TUKWILA, WA. – Tacoma Defiance (11-3-4, 40 points) routed second-place St. Louis City SC 2 (11-4-2, 36 points) 5-1 Saturday night at Starfire Stadium. A brace from Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez as well as goals from Abdoulaye Cissoko, Marlon Vargas and Georgi Minoungou helped Defiance cruise to the four-goal win.
Tacoma got on the board first in the 30th minute courtesy of a Cissoko penalty. Danny Leyva made a run into the area and got sliced down by a St. Louis defender, drawing the foul. The centerback stepped up to the spot and smashed a strike into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead. Vargas continued his scorching hot scoring streak, bagging his 12th goal of the season in the final moments of the first half. Ocampo-Chavez’s saved shot deflected right to the feet of Vargas, who finished it one-time into the open goal to double the home side’s lead.
Defiance quickly made it 3-0 early in the second half. Ocampo-Chavez made a deft first touch on a ball from Fito Ovalle just outside the area before slipping around a St. Louis defender. The striker then made a move around St. Louis goalkeeper Michael Creek and finished into the open net.
St. Louis pulled one back with a long-range shot by Wan Kuzain in the 57th minute.
Ocampo-Chavez bagged his brace in the 77th minute off a beautiful piece of team play. Joe Hafferty found himself on the right side of the area and crossed a ball across the face of goal to Vargas, who laid it off to Ocampo-Chavez for the easy finish.
Minoungou scored his second goal in as many matches at the death, streaking up the right flank and chipping Creek for the exclamation point on a five-goal match.
Defiance now sits at the top of the MLS NEXT Pro standings, two points clear of Columbus Crew 2, with six games left in its regular season schedule.
Following tonight’s match, Wade Webber’s side travels to PayPal Park for a matchup against Earthquakes II on Friday, August 5 (7:30p.m. PT / mlsnextpro.com).
Tacoma Defiance 5 – St. Louis City SC 1
Saturday, July 30, 2022
Venue: Starfire Stadium
Referee: Adam Zarrin
Weather: 91 degrees and sunny
TAC – Abdoulaye Cissoko (penalty) 30’
TAC – Marlon Vargas 45+6’
TAC – Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Fito Ovalle) 50’
STL – Wan Kuzain (Akil Watts) 57’
TAC – Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Marlon Vargas, Joe Hafferty) 77’
TAC – Georgi Minoungou (Juan Alvarez) 90+3’
STL – Kyle Hiebert (caution) 11’
TAC – Georgi Minoungou (caution) 59’
STL – Ezra Armstrong (caution) 82’
LINEUPS & STATS
Tacoma Defiance – Andrew Thomas; Cody Baker, Achille Robin, Abdoulaye Cissoko, Randy Mendoza – captain; Danny Leyva (Joe Hafferty, 57’), Josh Atencio (Fito Ovalle, HT), Dylan Teves (Georgi Minoungou, HT), Marlon Vargas (Hal Uderitz, 84’), Travian Sousa (Juan Alvarez, 72’); Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez
Substitutes not used: Wallis Lapsley, Snyder Brunell, Stuart Hawkins, Valentin Sabella
Total shots: 16
Shots on goal: 8
St. Louis City SC 2 – Michael Creek; Ben Di Rosa (Miguel Perez, 58’), Josh Yaro – captain, Kyle Hiebert (Joshua Maher, 86’), Kwame Awuah (Ezra Armstrong, 58’); AJ Palazzolo (Sergio Rivas, HT), Akil Watts, Célio Pompeu, Wan Kuzain, Victor Dias; Josh Dolling (Dida Armstrong, 86’)
Substitutes not used: Ian McGrane, Nathan Ferguson, MyKhi Joyner, Anthony Faupel
Total shots: 14
Shots on goal: 3