July 2, 2022
USL Championship League Match
Cashman Field, Las Vegas, NV
City Beats the House in Vegas
Detroit City took to Sin City this 4th of July weekend to meet the Las Vegas Lights FC. It was our first match against the Lights and it would begin with the temperature at 101 degrees Fahrenheit and 9% humidity (a dry-heat, right?).
In April 2017, Brett Lashbrook, a former consultant to USL and MLS clubs in Florida, submitted a formal proposal to the Las Vegas City Manager to use Cashman Field as the venue of a USL expansion team that would begin play in 2018. The Las Vegas City Council approved the Cashman Field lease in July. On August 11, 2017, Las Vegas was formally announced as a USL expansion team that would join the league in 2018. Since their inception, the Lights have not yet qualified for the playoffs. On March 12, 2021, Las Vegas Lights FC announced an affiliation partnership with Los Angeles FC of Major League Soccer. Under the one-year partnership, Las Vegas became the USL affiliate of LAFC and shared technical staff, including manager Steve Cherundolo, a former U.S. national team player. In 2022, the affiliation was extended for another season.
Vegas came into the match on a three-game winning streak, sitting in 7th place in the Western Conference, with 7 wins, 4 draws, and 6 losses. City came in at fourth place in the Eastern Conference, carrying a 7 win, 5 draws, 4 loss record, however winless in 4, having lost their last match in Memphis. City has never lost two in a row under Trevor James.
A familiar NISA face leads the Lights. Former Los Angeles Force foward Danny Trejo is tied for third in the league with 9 goals and tied for 9th with 4 assists. City during its entire NISA history, had conceded no goals to the Los Angeles Force in its six matches, nor would they concede to Danny Trejo tonight as he, and teammate Cal Jennings, were out for the match.as they were called up by LAFC to sit on the bench against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
LAS VEGAS LIGHTS FC
Abraham Romero – GK
Mohamed Traore – D
Alejandro Lara – D
Morten Bjorshol – D
Alvaro Quezada – D
Daniel Crisotomo – M
Frank Daroma – M
Jorge Almaguer – M
Daron Iskenderian – F
Christopher Jaime – F
Nathan Ordaz – F
DETROIT CITY FC
Nate Steinwascher – GK
Karl Ouimette – D
Stephen Carroll – D/Captain
Devon Amoo-Mensah – D
Michael Bryant – D
Deklan Wynne – D
Maxi Rodriguez – M
Abdoulaye Diop – M
Antoine Hoppenot – F
Connor Rutz – F
Pato Botello Faz- F
The head referee was Melvin Rivas. This is his 13th match as head referee since his USL Championship debut as a head referee on May 16, 2021. He has shown 63 yellow cards, inflated by an 11-yellow card match on May 28, 2022 between Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio, where he also flashed his only red card. Assistant Referees tonight were Baboucarr Jallow and Christian Lara.
Two teams who have never met each other in the past generally begin with a feeling out process, however City took possession and control of the ball. Las Vegas, however, had the best chance of the half in the 23rd minute. Nathan Ordaz made a run into the box and rocketed a shot just above Nate’s reach, hard into the crossbar, sending the ball away. That seemed to level the play in the half with both teams failing to score. Each team fired four shots, all wide of the frame.
In the second half, Maxi received the ball and fired a one-timer just off target in the 55th minute. Nate was then called upon to make a couple of tough saves in the 59th and 61st minute.
But then, City broke the deadlock. Controlling the play outside the Las Vegas box, Karl Ouimette chipped a ball in toward goal that was headed away by Alvero Quezada, sailing outside and to the opposite side of the box. Deklan Wynne reached with his left leg to keep it in play, and let it bounce. Spotting runners breaking to the far corner, Deklan floated a pass back in and Connor Rutz headed it into the goal.
Connor Rutz made his debut with City on February 28, 2020, when the club made its debut in NISA. He started and played 76 minutes in the 2-nil victory against the Los Angeles Force out on the west coast. COVID then halted the nation and the season. But when it all returned, so did Connor. The Commerce Township native attended Schoolcraft College in 2016 where in 19 matches he scored 5 goals, then transferred to Saginaw Valley State University in 2017. In his senior year at SVSU, Conner earned GLIAC Offensive Player of the Year and All-GLIAC First-Team honors, D2CCA All-Midwest Region Second-Team honors, was named to the United Soccer Coaches All-Midwest Region First-Team, and the United Soccer Coaches All-America Second-Team. He also played during the summer of 2016 and 2017 with the Michigan Stars. Since that first match in the cancelled NISA 2020 spring season, Connor’s been with us as a steady performer on the pitch. He also suited up for the Cincinnati Dutch Lions of USL-2 for two seasons (2018 and 2019). The Black Arrow Award winner for 2021, Connor put City in the ESPN highlights with a bicycle kick goal against New Amsterdam FC on September 11, 2021.
Connor’s goal opened the match, and scoring chances became abundant. But neither team could add to the scoreboard. The house didn’t win in Vegas tonight.
Each team had made three subs. For Vegas, Roberto Molina came in at the start of the second half for Deron Iskenderian; Jorge Almaguer was subbed out for Chase Bromstedt in the 70th minute; and in the 84th minute it was a swap of Nathans as Nathan Sepulveda entered the match for Nathan Ordaz. For City, Maxi made way for Brad Dunwell in the 60th minute; Francis Atuahene subbed in for Antoine Hoppenot in the 76th; and Rhys Williams stepped in for the goal-scorer, Connor Rutz, in the 89th minute.
Only Maxi in the 53rd minute and Nathan Sepulveda in the 90+’ minute was shown yellow cards by Melvin Rivas.
Las Vegas Lights 0, Detroit City FC 1
DCFC: Connor Rutz (Deklan Wynne) 63′
ATTENDANCE: ? (Las Vegas announced their attendance for only 4 matches this season. This was not one of them).
Possession: LV 52.7%, DCFC 47.3%
Offsides: LV 2, DCFC 2
Corners: LV 3, DCFC 10
Passes: LV 481, DCFC 405
Passing Accuracy: LV 83.6%, DCFC 81%
Shots: LV 10, DCFC 14
Shots on Target: LV 4, DCFC 3
Blocked Shots: LV 2, DCFC 2
Fouls: LV 4, DCFC 13
Yellow Cards: LV 1 (Nathan Sepulveda), DCFC 1 (Maxi Rodriguez)
Red Cards: LV 0, DCFC 0
KEEPER KIT RECORD (Both USL Championship and Open Cup)
A clean sheet victory in blue.
- Purple Kit: 3 draws
- Yellow Kit: 4 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss 2 clean sheets
- Blue Kit: 6 wins, 1 draw, 4 loss, 3 clean sheets.
IN OTHER USL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHES TODAY:
Atlanta United II 2, El Paso Locomotive 2
Indy Eleven 0, Miami FC 1
Tampa Bay 2, Memphis 901 FC 0
Louisville City FC 2, Birmingham Legion 1
San Antonio FC 2, Charleston Battery 0
Monterey Bay FC 1, New Mexico United 1
Phoenix Rising 2, Orange County SC 2