder Chase Bromstedt, a Sporting Kansas City academy product who just wrapped up his NCAA career at the University of Tulsa.
Based on Cherundolo’s comments so far in preseason, it appears Crisostomo is trialing for a shot to get back on LAFC’s first team this season, and frankly that’s a de facto possibility for all players on Las Vegas’ roster, since they have been training with LAFC and seem set to continue to do so. Last season, Crisostomo and Julian Gaines earned first team contracts with LAFC after starting the campaign with Las Vegas.
And let's give a warm welcome to the newcomers!#VivaLights pic.twitter.com/5Gvlx8Xhpm— Las Vegas Lights FC (@lvlightsfc) February 4, 2022
Finally, Las Vegas have announced they will play four closed-door tune-up games before the season kicks off:
- Feb 11 vs. Sacramento Republic
- Feb. 20 vs. LA Galaxy II
- Feb. 26 vs. Albion San Diego
- Mar. 2 vs. Orange County SC
The 2022 Las Vegas Lights regular season is scheduled to kick off Sunday, Mar. 13 at New Mexico United, before opening their home slate on Mar. 19 against Phoenix Rising FC.
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