Traversing the mountains of Colorado and Utah then suffering the desert heat of Austin and the Rio Grande Valley, Tacoma Defiance endured a four-match road swing. During the 50+ day journey the team also had a couple off weekends. The long, slow trip is over. Players want to play games, especially home games.
Finally, Defiance return home to Cheney Stadium on July 24 as they host Las Vegas Lights FC. Tacoma Coach Chris Little is ready for the warm embrace of home fans.
“It’s been far too long. We’re excited to play back at home in front of our fans and get some rhythm again.”
Defiance took 2 points on that road journey, drawing both trips to Texas.
“We’ve been to places that are pretty far – different climates, different time zones. Those are tough challenges. Getting to play at home in your own surroundings in front of your fans is a big difference. We’re excited. It comes at a much needed time.”
Players are excited to be back too. Winger Shandon Hopeau, who made the Sounders gameday roster for both the U.S. Open Cup and the friendly against German giants Dortmund, wants to feel the fuel of Tacoma’s faithful.
“Home games are better than away games – obviously because of the travel, but it’s better to play in front of our fans. I feel we bring out better energy at home and I can’t wait to see that out of the team.”
With the packed week of soccer action, midfielder Jesse Daley wants to grab points. His spirit is a defiant one, an ambitious one.
“It’s awesome to be back at Cheney. We’ve got two games in four days. It’s a great opportunity to put on some good performances and hopefully pick up some points.”
There is comfort from the home community, the lighter travel.
“We get our normal routine in. We get to have a full week of training here in Seattle and then the short bus trip down in front of the home fans. I think since we last played at Cheney you’ve seen that we’ve come back in games. We’ve put on some good performances. It’s exciting for us to be there.”
Next home match is our Pride match on July 24 versus Las Vegas Lights FC (7:00 p.m. / Party Deck tickets available)