Las Vegas Lights: The Pride of Sin City Soccer | LeoVegas

Las Vegas Soccer Team

The entertainment capital of the United States is home to enough casinos that the city can be seen lit up from space, and is the driving force behind hit casino games like Vegas Ball Bonanza and Vegas No Limit Wins. Las Vegas has long been touted as an ideal home for a major sports team.

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In 2017, the NHL decided to take that first step, introducing a brand-new hockey team, the Vegas Golden Knights. They immediately connected to the community and proved both successful and profitable from the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise. By 2020, the NFL had seen enough to warrant moving the Raiders from Oakland to Allegiant Stadium.

While it may not be a major league team, Las Vegas is also home to a professional soccer team. Las Vegas Lights FC was founded in 2017, potentially laying the groundwork for the MLS to expand to Sin City at some point in the future. This is the story of Las Vegas’ soccer team.

Las Vegas Soccer Team History

The Las Vegas Lights aren’t the first soccer team to call the iconic city in Nevada home. Back in the 1970s, the North American Soccer League saw the Quicksilvers play out of Las Vegas, however, they moved to San Diego in 1976. They were succeeded by the Las Vegas Seagulls in the American Soccer League in 1979, but they only made it through one season. Now, the Lights seem to be a lot more entrenched.

Las Vegas as a Soccer Market

Traditionally, when it comes to investing and expanding the MLS, a lot of the focus has been on the Hispanic community. Given that around three-quarters of Hispanics in the US call themselves soccer fans, this angle does make some sense. As it turns out, Nevada boasts quite the Hispanic population.

In 2021, over 19 percent of Nevada's residents, from a total population of 3.06 million, were not born in the US. Government data also indicates that 689,000 people were listed as Hispanic, and over 590,000 households primarily speak Spanish. In this sense, Las Vegas is an ideal place to become a soccer market.

Significance of the USL Las Vegas Soccer Team

As it stands, the Las Vegas Lights are the best soccer team in Nevada. They returned professional soccer to the Silver State for the first time since the 1970s and have managed to last for seven years so far.

The Inception of the Las Vegas USL Team

Originally, all eyes were on the MLS getting an expansion team in Las Vegas. There were several high-profile bidders and an offer to fund a new stadium from state coffers. That proposal was turned down and an offer to become a USL Championship expansion team was accepted in its place.

Team Name and Logo Selection Process

Las Vegas Lights won the fan vote held at In the vote, it managed to get the better of Las Vegas Action, Las Vegas Silver, Club Vegas, Las Vegas FC, and Las Vegas Action. As for the logo selection, the team got to select from over 400 fan submissions.

The crest is modeled on a turned version of the iconic Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, while the lettering draws from the Life is Beautiful festival. The colours were chosen because so many fan submissions utilized pink, blue, and yellow, making for a distinctly Vegas aesthetic.

Initial Challenges and Excitement

Playing at Cashman Field, which has a capacity of 9,334, the Lights played their first preseason game in front of a sell-out crowd, losing 2-0 to the Montreal Impact of the MLS. When that season (2018) kicked off, their first home game welcomed over 9,000 spectators through the gates. Clearly, there was plenty of excitement around the Lights.

However, as should be expected from inaugural teams, the Las Vegas Lights finished 28th in the standings, putting up eight wins, seven ties, 19 losses, and a -24 goal differential. The Lights managed to uphold an average attendance of over 6,700 in their inaugural season. Still, the Lights would remain bottom-dwellers for another five seasons of play.

Roster and Key Players

Here’s a look at the players who have made, and some who continue to make, an impression on Las Vegas as players for the Lights.


Coming over from River Plate for the 2022/23 season, Leonardo Díaz came straight in as the number-one goalkeeper for the Las Vegas Lights. After keeping two clean sheets in 30 games, he moved on to Nueva Chicago in the Argentine second-tier. Now, the gloves have been passed to 20-year-old Floridian, Andre Zuluaga.


