Press Release

Tacoma Defiance Signs Kalani Kossa-Rienzi and Antino Lopez

TAC_NEWSIGNING_Kalani Kossa-Rienzi_2560x1440

TACOMA, WASH. – Tacoma Defiance today announced that it has signed midfielder Kalani Kossa-Rienzi and defender Antino Lopez. Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed. Both players join Tacoma after being drafted by Seattle in the 2024 MLS SuperDraft in December and joined Sounders FC during its preseason trip to Marbella, Spain.

“We are very happy to welcome Kalani and Tino to Tacoma Defiance,” said Sounders FC Director of Development Wade Webber. “Kalani has a terrific mentality, is versatile and athletic, but also has a very solid technical foundation. He’s got all the tools to have a good professional career and we are happy he is taking his first step with us. Tino was a talented and successful Academy player and we were impressed by his continued development at Duke. He has leadership qualities in addition to good composure and defensive instincts and we expect him to be an impactful player for Defiance this season.”

Kossa-Rienzi, 21, who was drafted with the 23rd overall pick by Seattle, appeared in 76 matches (68 starts) over four seasons at the University of Washington, scoring six goals while adding 11 assists. After recording an assist in his first game against Northwestern University, the Berkely, California native scored two goals and added three assists during his sophomore year. The midfielder was named to the Pac-12 All-Conference First Team as a junior and senior, in addition to a United Soccer Coaches All-Far West Region Second Team selection following his junior year. Kossa-Rienzi also helped the Huskies to a second-place Pac-12 finish and run to the NCAA National Championship game as a sophomore, followed by a first-place conference finish as a junior before advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Kossa-Rienzi most recently tallied one goal and two assists during his senior year in 2023.

TAC_NEWSIGNING_Antino Lopez_2560x1440

“I’m excited to have both Kalani and Antino join Tacoma Defiance,” said Tacoma Defiance Head Coach Hervé Diese. “Since the organization drafted them in December, they have done nothing but impress, both during preseason with the First Team and now with Defiance. We are excited to continue to develop them as professionals and I am confident they will do nothing but benefit our team.”

A former Sounders FC Academy product, Lopez, 21, was drafted with 52nd overall pick by Seattle in this year’s MLS SuperDraft. He appeared in 66 matches (65 starts) over four seasons at Duke, tallying three goals and three assists. The defender started all 16 matches as a freshman in 2020 and was selected to the All-ACC Freshman Team. After recording an assist in Duke’s ACC quarterfinal win over Wake Forest as a sophomore in 2021, the Las Vegas native was named to the All-ACC Third Team as a junior in 2022, as Duke finished first in the ACC Coastal Division. As a senior in 2023, Lopez scored two goals and added one assist and was once again named to the All-ACC Third Team.

Defiance opens its third MLS NEXT Pro season on the road with a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Semifinals against Austin FC II on Friday, March 15 at Parmer Field. Tacoma then hosts Colorado Rapids 2 in its home opener at Starfire Stadium on Sunday, March 24. Defiance finished second in the Western Conference last season and is coming off back-to-back Pacific Division titles.

TRANSACTION: Tacoma Defiance signs midfielder Kalani Kossa-Rienzi and defender Antino Lopez to contracts on March 7, 2024.

Full Name: Kalani Kossa-Rienzi

Pronunciation: Kuh-LAWN-ee Koe-suh ree-EN-see

Position: Midfielder/Defender

Height: 5-7

Weight: 150

Hometown: Berkeley, California

Date of Birth: June 27, 2002, in Berkley, California

Nationality: USA

Acquired: Signed to Tacoma Defiance on March 7, 2024

Full Name: Antino Lopez

Position: Defender

Height: 6-0

Weight: 170

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada

Date of Birth: May 21, 2002, in Las Vegas, Nevada

Nationality: USA

Acquired: Signed to Tacoma Defiance on March 7, 2024