United play new United Soccer League (USL) side Las Vegas Lights FC in the final tune up game of their 2018 preseason on Saturday night. The Black-and-Red are coming off two wins in the Tampa Bay Rowdies Suncoast Invitational and the away trip to Nevada will give the team an opportunity to gain some critical road experience ahead of a heavy away fixture schedule to start the 2018 MLS season.
Head coach Ben Olsen has been optimistic about United’s form in preseason and is pleased with the collective performance of a team layered with new offseason signings. United have scored five goals in three preseason matches and amassed a 2-1-0 record against Malmӧ FF (2-1 loss) on Feb. 8, the Philadelphia Union (2-1 win) on Feb. 17 and Jacksonville Armada FC (2-1 win) on Feb. 21. New signing Darren Mattocks has scored twice and recorded an assist in three appearances and will hope to continue his promising form in the match tonight, while Luciano Acosta has also scored twice in three friendlies.
The Las Vegas Lights head into their third preseason match against MLS opposition after losing to the Vancouver Whitecaps (3-2) on Feb. 17 and the Montreal Impact (2-0) on Feb. 10. With the first two goals in club history coming against Vancouver, the Lights will be confident going into their final preseason match against the Black-and-Red.
Fans will recognize a familiar face on the Lights’ roster in Freddy Adu, who scored 11 goals and recorded 17 assists in 87 MLS regular season appearances for the Black-and-Red from 2004-2006. The 28-year-old has not debuted for the Lights this season but fans will be hopeful that Adu will make an appearance in the match at 8 PM PT (11 PM ET) tonight.
United conclude their preseason after the match and return to Washington, D.C., to continue training in preparation for their MLS regular season opener against Orlando City SC on March 3 at Orlando City Stadium (7:30 PM ET).