The Lights FC will have plenty of time to focus on fixing its 0-3-3 run in the United Soccer League.
Allisson Faramilio scored twice and the Lights were eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup with a 2-1 third-round loss to Premier Development League squad FC Golden State Force on Wednesday in Downey, Calif.
Faramilio opened the scoring for his team, which plays in the unofficial fourth division of American soccer, in the 75th minute and clinched the game with a penalty kick in the first minute of stoppage time. FC Golden State Force moves on to face a Major League Soccer team in the next round, a match-up the Lights could have used to draw extra attention to the club.
“Today, we lost an important opportunity to face an MLS team and to show what we are made of, but we recovered our courage, which I’m sure will be crucial to achieving important things in the near future,” Lights coach Isidro Sanchez said.
Instead they came out flat on the high school football field the game was played on and generated few chances in a scoreless first half.
The biggest moment for the Lights in the first 45 came when defender Miguel Garduno went down on the field clutching his leg in the 32nd minute. Garduno, who had played every minute so far this season, was assisted off the field and immediately subbed out for defender Marco Cesar Jaime Jr.
Garduno is officially questionable for the Lights next game on Saturday.
The team started generating more chances in the second half but still conceded first after Faramilio’s first strike. Defender Joel Huiqui was able to even the score in the 81st minute on the Lights’ sixth corner kick of the second half, but the late penalty prevented them from taking the game to extra time.
Technical director Jose Luis Sanchez Sola, who was on the touchline for the first time since his four-game USL suspension for referee abuse, now has two days in California to get his team back on track before its season continues Saturday at LA Galaxy II.
With their U.S. Open Cup participation concluded, the only way to measure the Lights’ success now is to see whether they can climb higher than a tie for 12th place in the USL’s Western Conference.
“We are doing much better, we are improving,” Sanchez said. “But at the end of the day, this is a competition, where we need to win games and points. It’s good to have good performances and have the feeling that the team is going the way you want, but the aim of all of this effort will always be winning.”