TACOMA, WASH. – Tacoma Defiance today announced that it has signed midfielders Juan Alvarez and Obed Vargas. The Sounders FC Academy products officially join the club before the team opens the 2021 season on the road at Los Angeles Galaxy II (5:00 p.m. PT / ESPN+, ESPN Deportes). The pair of signings bring Defiance to 19 players with USL Championship contracts ahead of 2021 campaign.
“We’ve been excited with Juan’s progression during preseason. After Head Coach Brian Schmetzer observed him in Academy sessions, the decision was made to integrate him into First Team training for 2021 preseason as he’s adapted very well to the environment, improving every day with the guidance and coaching from the staff,” said Sounders FC Director of Player Development Henry Brauner. “Obed has exceeded expectations since joining the Academy from his home club in Alaska a couple years ago, and we’re looking forward to seeing his development on and off the field as he evolves into the professional game.”
Alvarez has been in the Sounders FC First Team bubble up to this point in 2021 and scored a goal in a preseason match against San Diego Loyal SC at Lumen Field on April 10. After joining the Sounders Discovery Program at age 12 while playing with Pacific Northwest Soccer Club, he became full-time with the Academy at 14 and spent last season training with Tacoma Defiance. He has represented the U.S. Youth National Team at the U-15 and U-17 levels. Vargas joined the Academy at age 14 from Cook Inlet Soccer Club in his home state of Alaska and has also represented the USYNT at the U-15 level. He has spent the 2021 preseason training with Defiance.
“I'm excited to work with Obed and Juan this season. They are talented young soccer players, but potential they possess will require effort and commitment on their part to see it come to fruition,” said Tacoma Defiance Head Coach Wade Webber. “What is exciting is that they have demonstrated a level of professionalism and discipline that combines very well with their technique, athleticism and mentality. I look forward to seeing them continue to develop this season.”
TRANSACTION: Tacoma Defiance signs midfielders Juan Alvarez and Obed Vargas on May 7, 2021.
Name: Juan Alvarez
Born: August 30, 2004 in Walla Walla, Washington
Hometown: Tukwila, Washington
Citizenship: United States
Name: Obed Vargas
Born: August 5, 2005 in Anchorage, Alaska
Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska
Citizenship: United States
The Defiance current roster is listed below by positional breakdown.
CURRENT TACOMA DEFIANCE ROSTER
Goalkeepers (1): Christian Herrera
Defenders (6): Abdoulaye Cissoko, Eric Kinzner, Randy Mendoza, Taylor Mueller, Issa Rayyan, Alex Villanueva
Midfielders (10): Juan Alvarez, Carlos Anguiano, Reed Baker-Whiting, Tom Brewitt, Azriel Gonzalez, Sota Kitahara, Danny Robles, Ray Serrano, Marlon Vargas, Obed Vargas
Forwards (2): Samuel Adeniran, Alec Díaz