EL PASO, Texas – El Paso Locomotive FC will look to continue their push for the playoffs in midweek action against Las Vegas Lights FC, the second and final matchup between the two sides in the 2023 regular season.
After a scoreless draw at Orange County SC on Saturday, El Paso (10-11-6, 36 points) has fallen out of the playoff picture and into ninth place, one point Monterey Bay, which is clinging to the final Western Conference playoff spot. El Paso has seven matches left to get back into the postseason.
El Paso is 4-2-0 all time vs Las Vegas. In two matches at Cashman Field, El Paso posts a perfect two-win record. El Paso shut out Las Vegas in both matches, outscoring them 4-0. In their last five meetings, El Paso has won four of those contests, including the last two.
In the reverse fixture earlier this season, El Paso overturned an early deficit to win 2-1 at home, with Solignac and McCue netting the first-half goals to secure Los Locos three points.
Ending Orange County SC’s eight-match win streak in a 0-0 draw over the weekend, El Paso will use the confidence gained in that match to hopefully build momentum against Las Vegas. With a game in hand, Locomotive cannot overlook the Lights and must seek a win to jump back over the playoff line.
Goalkeeper Benny Diaz and the defense will need to limit and neutralize attacks once again to help Locomotive build out from the back and look for opportunities in front of goal against a Las Vegas side who have conceded 54 goals (second-most in the league) and two clean sheets (least in the league).
An impressive second-half performance to win 3-1 against Oakland Roots SC was not enough to rescue Las Vegas’ postseason hopes as results around the league eliminated them from playoff contention, the first team this season to be eliminated.
Despite playoffs being out of their reach, Las Vegas will want to build on their win and make life difficult for El Paso. Locomotive should keep an eye on the attacking pair of Danny Rios and Tyler Bagley, who have found a bit of form in front of the net in the Lights’ last four matches.