TACOMA, WASH. – MLS NEXT Pro today announced its month of July awards, with Tacoma Defiance winning Team of the Month and Head Coach Wade Webber winning Coach of the Month after the club won every match it played in July.
In his second year as head coach, Wade Webber has led Tacoma to an 11-3-4 record this season, with a perfect 4-0-0 record in the month of July. The club has scored 18 goals in July while only allowing four, including a 5-1 win over St. Louis City 2, the second-place team in the Western Conference. Since losing two matches in the season-opening month of April, Tacoma has lost only one of its ensuing 13 matches, winning 10 and drawing two.
“I am flattered to be named coach of the month in MLS NEXT Pro for July because there were many deserving coaches,” said Webber. “It’s always nice to hear that people think you are doing your job well. I’ve always found awards like this in a sport that is so collective in nature to be a little odd. We celebrate the whole with Defiance. I suppose I am the public face of the team, but I am certainly not also the heart, lungs and other parts that make the group function. The staff and players that I have the privilege to work with every day are exceptional and work so hard that everyone is challenged to maintain the pace. But I am thankful for the acknowledgment that we are doing a good job.”
Defiance vaulted to the top of the MLS NEXT Pro standings in July, now sitting at 40 points, with wins over Timbers2, Minnesota United FC 2, Sporting Kansas City II and St. Louis City SC 2. Tacoma’s 18 goals in the four wins helped add to its league lead in scoring (52) and goal difference (+32). The club was led by Marlon Vargas, who scored five goals in the four July fixtures, putting him at 12 goals on the season, most on the team and second in all of MLS NEXT Pro.
“We are humbled and honored that Tacoma Defiance has been named MLS NEXT Pro Team of the Month for July,” said Seattle Sounders FC Vice President of Player Development Henry Brauner. “It is truly humbling knowing that this award was voted on by our peers, as we know that all clubs in MLS NEXT Pro work tirelessly to train and develop the best talent for the future of the game. We as an organization are incredibly proud that the work put into Defiance by the players, coaches, trainers and everyone in between has been noticed by not just our club, but by the league as a whole. We thank our ownership, front office and first team for supporting and believing in our project, and we thank the players for putting their trust in us to oversee their development as people and players.”
Tacoma now hits the road to take on Earthquakes II at PayPal Park on Friday, August 5 (7:30 p.m. / mlsnextpro.com).