Player Features

Tacoma Defiance make statement of intent with De Rosario and Aguilar signings


Tacoma Defiance has built a strong reputation over the years in terms of developing players for the First Team. So much so, they’ve been able to acquire several talented prospects from outside the organization to compete and improve their craft with the MLS NEXT Pro team.  

“We've had a good track record of bringing in external talent to surround our internal talent,” said Sounders FC Technical Director Henry Brauner. 

Osaze De Rosario and Brian Aguilar are among the most recent acquisitions to sign from outside the club.

Osaze De Rosario, the son of MLS legend Dwayne De Rosario, joins from Canadian Premier League side York United FC, where he tallied 19 goals and six assists across two seasons. A natural attacker, the development staff is hopeful he can challenge his Defiance teammates on the defensive end.


“We want to bring him in so that we can now push our young center backs against a player that is clearly a proven goal-scorer,” said Brauner. “But we also want to give players [like De Rosario], that maybe go a little bit under the radar, a chance on a bigger stage which is MLS NEXT Pro, so that they can then showcase themselves and hopefully take next steps into our First Team.”

On the flipside, Aguilar comes in as an added asset on defense for the Tacoma side. The Argentine is joins on from Club Lanús, where he was teammates with Sounders Young Designated Player Pedro de la Vega. In addition to making 13 appearances in the Primera División, Aguilar has been a regular with the Argentina U-20 national team. Despite having the opportunity to compete in the Argentine top flight, Aguilar chose an alternate route to focus on his development with the Sounders’ second team.

“As a young center back, it might be one of the most difficult positions to develop because the reality is if you’re a very young attacking player, you can get thrown in at the end of the game when you're down a goal. But you can't just throw in a 20-year-old center back and expect the best,” said Brauner. “So, developing that type of player is more of a long-term process.”

Still, it is a process that Brauner and the rest of the development staff have found to be successful.

“We feel when we brought back in Jackson Ragen and AB Cissoko for the last couple of years, these were players that we brought in very young, gave them the structure and foundation that they needed in order for them to take steps into the First Team and then they were able to supply minutes and have an impact there as well,” added Brauner.

Additional players who have broken into the First Team through the Defiance pathway include the likes of Nouhou, Josh Atencio, Obed Vargas, Reed Baker-Whiting and Paul Rothrock

Players like De Rosario and Aguilar join the MLS NEXT Pro team with the expectation of following in the footsteps of those players, and Brauner believes they can do just that.

“In both of those players, we see former players in that same light where they're going to add to our environment,” he said. “They're going to add a level of intensity and desire, but also, hopefully we can help them into our First Team as well.”