Saint Louis FC Takes On Las Vegas Lights Saturday In St. Louis
Riding a two-game winning streak, Saint Louis FC welcomes the Las Vegas Lights to Toyota Stadium in St. Louis Saturday Night.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm at World Wide Technology Soccer Park.
Saint Louis FC is 7-6-8 on the season. With 29 points, the Chupacabras sit in 11th place in the USL West.
Las Vegas Lights FC is 7-9-7 on the season and holds the 13th spot on the USL West table with 26 points.
If you can’t make it to Toyota Stadium, stream the match via the ESPN+ streaming service. You can make it to Soccer Park, but you don’t want to drive to Fenton? Take the FREE Pub 2 Park shuttle.
Scroll down for a preview of Saturday’s match and much more, including tailgate talk and puppies.
Last Time Out
Saint Louis FC picked up its second win in a row last weekend, beating Seattle Sounders FC II 2-0 at home. Kyle Greig made it 1-0 early for the home side and Austin Lebbetter scored his first professional goal in the 34th minute. Jake Fenlason picked up the clean sheet and saved an 88th minute penalty kick in the process. While praising his team’s first half performance. STLFC head coach Anthony Pulis also had harsh words for its performance in the second half, calling it “a real disappointment to be honest.” 4,134 fans were in attendance at Toyota Stadium for the match.
Las Vegas Lights FC got an 82nd minute goal from Joel Huiqui to beat Rio Grande Valley FC 1-0 last weekend in front of 6,752 fans at Cashman Field.
Scouting Las Vegas
As I wrote before the previous match between these clubs, “Las Vegas is definitely a Las Vegas team.” By only scoring one goal in the victory last month, they fell short of the three goals needed to win $100 in poker chips. Lights FC has won poker chips twice this season at Cashman Field, with the last being back on June 16 against Seattle. This team has played a lot of soccer since then. Stretching back to a June 13th matchup with Phoenix, this weekend’s match will be its eleventh in a span of 60 days.
STLFC will have played eight in that span.
Vegas is among the top half of the USL in team scoring with 31 goals scored. Those goals have been scored by ten different players, including former boy wonder Freddy Adu. The 29-year old’s lone goal this season was his first professional tally in three years. Raul Mendiola, Carlos Alvarez and Samuel Ochoa share the team lead in goals with five each. Huiqui and Daigo Kobayaski, who is sadly not the forsaken competitive eater, have four goals each.
The Lights will have technical director Jose Luis Sanchez Sola back on the sidelines in St. Louis, that is if he doesn’t manage to get suspended between the time I write this and kickoff. “Chelis” was most recently suspended for eight games by the league back in June for contact with a fan. He returned from suspension last weekend. The father of Lights FC head coach Isidro Sanchez has missed 12 games this season already due to suspension. Here’s more on the interesting roles the father and son duo plays for the club.
Captain Carlos Alvarez will miss this weekend’s contest while he serves a three-match suspension for a vicious elbow dealt to the head of a Seattle player back on July 26. Defender Marcelo Alatorre will be eligible to play in St. Louis after serving a one-match suspension. He picked up his suspension for being shown two yellow cards late in the same match against Seattle.
The Las Vegas has accumulated more suspensions than any other USL club this season and they may be in line for even more soon. Alatorre’s next yellow card could result in another one-match suspension for accumulating five on the season. Marco Jaime’s next would be his eighth and would also result in a one-match suspension, while it’s Joel Huigui who is one yellow away from his 11th and a two-match suspension.
What To Expect From Saint Louis FC
The Chupacabras will be out for revenge this weekend after falling 1-0 in Vegas just over a month ago. STLFC largely played well in the contest, but gave up what Pulis called “an extremely poor goal to concede from a counter attack situation.” Them team will be deteremined not to allow another this time around.
While Pierre Da Silva’s loan officially ended and the youngster returned to Orlando City, Saint Louis FC did add a new player in 23-year old Audi Jepson. The midfielder was the Horizon League Offensive Player of the Year as a senior at Wisconsin-Green Bay last year and just finished the PDL season with the Des Moines Menace, scoring six goals and recording six assists in 16 games.
Michael Cox, acquired earlier in the season from Nashville SC has also been cleared to train with the team and should be progressing towards being match fit. With Austin Martz and Jonathan Barden also possibly returning from injury soon, Anthony Pulis could have some tought decisions to make.
Hear from coach Pulis below in this week’s edition of Bugging the Coaches
Let The St. Louligans And KTRS Tickle Your Ear Holes
Have you listened to the latest episode of the This Is Silly! podcast from the St. Louligans? While the hosts will admit that their show’s quality suffers slightly when the Chupacabras win, they still record a soccer podcast that you should listen to. They also talk about some other USL news in this week’s episode.
The Big 550 AM KTRS’s FC Soccer Weekly on Friday nights is your chance to hear the very latest news and notes heading into the weekend match. Brendan Wiese and former STLFC head coach Dale Schilly host the show with guest segements each week featuring Anthony Pulis, general manager Jeremy Alumbaugh, players and more. This week, with the PGA Championship in St. Louis, the soccer program will air at 8 pm Friday night. Listen to it here.
Ain’t No Tailgate Like A Louligan Tailgate
Already have you tickets to the match? The St. Louligans, aside from hosting a wonderful podcast, also host a wonderful pre-game tailgate. The party begins when the parking lot gates open at 5:30 pm Saturday and no sooner. As mentioned on the podcast episode linked above, breakfast foods will take over the tailgate menu this weekend. The clouds parting, angels singing and rainbows over World Wide Technology Soccer Park also indicated that glorious breakfast foods will be there Saturday as well as a special treat from Kirkwood Station.
Each week the St. Louligans raise money for a different local charity through their Charity Du Jour program. They do this by accepting donations in exchange for physical goods defaced with their logo, food and empty cups. We still haven’t figured out why people seem to love those empty cups so much, but the supporters group raises a lot of money for great causes. This week’s beneficiary is the University of Missouri-St. Louis SUCCEED program.
The Louligans raised $490 for Unsung Heros before last week’s game and the program’s year-to-date total is closing in on $19,214.
Pack The Park
With the 2018 PGA Championship taking place in St. Louis at Bellerie Country Club this weekend, many fans may be concerned about traffic issues Saturday. The Fenton Logistics Park just west of Soccer Park is being used as a commuter lot for golf fans. This was touched on in the latest This Is Silly! episode and no issues are expected for fans attending the soccer game.
Don’t want to drive yourself to Fenton? Take the complimentary Pud 2 Park shuttle. The shuttle leaves at 5:30 pm from Mission Taco in Soulard, 6 pm from Amsterdam Tavern and 6:30 pm from Sugarfire 44 in Fenton. The shuttle departs 10 minutes after the end of the match to return fans to their original locations. Reserve your spot on the shuttle on the Pub 2 Park webpage.
Weather forecasts are calling for a clear St. Louis Summer evening at Soccer Park Saturday night. With temperatures in the low 80s at kickoff, it should be a beautiful evening for soccer at Toyota Stadium. Tickets can be purchased in advance at SaintLouisFC.com or by calling 636-680-0997. A limited amount of tickets will also be available at the Marco Box Office before the match.
After Saturday night, Saint Louis FC is back in action at World Wide Technology Soccer Park on Wednesday August 15 as they take on Sacramento Republic FC. Check out the awesome ticket deal below that the club is offering for the next two matches.
Categories: Saint Louis FC