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Las Vegas Lights FC renews affiliation with LAFC and names Enrique Duran head coach

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The Las Vegas Lights FC returns for its fifth season in 2022, and they’ve had a slew of announcements this week.

The club has renewed its affiliation agreement with LAFC for a second season. This seems to indicate that Las Vegas will be LAFC’s reserve team, before LAFC joins MLS Next Pro, MLS’s new reserve league, in 2023.

With 2021 Lights FC coach Steve Cherundolo now head coach of LAFC, Las Vegas named Enrique Duran as head coach for 2022. Duran was the club’s assistant coach last season, so he was promoted. The Spain native once worked for a world power FCBarcelona and led the LAFC academy team that won Concacaf U-13 Champions League title in 2018.

Stephen Campos and Omar Zeenni as goalkeeping coach will join Duran in the coaching staff.

As Lights FC’s pre-season kicked off last week, the club has 10 players signed up for the upcoming season: returning players Danny Crisostomo, Frank Daroma, Bruce El-Mesmari, Dekel Keinan, Alvaro Quezada, Nathan Sepulveda and Danny Trejo. Three newcomers join them: goalkeeper Abraham Romero, who won the 2021 USL title with Orange County SC, midfielder Jorge Imanol Almaguer, a product of the FC Dallas academy with playing experience for North Texas SC in USL League One, and midfielder Chase Bromstedt, a SportingKansas City an academy product who just finished his NCAA career at the University of Tulsa.

Based on Cherundolo’s comments so far in preseason, it looks like Crisostomo is trying to return to the LAFC first team this season, and frankly, that’s a de facto possibility for all players on the roster. Las Vegas, since they trained with LAFC. and seem ready to continue to do so. Last season, Crisostomo and Julian Gaines landed LAFC first-team deals after starting the campaign with Las Vegas.

Finally, Las Vegas announced that it will play four tune-up games behind closed doors before the start of the season:

The Las Vegas Lights 2022 regular season is set to kick off Sunday, March 13 at New Mexico United, before opening its home roster on March 19 against Phoenix Rising FC.

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