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Gameday Report: July 22, Week 19

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 07/22/18, 7:19PM EDT

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Salgado lifts Lights FC past Portland; Herrera shines as Rangers, Toros end even


Photo courtesy Sam Ortega / Portland Timbers 2

THREE THINGS THAT MATTERED

1. Las Vegas Lights FC pulled its way closer to the conversation for the USL Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference with a strong road performance that resulted in a 2-1 victory against the Portland Timbers 2. Coming in having suffered back-to-back road defeats, Las Vegas produced an enterprising attacking display that could have seen the side score more if not for T2 goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh, but still do enough to emerge with all three points.

2. The performance of Omar Salgado after coming on as a second-half substitute should have not only pleased Las Vegas’ fans as he produced the game-winning goal with 16 minutes to go, but also the fans of El Paso USL. The 2019 expansion club’s first signing exhibited his pedigree in a good all-around display, showing off what he’ll bring to his hometown next spring in his second appearance on loan with Las Vegas.

3. The Swope Park Rangers picked up a valuable point to end their two-game losing streak at Children’s Mercy Park but had goalkeeper Christian Herrera to thank for it in a seven-save shutout against Rio Grande Valley FC that again showed there are issues to be sorted out for the defending Western Conference champion. The Toros, meanwhile, once again were left to shake their heads at a display that easily could have resulted in victory and instead left the side with only a point to show for it.

GAME REPORTS

PORTLAND TIMBERS 2 (1), LAS VEGAS LIGHTS FC (2)

PORTLAND, Ore. – Las Vegas Lights FC took a 2-1 victory against the Portland Timbers 2 at Providence Park as Omar Salgado’s first goal with Lights FC on loan from El Paso USL proved the winner. Portland almost took the lead in the 10th minute when Eryk Williamson was played in by Renzo Zambrano, only for Las Vegas goalkeeper Ricardo Ferrino to make a sharp low save. Las Vegas was denied the opening goal of the game in the 19th minute when Carlos Alvarez’s close-range finish was ruled out, but the visitors opened the scoring eight minutes into the second half when Sammy Ochoa buried the rebound after Alvarez’s inventive finish came back off the crossbar. Lights FC almost added to its lead only for Joseph Perez’s diving header to be well saved by T2’s Kendall McIntosh before Mendiola hit the rebound off the post, and Portland leveled in the 63rd minute as Jack Barmby put home a low cross by Foster Langsdorf from the left at the top of the six-yard area. Las Vegas regained the lead with 16 minutes to go, however, as Salgado scored with a well-struck free kick that found the right corner of the net and his finish proved the difference as T2 was unable to find a late equalizer.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Omar Salgado, Las Vegas Lights FC
– Salgado’s first goal for Lights FC proved the winner as he made a positive impact after coming on, winning six of seven duels overall after coming on just past the hour-mark.

SWOPE PARK RANGERS (0), RIO GRANDE VALLEY FC (0)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The Swope Park Rangers and Rio Grande Valley FC played to a 0-0 draw at Children’s Mercy Park as the visitors were thwarted by Rangers goalkeeper Christian Herrera’s seven-save shutout. The Rangers got a pair of big saves early from Herrera to deny both Jordan Jones and Conor Donovan from close range from a set piece, and the Toros’ Pablo Aguilar twice hit the post the opening half as the game remained scoreless at halftime. The second half saw fewer chances as Amer Didic missed out on a free header on the hour-mark for the Rangers, but despite more late pressure the Toros were unable to find a way past Herrera in the Rangers goal as the teams ended scoreless.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Christian Herrera, Swope Park Rangers
– Herrera produced an outstanding display to earn his side a point at home with a string of excellent saves in his seven-save shutout.

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