Tacoma Defiance will play host for one of the club’s marquee matches of the season at Starfire Sports Complex on Saturday, as they welcome St. Louis CITY 2 (TICKETS) for a clash between Western Conference contenders. Here’s everything you need to know as Tacoma looks to maintain their current perch atop of the West table.
WHEN AND WHERE: Kickoff is at 7 p.m. PT at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash.
WHERE TO WATCH: The match will be streamed live on MLSNEXTPro.com.
2022 RECORDS AND STANDINGS: Defiance: 10-3-4 (37 points, 1st West), St. Louis: 11-3-2 (36 points, 2nd West)
FORM GUIDE (all competitions, most recent first): Tacoma: WWWLW, St. Louis: WWLWW
PREVIOUS MEETING: St. Louis CITY 2 prevailed in a wild 4-3 shootout at St. Louis University Hermann Stadium on April 10. Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez and Sota Kitahara each found the net for Defiance, with the other goal coming off a 12th-minute own goal.
HIGHLIGHTS: St Louis CITY2 vs. Tacoma Defiance | April 10, 2022
FIRST ON THE LINE: The Defiance have ridden a blistering run of form to the top spot in the Western Conference with 37 points from 17 matches, but St. Louis CITY2 are just one point off that pace with a game in hand.
HOME COOKING: Tacoma has been dominant at the friendly confines of Starfire this season, posting a 7-1-1 record on their home turf.
ON A MISSION: With seven games remaining in the regular season, the Defiance are comfortably in the playoff spots in the Western Conference. Tacoma boasts a seven point cushion for the automatic qualification spots that come with a top-four finish. The squad leads MLS NEXT Pro in goals scored (47), assists (30) and boasts the fourth-best defense in the league (19 goals conceded).
VARGAS VIBING: Defiance winger Marlon Vargas is one of the most in-form attackers in MLS NEXT Pro, with all 11 of his goals on the season coming in the last 10 games. He also has four assists.
QUALITY OPPOSITION: St. Louis CITY 2 have been one of the top-performing clubs in MLS NEXT’s inaugural season with several senior players who are expected to feature when the club’s first team kicks off its expansion season in 2023, including former Borussia Dortmund and Swiss national team goalkeeper Roman Bürki.
GIVING BACK: Proceeds from ticket sales to Saturday's match will go toward the RAVE Foundation's 26 by 2026 campaign, which strives to build 26 free-to-play fields throughout the state of Washington by the 2026 FIFA World Cup.