Tacoma Defiance enters new era with Head Coach Hervé Diese

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Since MLS NEXT Pro’s inception, Tacoma Defiance cemented itself as one of the league’s top teams due to the quality of players and development within the Sounders pathway system.

Now, the organization is looking to increase its level of excellence with the hiring of Defiance’s new head coach Hervé Diese.

“Through the [hiring] process, we just really liked how calm 'H' was,” said General Manager & Chief Soccer Officer Craig Waibel. “We really liked his ability to use creativity to work through some of the situations that present themselves and then obviously he's had the exposures…He's been in an MLS club, he knows exactly how this works and he knows the ebb and flow of the week, so all of those things add up to a really, really easy decision.”

Along with serving as the former assistant coach for Eastern Conference side CF Montreal, Diese’s experience coaching and developing players expands to Orlando City SC Academy and working with youth players at the New York Red Bulls early in his career. He has also worked in the women’s game with NWSL’s Angel City SC and the collegiate side of the sport with the University of Chicago.

Diese’s prior coaching roles have laid the groundwork for his coaching style today, which he believes is similar to what the Sounders already utilize within the First Team.

“The good marriage between myself and the Sounders organization is that our philosophies actually mirror each other,” he said. “I'm not too far away from the way Coach Schmetzer decides to operate his team.”

More specifically, his idea of success on the pitch comes through the notion of being “very attacking [minded] by very aggressively, positively going forward.”

“We’re going to do our best to take care of the ball as much as possible, which is more position based in the offensive half,” said Diese. “And as much as we can keep that ball in that half, we know we're doing a good job both on and off the ball.”

Coming from outside the organization, Diese is also expected to bring new, reinvigorated suggestions that will amplify the accomplishments of previous seasons. 

And with the help of veteran Assistant Coach Michael Morris, he plans to do exactly that.

“Some of the differences and the nuances you will see in the Defiance is our ability to not only regain possession of the ball as quickly as possible, but also controlling space and aspects of the field and manipulating and influencing the opposition's position just by our movement in different lines and in different channels,” said Diese. “It's something that myself and Mike Morris agree upon, and it's something where we believe based on last season, this team can definitely improve.”

Diese comes to Tacoma Defiance with the ambition of securing multiple victories this upcoming season and beyond, including the MLS NEXT Pro Cup. But his main objective aligns with the club’s mandate throughout its development pathway: to challenge and prepare his players to hopefully one day make the First Team.

“Based on last year's success, it's imperative and just my nature to want to win,” he said. “But first and foremost, my job is to provide players to the First Team and to give Coach Schmetzer as much of a headache as possible.”