Tacoma Defiance is hosting Austin FC II in the Western Conference Semifinals at Starfire Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. PT. Here are five reasons to attend the two team’s third and final meeting of the 2023 year.
No Place Like Home
Like all of Tacoma Defiance’s regular season home matches, the semifinal match will be played at the historic Starfire Stadium. Starfire has been home to many monumental moments for the Seattle Sounders First Team since 2005, including unforgettable matches in U.S. Open Cup play over the years. The stadium carries a max capacity of 5,000 people, but with the large fan base that makes up the Sounders organization and a playoff match in the midst, the environment is sure to be electric on Sunday.
Sunday marks Defiance’s second consecutive MLS NEXT Pro Semifinal playoff appearance since the league launched in 2022. The Tacoma squad closed out the postseason with a 2-1 semifinal loss to St. Louis CITY 2 last year, so the team hopes to change that narrative on Sunday and clinch a ticket to the Western Conference Final.
Braudilio Rodrigues is arguably one of the most impactful attacking players in MLS NEXT Pro. In his first season alone, he tallied 17 goals and 4 assists over the course of 27 matches. He recorded a brace in the last match to support Tacoma to a 4-3 victory over Houston Dynamo 2 and the opportunity to continue their playoff stint this Sunday against Austin FC II.
Young First Team talent
Throughout the duration of the MLS NEXT Pro season, players from the First Team have been consistent contributors to Tacoma Defiance’s success. Center back AB Cissoko is among the many players who’s had standout performances with the team, most recently being named to MLS NEXT Pro Best XI for the 2023 season. Dylan Teves is also a valuable asset up front, scoring the game winning goal in the Defiance’s 4-3 quarterfinal victory.
Sunday will be a battle as both teams have come out with wins in their two head-to-head matchups this season. But with Defiance having home field advantage, the team will need all the support they can get to grab hold of a win on Sunday and advance to the Western Conference Finals.