Tacoma Defiance began its new era in MLS NEXT Pro with a resounding 4-0 win over Real Monarchs SLC in their 2022 home opener at Starfire Stadium on Sunday.
Fielding a lineup of mostly young players from the Seattle Sounders First Team, the Defiance put on an attacking clinic against the Monarchs. Homegrown Player Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez notched a brace either side of a Dylan Teves goal, and Sam Adeniran rounded out the scoring with a confident finish in second half stoppage time.
“We’re happy with the win,” said Defiance head coach Wade Webber. “We set our whole program up where we have First Team guys that are young and need to play if the First Team is healthy. So, they’re part of our process.”
Eight members of the Sounders started the match on Sunday, with Defiance players Joe Hafferty, Hal Uderitz and Randy Mendoza rounding out the side. It was a testament to the club’s player development infrastructure, as five of the eight came through Sounders Academy. Two the remaining three – AB Cissoko and Adeniran – began their careers at the club with the Defiance before moving up to the senior team.
"We’re out here to do our best that we can,” said Teves. “We’re not here just to get minutes, as Wade always says, we’re here to compete and make sure the other team doesn’t want to come back again and play us. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.”
It’s still early days for the Defiance, but Sunday’s home opener provided a glimpse of some of the exciting prospects currently making their way through the system. With so much talent throughout every level of the organization, the team is poised for an exciting campaign in MLS NEXT Pro.
“We’re satisfied but there’s always stuff to improve,” noted Webber. “There’s 23 more games and we’re not assuming every game is going to be like this. We’re going to prepare to win every game and push and fight as much as we can.”
You can get tickets to Tacoma Defiance’s next home match against North Texas SC on April 2 HERE.