Press Release

Tacoma Defiance Signs Snyder Brunell and Yu Tsukanome

TACOMA, WASH. – Tacoma Defiance today announced that it has signed midfielder Snyder Brunell and forward Yu Tsukanome. Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed. Brunell joins the MLS NEXT Pro side after a successful Sounders FC Academy career, while Tsukanome signs following a breakout year in the National Premier Soccer League playing for Dakota Fusion FC.


Brunell, 16, joins Tacoma after making 16 appearances (nine starts) for Defiance as an Academy player last season, scoring a goal against North Texas SC on August 19. Brunell also made two appearances (one start) for Tacoma during the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro season. The Kirkland, Washington native joined the Sounders organization in 2021, making 22 appearances (18 starts) in MLS NEXT play, scoring four goals.

“Snyder has impressed since joining the Academy back in 2021,” said Sounders FC Technical Director Henry Brauner. “He made a tough but beneficial decision to leave his former club and challenge himself at the highest level within the Sounders FC Academy, and we have been nothing but pleased with his growth under our staff. He has fully earned this opportunity to begin his professional career with Tacoma Defiance and we look forward to his continued development along our player pathway.”


Tsukanome, 22, signs with Defiance following a 2023 National Premier Soccer League season with Dakota Fusion FC that saw the striker score 16 goals in 10 games, winning the 2023 NPSL Golden Boot Award. He was named to the 2023 NPSL National XI, NPSL Midwest Region XI and NPSL North Conference XI. Prior to his time in the NPSL, Tsukanome attended the Biwako Seikei Sport College in Japan. In 2022, the school reached the Semifinal of the Japan College Prime Minister’s Cup, falling to eventual champion Kokushikan University. Tsukanome scored two goals in the tournament, leading the team.

“We are very excited to add Yu to the Defiance roster for 2024,” said Sounders FC Director of Development Wade Webber. “He impressed us while on trial last season with his technical capacity and tactical flexibility across any of the attacking positions, as well as his willingness to aggressively defend from the front. We look forward to helping him develop his capacity to influence games and be part of a dynamic Defiance squad next season.”

Tacoma Defiance is currently preparing for the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season after ending 2023 with a 14-5-9 record, finishing second in the Western Conference and winning the Pacific Division for the second consecutive year. Tacoma fell in the playoffs 1-0 to eventual champion Austin FC II in the Western Conference Semifinals.

TRANSACTION: Tacoma Defiance signs midfielder Snyder Brunell and forward Yu Tsukanome on December 4, 2023.

Full Name: Snyder Brunell

Pronunciation: Brew-nell

Position: Midfielder

Height: 5-10

Weight: 151

Hometown: Kirkland, Washington

Date of Birth: March 23, 2007 in Plano, Texas

Nationality: USA

Acquired: Signed on December 4, 2023

Full Name: Yu Tsukanome

Pronunciation: You Tsu-ka-no-mey

Position: Forward

Height: 5-9

Weight: 165

Hometown: Saitama, Japan

Date of Birth: December 21, 2000 in Saitama, Japan

Nationality: Japan

Acquired: Signed on December 4, 2023