TACOMA, WASH. – Tacoma Defiance today announced that it has hired Hervé Diese as its next Head Coach. Diese takes over Sounders FC’s MLS NEXT Pro side following a 2023 season as an Assistant Coach for CF Montréal. He brings more than eight years of coaching and developmental experience throughout the United States and Canada, including previous stops with Orlando City SC Academy, NWSL side Angel City SC and the University of Chicago. Diese assumes the role previously held by Wade Webber, who was promoted to Sounders FC Director of Development following the 2023 campaign.
“We are thrilled to announce Hervé Diese as the next Head Coach of Tacoma Defiance,” said Sounders FC General Manager & Chief Soccer Officer Craig Waibel. “He’s a hungry, ambitious coach with a wealth of experience across many levels of soccer. We see him as a great fit to take the reins of the club’s MLS NEXT Pro side and not only win games, but also develop players to perform for the First Team.”
Diese, 35, began his coaching career as a youth coach for the New York Red Bulls Regional Development School from 2015-2017. He joined the University of Chicago men’s soccer team as an Assistant Coach from 2017-2019, helping the Maroons to a pair of Division III Final Four appearances. While in Chicago, Diese worked with developmental sides Northwind FC and Bridges FC as a Technical Director and Assistant Coach, respectively, in addition to serving as High School Director of Chicago City FC.
“I’m excited to start my next coaching journey with Tacoma Defiance and join an incredible organization,” said Diese. “Coaching in MLS NEXT Pro requires a dual focus – not only to win games, but also to develop young players to eventually play for the First Team. Knowing the level of success that this organization expects, I welcome the challenge ahead and will hold myself to a high standard.”
Diese joined Orlando SC’s Academy from 2020-2022 as U-16 Head Coach, as well as an Assistant Coach with the U-19 squad. While in Florida, he was also Head Coach of Revolver FC, a local developmental team. He then worked for NWSL side Angel City FC as a Technical Assistant from 2022-2023 before taking his most recent role with CF Montréal’s First Team coaching staff. A dual Congolese and South African national, Diese holds UEFA B and USSF B coaching licenses.
"We are privileged to welcome Hervé to the organization and are excited for him to lead Defiance staff and players in 2024,” said Webber. “He brings not only a wide variety of experiences at all levels of the game, but also a clear vision of what he wants the game to look like. He has very high standards for himself and demonstrates the kind of leadership that is demanding yet supportive, and fits comfortably into what we want on the development side of the club. With his passion, personality and attention to detail he will not only help us to maintain the high level of player development set by Sounders FC over the years, but also add to what we do and help us grow into something even better."
The fifth Head Coach in Tacoma Defiance / Sounders FC 2 team history, Diese joins Ezra Hendrickson (2014-2017), John Hutchinson (2018), Chris Little (2019-2020) and Webber (2021-2023). The club is currently in offseason preparations for the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro campaign, which kicks off later this year. Tacoma finished the 2023 regular season in second place in the Western Conference (14-5-9, 57 points) and first in the Pacific Division, falling 1-0 to Austin FC II in the MLS NEXT Pro Western Conference Semifinals.