San Diego and Las Vegas meet again

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Credit: Cali Camera

San Diego Loyal SC vs. Las Vegas Lights FC

Torero Stadium – University of San Diego

Sunday, June 19 at 3 p.m.


Two former divisional rivals face off for the first time in 2022

This Father’s Day will be a special one! The San Diego Loyal are home once again and the feeling around the club must be positive. The Loyal play exceptional at Torero and are coming off of an easy 3-0 victory over the Hartford Athletic.

The Loyal will host the Las Vegas Lights on 619 day, who they have yet to lose to as a club in three seasons. In fact, the Locals’ very own has defeated the Lights in the last four matchups, scoring a combined 13 goals. The Loyal took down Vegas 4-2 in the last match that took place in September of last season. Before that, they scored five goals and won by a massive score of 5-1 about a month prior.

Manager Landon Donovan and company look forward to the match days against Las Vegas, as it has always turned out positive.

Credit: Cali Camera

San Diego is (7-3-4) on the season with 25 points and a (+7) goal difference. That is good for fourth in the Western Conference but are only just one point ahead of El Paso Locomotive. The good news for the Loyal is El Paso has played in 16 matches to the Loyal 14, but the bad news is all three teams ahead of SD has played 12-13 matches.

Las Vegas is (5-6-4) on the season with 19 points and a (-2) goal difference. The Lights are playing better than most projected, however, the Western Conference is stacked with talent. It will be tough for the Lights to compete if they don’t figure out how to take down the top teams like the Loyal. This would be a good match for LV to finally defeat the Loyal. If so, they have a chance to move into the top half of the conference.

San Diego Loyal vs. Las Vegas Lights

As the Loyal prepare to host the Lights at home once again, the team is aware of what it means for the fans to be a part of this journey.

“This is unlike any atmosphere in our league,” Donovan said about being back at home. “I am really proud of the effort by our guys and I’m really proud of the fans for coming out and pushing us on. It’s great to be home. It’s a really good start to the homestand. Anecdotally, the hardest game to play is when you’ve been gone for a long time. Coming back home, everyone expects everything’s just going to happen naturally in the right way. But our guys made sure that we made the game the way we wanted and credit to them for playing well.”

Las Vegas is coming off of a huge win over the defending champions Orange County SC. OC has yet to find their rhythm this season, but saw a lot of success at the end of 2021 that propelled them to eventually lift the trophy.

The USL Championship is a long campaign and every team is aware that all it takes is a good month of soccer to put you in a position for a postseason run. If the Loyal can round of the month of June with at least two more wins at home, then they will likely be in the picture by the end of summer.

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El Paso and San Diego are tied for the USL lead with 30 goals on the season. Kyle Vassell has been a huge part of it for the Loyal with eight goals in his Loyal debut season. Danny Trejo (no, not the actor) is also lighting up the scoreboard this season with seven goals for Vegas.

With Jon Kempin back for the Loyal, they have a veteran goalkeeper who will do his best to hold down the fort while Koke Vegas is out with an injury. If Kempin gets the start once again on Sunday, he may have a tough task on his hands with the improved attack from Vegas.

This should be an exciting match as the Loyal could showcase their new kits on Sunday.

With another win this weekend, the Loyal will move back into third place in the Western Conference.

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