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Las Vegas native Azriel Gonzalez joins Lights FC for new season

By Staff, 02/28/23, 4:46PM EST


Former Defiance winger joined by Pato Botello Faz, Justin Ingram among new signings for 2023 season

Las Vegas native Azriel Gonzalez is among the new signings for Las Vegas Lights FC, having recorded 10 goals and 10 assists in 69 appearances in the Championship in his career to this point. | Photo courtesy Charis Wilson / Tacoma Defiance

LAS VEGAS – Las Vegas native Azriel Gonzalez is among the next group of signings announced by Las Vegas Lights FC ahead of the 2023 USL Championship season, with the attacking midfielder set to be joined by goalkeeper Andre Zuluaga, defender Jordan Ayimbala, midfielders Justin Ingram and Tyler Bagley and forward Pato Botello Faz at Cashman Field this campaign.

The transactions are pending league and federation approval.

Gonzalez joins Lights FC after spending the past two seasons in the Canadian Premier League, most recently for York United FC. The 21-year-old made 23 appearances in the 22 season, recording three goals and two assists for the side. Gonzalez had previously made 69 appearances for the Tacoma Defiance, and has recorded 10 goals and 10 assists in the league during his career in the Championship.

Botello Faz arrives in Las Vegas having recorded eight goals and one assist for Detroit City FC in the 2022 USL Championship season, helping Le Rouge reach the postseason in their first season in the league. The native of Monterrey, Mexico had previously had success in USL League One, recording seven goals and three assists across 31 appearances in two seasons in the league before joining Detroit City ahead of the 2021 season.

Ingram makes the move after making 30 appearances this past season for Indy Eleven in hits first campaign in the professional ranks. An Indiana native, the 24-year-old had previously competed collegiately for the Loyola University Maryland, and for Indy recorded 23 interceptions, 25 tackles and made 146 recoveries while posting a 79.5 percent passing accuracy rate in the center of midfield.

Ayimbala joins Lights FC after having most recently competed for San Antonio FC during the 2022 campaign on loan from Ghana’s Accra Lions. The 22-year-old made eight appearances for SAFC as it claimed the 2022 Championship title, recording 21 recoveries and three tackles in 121 minutes of action.

Bagley heads west after most recently competing for Inter Miami CF II in MLS NEXT Pro, where he recorded two goals and one assist in 15 appearances during the 2022 season. The 23-year-old was selected with the No. 54 pick of the 2022 Major League Soccer SuperDraft by Inter Miami CF after in 2021 being voted to the USL League Two All-League Team after recording 12 goals in 12 appearances for the Boston Bolts and earning the No. 23 spot in the league’s Top Prospects ranking.

Zuluaga also makes the move from Inter Miami CF II, where he made 11 appearances over the past two seasons in goal for the side in both USL League One and MLS NEXT Pro. A former United States U-16 international, Zuluaga made seven appearances for IMCFII last season, posting one shutout. 

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