Summer offered Tacoma Defiance a brief respite. Where normal people would take a couple weeks off and go on vacation, Defiance did things a bit different. They worked harder, trained harder. They wanted to level up. Without games to play, Tacoma players were instead able to practice under the eyes of Seattle Sounders Head Coach Brian Schmetzer’s staff.
Tacoma coach Chris Little appreciated the timing of the break.
“As an organization, it’s been good. It came at the right time with Copa America, Gold Cup. The First Team had lots of players missing so that gave lots of opportunities for our guys training consistently with the First Team. We’ve had a large number of them in that environment with that staff. It’s been good for them. It’s a good experience these last couple of weeks for the guys.”
With a match coming Saturday night Defiance will try to carry forward recent performance and accelerate into the second half.
“In the last six games we’ve had four ties out of six. We’re getting closer. We feel as though we’re competitive in every game. The little details, the little mistakes, it comes at times with young, inexperienced players.”
Those younger and newer players to the organization now have a half-season under their belt. They are learning not just Coach Little’s techniques, but the language of an entire organization.
“Some of the players that are new to the club this year, or new with me, are still learning the game model and game cues, but I think you can see that there’s an integration throughout the club. We play a similar model as the First Team. The language and communication are consistent. We’re working closely together. Ultimately that helps the transition for the players.”
Three Defiance players earned their MLS contracts in the first half of the season, but the positives go beyond Dhillon, Leyva, and Ocampo-Chavez.
“There’s lots of positives to take – players are getting signed, there’s lots of movement, players are getting to train with the First Team. Those are the goals and the pathway that we have.”
- Defiance set the record for the fastest goal in USL history.
- Austin Brummet became the youngest player to take the pitch in a USL Championship match.
- 17 teenagers earned professional minutes so far.
- Trey Muse is 7thin the West for saves in 2019.
- Captain, and centerback, Sam Rogers is completing 78% of his passes in the opposing half.