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Las Vegas Lights FC 2021 Season Preview

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 04/22/21, 5:00PM EDT


Las Vegas Lights FC will welcome fans back to Cashman Field this season as it enters a new partnership with Major League Soccer's Los Angeles FC. | Photo courtesy Las Vegas Lights FC

2021 Outlook

The biggest news of Las Vegas Lights FC’s offseason was the club’s partnership with Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles FC, which saw LAFC install United States Men’s National Team legend Steve Cherundolo as the club’s new Head Coach and begin to build a roster that includes some intriguing names at Cashman Field this season.

Most attention, however, may be trained on Cherundolo, who since the end of his playing career has moved into the coaching ranks both at Hannover 96 – where he spent the duration of his playing career in Germany – and VfB Stuttgart. Working alongside LAFC’s coaching staff, led by his former National Team Coach Bob Bradley, Cherundolo’s approach to try and bring success to a Lights FC side that has struggled for consistency will be fascinating to watch.

The acumen LAFC has shown in acquiring players from the lower divisions in their short history is a major reason for optimism for Lights FC. From former Louisville City FC standout Mark-Anthony Kaye – now a stalwart in LAFC’s midfield since joining the club for its expansion season – to more recent arrivals such as Danny Musovski, LA’s staff has identified talent well, which could make Lights FC a surprise package in the Pacific.

Notable Arrivals

Duncan Turnbull, Goalkeeper: Shot-stopper arrives on loan from Portsmouth FC

Eric Iloski, Defender: Former UCLA player joins elder brothers Brian and Milan in the pro ranks

Michael Yeboah, Midfielder: 19-year-old arrives on loan from Ghana’s Accra Great Olympics

Daniel Crisostomo, Midfielder: Former Orange County SC man brings solid Championship experience to new club

Notable Departures

Blake Frischknecht: Signed with Chattanooga Red Wolves SC

Junior Burgos: Signed with C.D. Chalatenango (El Salvador)

Jose Carrera Garcia: Signed with Chattanooga Red Wolves SC

Two To Watch

New Las Vegas Lights FC midfielder Daniel Crisostomo brings two seasons of experience in the Championship with Orange County SC to his new club. | Photo courtesy San Diego Loyal SC

Michael Yeboah, Midfielder

Arriving on loan from his native Ghana’s Accra Great Olympics, Michael Yeboah has already seen top-flight action and will be hoping to work his way up the professional ranks with Lights FC. The 19-year-old recorded four goals in 16 appearances for the Great Olympics, including a pair of tallies in February that helped him earn nomination for the Player of the Month award in the Ghana Premier League.

Daniel Crisostomo, Midfielder

One of the players with USL Championship experience arriving at Lights FC for the new season, Daniel Crisostomo joins the club from Orange County SC, where he spent the first two seasons of his professional career. A former college player at UC Irvine, Crisostomo has notched more than 40 appearances in the Championship, split between starts and appearances off the bench. His prior experience could be very useful to his new teammates as they get acclimated to their new club and league.


With more than 350 appearances in the Bundesliga for Hannover 96 and 87 appearances for the U.S. Men's National Team, new Las Vegas Lights FC Head Coach Steve Cherundolo is one of the all-time greats of American soccer.

Steve Cherundolo (1st Season)

With more than 350 appearances for Hannover 96 and 87 caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team, Steve Cherundolo put together a legendary career for club and country on the field. Now the 42-year-old Illinois native is looking to make his mark in the coaching ranks, starting in Las Vegas. Lights FC hasn’t had too much to crow about in its first three seasons but the hope is a fresh start in concert with LAFC may help lift the side to more positive outcomes this season.

Key Number

32.46 Lights FC’s defense struggled to contain opposing attacks during the 2020 season, allowing an Expected Goals mark of 32.46 across its 16 games, fourth-worst in the Championship. Building a strong foundation at the back may be the starting point for Steve Cherundolo’s work to build a successful on-field product in Las Vegas.

Projected Finish: Seventh Place, Pacific Division

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