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San Diego Loyal Set To Face Las Vegas, Heat Saturday

Landon Donovan, left, looks on alongside assistant coaches Nate Miller, center, and Carrie Taylor, right, during a scrimmage, Wednesday, March 4, 2020 in Chula Vista, Calif.
Gregory Bull / AP Photo
Landon Donovan, left, looks on alongside assistant coaches Nate Miller, center, and Carrie Taylor, right, during a scrimmage, Wednesday, March 4, 2020 in Chula Vista, Calif.

San Diego Loyal SC is scheduled to face Las Vegas Lights FC Saturday in Las Vegas in a matchup of the first- and last-place teams in USL Championship's five-team Group B.

SD Loyal is 3-1-2 following last Saturday's 0-0 tie with Sacramento Republic FC. Lights FC is 0-2-1 following their 1-0 loss to Reno 1868 FC last Saturday. This is the third and final meeting of the season between the teams. They played to 1-1 tie in the season openers for both teams March 7 at Torero Stadium before a capacity crowd announced at 6,100. SD Loyal was a 2-1 winner July 25 with Irvin Parra scoring the tie-breaking goal in the 65th minute.

Parra scored a team-leading 15 goals in 31 games for Lights FC in 2019. He is among three former Lights FC players on SD Loyal, a first-year team. The others are midfielders Carlos Alvarez and Eric Avila.

Lights FC forward Raul Mendiola was a starter for SD Loyal in its season opener and for Lights FC July 25.

SD Loyal coach Landon Donovan said the game "is going to be difficult because the heat is a challenge."

The temperature at Cashman Field is forecast to be 101 degrees at 7 p.m., a half-hour before the opening kickoff, according to weather.com.

The game is the third for Frank Yallop as Lights FC coach. He replaced Eric Wynalda, who was fired June 17 for violating rules related to USL Championship's return-to-play guidelines, owner Brett Lashbrook said.

Yallop made his debut as Lights FC coach in the 2-1 loss to SD Loyal July 25.

Yallop coached Donovan with the San Jose Earthquakes from 2001-03, winning the MLS Cup in 2001 and 2003, and with the Galaxy from 2006-07. He also coached the Canadian men's national team and the Chicago Fire.

Yallop will coach Lights FC for the remainder of the season but will not be pursuing the permanent position once the season concludes.

Like most other sporting events around the world, fans will be barred from the Division II men's soccer game under public health directives prohibiting public events and gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 7:30 p.m. game will be televised by The CW San Diego and ESPN+.