Leading up to their inaugural USL regular season, Las Vegas Lights FC will host three exhibitions against MLS squads.
Lights FC, led by owner Brett Lashbrook, will make its USL debut at Cashman Field in 2018. Prior to their first regular season games, Lights FC will host three MLS exhibitions in the month of February.
The first of those games will come on February 10, when Lights FC hosts the Montreal Impact. That will be followed by a match against the Vancouver Whitecaps on February 17, and another featuring D.C. United on February 24. According to Lashbrook, the scheduling of these games reflects the club’s ambitions as it approaches its first season. More from The Las Vegas Review-Journal:
“We want to do this with big goals. There are a lot of teams that would launch and try to play against lesser teams,” Lashbrook said. “That’s just not in our DNA. We’re going to go for broke. We’re going to try to create fun. We’re going to compete against the best and we want to be the best.”
Montreal and D.C. both missed the playoffs in 2017, finishing ninth and 11th, respectively, in the 11-team Eastern Conference. Vancouver finished third in the 11-team Western Conference, losing in the conference semifinals to the Seattle Sounders.
“We are going to play a much more aggressive and entertaining style of soccer than most fans are accustomed to, and testing ourselves against three MLS clubs to start the season will be valuable for my team,” Lights head coach José Luis Sanchez Solá, commonly known as Chelís, said in a statement. “The only way to improve is to test yourself against the best competition available. These MLS clubs will also get a true taste of what Lights FC soccer is going to be all about, and they will taste it on our turf.”
The games hosted by Lights FC are not the only recent announcement of a USL squad taking on an MLS club in a 2018 exhibition. Nashville SC, another USL expansion team, has announced that it will host Atlanta United FC on February 10. Nashville and Las Vegas are among the clubs that will debut in the USL next year, joining Fresno FC, North Carolina FC (from NASL), and a Gwinnett County, GA-based team owned and operated by Atlanta.