Las Vegas Lights FC make 5 local players first roster signees

Updated January 8, 2018 - 3:09 pm

Sebastian Hernandez traveled the globe trying to stick as a professional soccer player following his career at UNLV.

He had stints in New York, Portland, Germany and France following his last college season in 2014, but now he’s pursuing his dreams a little closer to home. Hernandez was one of five local players that the Las Vegas Lights FC signed to their preseason training camp roster on Monday, helping the team make good on its promise to have at least one player on its roster with local ties.

“I tried to pursue everything and then to come back home, it’s unbelievable,” said Hernandez, a 24-year-old midfielder. “The journey, the grind, it’s all worth it in the end.”

The Lights also signed Adolfo Guzman, Marco César Jaime Jr., Julian Portugal and Matt Thomas in addition to Hernandez. Each player except for Jaime Jr. tried out at the United Soccer League team’s local combine in early December as the team tried to unearth any prospects who had gone unnoticed.

“Our belief is that there are absolutely people out there in Las Vegas who can be the next Herculez Gomez,” Lights owner Brett Lashbrook said, referring to the Las Vegas High School graduate who went on to player for the U.S. National team.

Portugal, a 25-year-old midfielder, was teammates with Hernandez at UNLV. Rebels coach Rich Ryerson said the two are different types of midfielders, but both are effective.

”I think (Portugal) does a great job of serving the ball to other players. He’ll be solid. I see him as a holding midfielder, defensive midfielder,” Ryerson said. “(Hernandez is) effective in his touches. I think that Sebastian is going to be able to distribute well from a midfield role.”

Hernandez and Portugal have finished their college careers. Guzman, a 21-year-old midfielder, and Thomas, a 22-year-old midfielder, both left school early to chase professional soccer. Guzman, who was born and raised in Las Vegas, was a junior at William Jessup University while Thomas, a Palo Verde High School graduate, was a senior at Rocky Mountain College.

”I’m still in college and I had to decide,” Guzman said. “It was tough for me, but I knew this was a great opportunity. I wanted to pursue my dream, which was soccer.”

Jaime Jr., 22, was the only one of the five not discovered at the team’s local tryout, instead standing out at a combine in Mexico. The defender was born in Las Vegas before moving to Mexico at 6 years old — and now has a long-awaited opportunity to come home.

“(It’s) a dream come true,” Jaime Jr. said.

Contact Ben Gotz at bgotz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BenSGotz on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Mojave Max at Springs Preserve
File footage of Mojave Max at Springs Preserve. (Springs Preserve)
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Driver dies in single-vehicle crash
One person is dead after an early Wednesday morning crash in the northwest valley. The single-vehicle crash was called in about 1:35 a.m. on Jones Boulevard just north of Deer Springs Way, according to Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Robert Stauffer. The driver, who was the only person inside the vehicle, died at the scene.
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services On Thursday, Uber launched its Uber Health platform for healthcare providers. Medical facilities, rehab centers, clinics and hospitals can book rides for patients from a centralized dashboard – no app required. According to Techcrunch, Uber Health general manager Chris Weber noted some 3.6 million Americans miss appointments due to lack access to reliable transportation. Uber’s endeavors into health care trace back to 2014, when Uber first offered on-demand flu shots in large markets across the U.S. Since then there have been similar efforts throughout the world, from diabetes and thyroid testing in India, to subsidized rides for breast cancer screening in the U.S., to many more. Last summer, over 100 healthcare organizations joined the platform during a private beta. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas firefighters put out blaze along Bonanza Road
Las Vegas firefighters put out a blaze that burned for about 15 minutes Feb. 20, 2018, along Bonanza Road, across from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. (Jeff Mosier/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like