Midseason Reset Starts with Road Match at Rio Grande Valley FC

What to watch as Tacoma Defiance travel to Rio Grande Valley FC Saturday night (5:30 p.m. / ESPN+).

After a two-week layoff Tacoma Defiance return to action. In their match they nabbed a draw in Austin, Texas. Saturday they face Rio Grande Valley FC (5-7-4, +/-0) in Edinburg, Texas. Tacoma Defiance are 2-11-4, -30 in 2019. Both teams have 3 points in their last five matches. The Toros have just one win, while Defiance drew three times.

RGVFC are 4-2-1, +10 all time against Tacoma Defiance. They are 4-2-2, +6 at H-E-B Park this season. Tacoma is searching for their first road win. Defiance coach Chris Little will need his defense to be aware of the potent Toros attack.

“Obviously, it’s a tough place to play. They have a good record at home. They’re a very athletic team that’s good in transition. The front four can penetrate and attack the spaces in behind you well. It’s a good team.”

Up against a team with a diverse attack the veteran savvy of Tacoma’s defense will be tested. Defiance are quite young in attack, with age filling out the holding midfield and centerback roles. RGVFC are a bit older on average.

“Although a younger team, still a lot of guys are in that key age of 22-25. Younger by USL standards, but still older than us.”

Finding Goals

With Seattle Sounders FC signing Justin Dhillon the scoring burden will rest on the shoulders of Shandon Hopeau and the rest of the attacking group – Alec Diaz, Danny Robles, Marlon Vargas, and Ray Serrano will need to threaten goal.

Defiance also have success creating danger from set pieces, with both Sam Rogers and Aleks Berkolds taking six shots. Midfielder Joel Rydstrand leads Tacoma with 17 chances created, mostly from dead ball opportunities.

Rio Grande Valley FC

  • Michael Salazar leads the Toros with 8 goals. Five players have three or more goals in USL Championship action this season.
  • RGVFC commit the second fewest fouls in the Western Conference.
  • Rio Grande lost to Reno 1868 FC 4-0 on Wednesday night.

Tacoma Defiance notes

  • Justin Dhillon is the third Tacoma Defiance player to sign with Seattle Sounders FC this year.
  • No Defiance players are absent for Academy or international duties.
  • Since May 12 a different player assisted every goal with an assist.


MultiCare Pre-Match Health Report

Tacoma – Azriel Gonzalez is out (left foot fracture)

Rio Grande Valley – No injuries reported


How to Watch

Stadium: H-E-B Park, Edinburg, Texas
Kickoff Time: Saturday, June 29 (5:30 p.m.)
Away: Tacoma Defiance (2-11-4, -30)
Home: Rio Grande Valley FC (5-7-4, +/- 0)
Streaming: ESPN+


Defiantly Tacoma

Next match at Rio Grande Valley FC on July 6 (5:30 p.m. / ESPN+)

Next home match is our Pride match on July 24 versus Las Vegas Lights FC (7:00 p.m. / Party Deck tickets available)