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Gameday Previews – Wednesday, September 13

By Staff, 09/12/23, 10:10AM EDT


Locomotive FC look to return above playoff line in visit to Las Vegas

El Paso Locomotive FC will try to earn a season sweep of Las Vegas Lights FC on Wednesday night and move back above the playoff line in the Western Conference. | Photo courtesy Ivan Pierre Aguirre / El Paso Locomotive FC

El Paso Locomotive FC will try to move back above the playoff line on Wednesday night as it kicks off Week 28’s action with a visit to Las Vegas Lights FC, which while sitting at the foot of the Western Conference standings has matched El Paso’s points total over the past six games and has a young forward who has hit a rich vein of form.

Here's a look ahead at the action.

Las Vegas Lights FC vs. El Paso Locomotive FC

Venue: Cashman Field
Kickoff: 10:30 p.m. ET
Broadcast: ESPN+

The Lowdown: Las Vegas Lights FC will look to build on an impressive victory last time out as it plays host to El Paso Locomotive FC, which would jump back into the playoff positions should it complete a season sweep of the series. Lights FC (3-16-9, 18pts) earned a 3-1 victory against Oakland Roots SC this past Saturday night as Tyler Bagley scored a pair of goals and Danny Rios notched two assists. The victory marked the first time Las Vegas had claimed victory after trailing at the halftime break since its inaugural 2018 season and continued a rich run of form for the 20-year-old Rios, who now has four goals and two assists in the past four games. Locomotive FC (10-11-6, 36pts) will look to bottle up that attacking prowess in a similar fashion as it did Orange County SC in its last outing on Saturday, when the sides played to a 0-0 draw at Championship Soccer Stadium, allowing only two shots on target in the contest. That defensive posture came at a cost to the side in the attacking third, however, where Locomotive FC was held without a shot on target in a game for the first time since the 2020 season, resulting in Monterey Bay F.C. jumping into eighth place in the West. El Paso sits only a point behind both Monterey Bay and seventh-placed Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, however, and after a 2-1 win when it played host to Las Vegas earlier this season that saw Luis Solignac and Erik McCue find the net the visitors will be hoping to get back in the win columns after picking up all three points in just one of its past 13 games.

Spotlight Players
Las Vegas Lights FC – Danny Rios:
The 20-year-old El Salvador international has come into his own in the past four games and could provide a threat to Locomotive FC’s back line as he looks to continue his current streak.

El Paso Locomotive FC – Emmanuel Sonupe: The English winger was positive coming off the bench against Orange County and could be in line to start here, providing a threat on the flanks to stretch Las Vegas’ defense. 

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