A USL Cup champion, Zach Carroll knows what it takes to win at this level, which is likely why he wears the captain’s armband. The centre-back came to Las Vegas in January 2023 and set up three goals in his first 32 games. Alejandro Mitrano and Lucas Stauffer were also standouts from the backline, with the latter scoring four goals and six assists for the Lights in 36 games. However, Mitrano left for free agency, and Stauffer went to El Paso.


Last season saw a tremendous amount of personnel change, with the midfield certainly welcoming new faces. Justin Ingram came over from Indy Eleven to score twice in his first season in Las Vegas. Azriel González came down from FC Edmonton in the Canadian Premier League, showing his quality with five goals from left midfield.

Issa Rayyan also came to Sin City, but he could only muster eight appearances in his first season. Andrés Jiménez proved an inspired addition, setting up a goal in his 36 games and being praised for his work rate in defensive midfield. However, he’s now with Chattanooga FC in the MLS Next Pro league.

This season, the Las Vegas Lights will look to power up the midfield with diminutive midfielder Charlie Adams. While Adams began his career with Brentford and Barnet in the UK, he’s been in the USLC since 2015. In that time, the 29-year-old has scored 18 goals and 31 assists in 191 games.


Last season, Pato Botello Faz burst onto the scene as the striker the team desperately needed, scoring four goals in the opening 19 games of the campaign. Unfortunately, he suffered an Achilles injury after scoring in back-to-back games in July and remains a free agent.

Still at the club are two rather versatile attackers. Both Andrew Carleton, an MLS and US Open Cup winner, and Ghanaian winger Eric Oteng can play across the front line and deeper in midfield. Last season, Carleton scored twice and set up two more, while Oteng ended with two assists.

Coach and Home Area

Unlike major league teams, the Las Vegas Lights find themselves in the heart of the city. So, they’ve been able to offer a strong selling point to the turnstile of head coaches who’ve come to the club.

Home Stadium

The Las Vegas Lights play at Cashman Field and have called it home since their inaugural game in 2018. The stadium seats 9,334 fans but also has room for standing. With the Lights looking to be a permanent fixture until at least 2032, the stadium has been renovated to better suit soccer operations.

Head Coach

After concluding last season with four wins, 22 losses, and ten ties, the Las Vegas Lights decided to move on from Isidro Sánchez. Now, they’ll look to push up the league with Dennis Sanchez at the helm.

Major Achievements and Highlights

In the 2022 season, replacement head coach Enrique Duran guided the Lights to within one point of the playoffs, marking what is still the team’s highest finish. So far, few would back the Lights to win many games in soccer betting.

Season-by-Season Performance Analysis

For the most part, the Las Vegas Lights have been basement-dwellers. In 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, the Lights finished 15th or 13th in the Western Conference and are among the lowest-ranked in the overall standings. That changed in 2022 with a ninth-place finish in the conference, but they sunk back to 12th with three wins in 2023.

Highlighting Notable Achievements and Milestones

The highest scorer in club history is Cal Jennings, who scored 21 goals and nine assists in 45 appearances.


What are some notable achievements of the team?

After a few years of struggling to climb the standings,,in the 2022 season, former assistant Enrique Duran managed to pull the Lights to within one point of the playoffs.

What are the colours of the Las Vegas Lights?

The colours of the Las Vegas Lights are black and red for the home kit, and white with light blue for the away kit. On the logo, you’ll see a black background highlighted by light blue, yellow, and pink neon letters and symbols.

Is there a professional soccer team in Las Vegas?

Yes. Announced in 2017, the Las Vegas Lights of the USL Championship are a professional soccer team, playing out of Cashman Field in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada.

Who is the Head Coach of the Las Vegas Lights?

After another disappointing season, in January 2024, the Las Vegas Lights changed their head coach again. This time, they’ve welcomed Dennis Sanchez, who was the assistant manager at Austin FC II.

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