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Know Your Opponent: Las Vegas Lights FC

By Eira Castillo, 04/13/18, 3:15PM PDT

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Get to know this Saturday's opponent

Sacramento Republic FC and Las Vegas Lights FC will both be looking to continue their respective undefeated streaks as they face off in USL Week 5 at Cashman Field. Kickoff is 8 p.m.

Ahead of the match, get to know Lights FC. 

Head Coach

Las Vegas is led by Head Coach Isidro Sanchez. Working alongside his father, Lights FC Technical Director Jose Luis Sanchez Sola, more commonly known as El Chelis, Sanchez has gotten the USL expansion side to a great start, with Lights FC currently undefeated. The first-time head coach took home the USL Coach of the Month award for the month of March, as he led Las Vegas to a 2-0-1 record and sealed the team's first-ever USL win in their match against Fresno FC. 

Prior to his coaching career, Sanchez played professionally for his hometown club Puebla FC in Liga MX and also represented Canada in Olympic qualifying games ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. 

Key Players

Making his debut with Lights FC this Saturday will be Freddy Adu, a well-known name in U.S. Soccer; he holds the record for the youngest player ever drafted in MLS history, signing his first professional contract at age 14 with DC United. Adu has been training with Lights FC since Jan. 23 but has yet to make an appearance for the Las Vegas side. Adu has played across 13 clubs all over the world, playing in the U.S., Serbia, Brazil, Portugal, Turkey, Finland, Monaco and Greece.

The backline is anchored by former Mexico Men's National Team defender Joel Huiqui. The 35-year-old defender brings a wealth of experience with him, having been a stalwart for Liga MX club Cruz Azul. Between 2002-2012, Huiqui made 135 appearances with La Maquina, scoring four goals, and also going on loan spells with Pachuca and Morelia during that time. In 2012, Huiqui was signed to Morelia full time, making a total of 104 appearances through 2018. During his time with Morelia, he also went on loan with Tapachula and Potros UAEM, both playing in Mexico's second division. Huiqui was named to the USL Team of the Week in Week 3.

Up front alongside Adu will be a familiar face for Republic FC fans in forward Sammy Ochoa. Ochoa signed with Lights FC ahead of the 2018 season after spending the 2017 season in Sacramento. While with Republic FC, the 31-year-old forward scored eight goals and recorded six assists in 27 matches played. So far in the 2018 season, Ochoa has started and played in every single Lights FC match. 

Home Pitch

Las Vegas Lights FC play their home matches at Cashman Field, with Lights FC sharing the stadium with Triple-A baseball team the Las Vegas 51s. Lights FC hosted their first-ever match at Cashman Field on Feb. 10 when they faced off against MLS club Montreal Impact in an exhibition match in front of 10,383 fans. 

2018 Season So Far

Lights FC enter their match against Republic FC off a two-week break between their last match and Saturday's encounter. The Las Vegas side kicked off their inaugural USL season with a 3-2 road win at Fresno FC. They hosted their first USL match at Cashman Field on March 24, with Lights FC drawing 2-2 with Reno 1868 FC. In their last match, Lights FC snatched a 2-1 win from Swope Park Rangers to enter their bye week on a high note. 

Saturday's Match

Saturday's match will be broadcast live on KQCA My58 and Estrella TV Sacramento. The match will also be the first Republic FC match to be broadcast on ESPN+, the USL's broadcast partner; it will not be streamed on YouTube. To learn more about ESPN+, click here

We'll be hosting two official watch parties at New Helvetia Brewing and at Grist Beer Hall. The match will also be shown at the Craft Beer Vault. See watch party details >>

You can also follow along live on Twitter @SacRepublicFC or using #LVvSAC

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