It was a perfect way to open the Cheney Stadium soccer era – S2 v T2. Nick Hinds opened things up with a win over Timbers 2 in 2018. His give-and-go lead to a bender into the upper corner, an unsavable shot to take a 2-1 lead. It’s the kind of goal and game appropriate to the rivalry. Tacoma’s soccer era started with a come-from-behind win over our bitter rivals. The winning goal came from an Academy kid turned professional, a player now in his 4th year playing against professionals in USL.
Hinds is a veteran leader on Tacoma Defiance. His previous words on the rivalry are guidance to the relationship between Tacoma and Portland.
“The locker room was serious. They’re our rivals. You don’t want them to beat us, especially here,” Hinds said postgame. “Basically in the locker room we were all saying ‘Let’s make the fans happy because a lot of them travel a long way and sit in traffic and stuff like that. Let them leave happy.’ “
These players know that being better than Portland is an expectation at every level of this organization. In 2017 Sam Rogers helped beat the Timbers in the Open Cup. “This is a hard rivalry – Sounders-Timbers it goes back forever. It always feels great to beat them [in USL action], but to beat them in an Open Cup…” Rogers quote just fades off into a massive smile. Big Sam scored against Portland in USL action a month later. That goal came in a win.
Rogers and Hinds are two of the three Defiance players to score against T2. Josh Atencio joined them in August of 2019. Not yet on a pro contract his shot deflected into the net, a goal that could not be held for pride, as it came in a 4-1 loss to Portland.
Our Heroes of Defiance include those three scorers and fifteen other men with a simple motivation for Sunday May 12 – Beat Portland.