School is back in session. Tests are coming weekly. Students that test well gain confidence, they advance. Each next test is another opportunity for success, no matter how hard the course.
Tacoma Defiance have confidence right now. As of this week five players earned calls to Seattle Sounders in the 2019 season. Others earned the nod from their national teams. Recent matches indicate that the team is able to perform even against the best the USL Championship has to offer.
Sacramento Republic will be a tough test. Their 10-11-4 record is good enough for 10th in the Western Conference. Their 7-0-0 history against Tacoma in Sacramento is a hefty challenge. But there is confidence in the Defiance locker room, even as coach Chris Little respects Republic.
“Sacramento is a good team. They’ve got a lot of good, experienced players. They’re a tough team. Their performances have probably merited more points than they’ve got. We know they are one of the top teams in the USL.”
With Seattle Sounders, Puerto Rico, and the US U-17s Tacoma will rely on the entire roster against Republic. Some players may be getting their first test at this level. Coach Little is confident that those selected are ready.
“The players wouldn’t be there if they haven’t earned the opportunity. It’s reassuring them of that. They have the ability and the quality. It’s giving them that confidence and making sure they understand their role in all phases of the game. And it’s telling them to enjoy it.”
The coaching staff are teachers. Defiance and Sounders Academy players are their students. There is no test from which they will back down. Saturday night’s match is the next opportunity to excel.
“It’s about giving them the support that allows them to be successful.”
Sacramento Republic FC notes
- Former Sounder Jordan McCrary has 1,436 minutes with 17 starts.
- Former Defiance player Ray Saari has 1,331 minutes in 16 starts and 2 sub appearances. Saari assisted on 3 goals for Republic.
- Their preview.
Tacoma Defiance notes
- Defiance signed Mexican midfielder Herbert Robinson Garcia on Friday. Garcia last played in the Mexican third division for Coyotes de Tlaxcala where he scored 4 goals in 1,438 minutes in the most recent season.
- Tacoma also signed French defender Abdoulaye Cissoko. Cissoko is now on loan to San Diego 1904 in the NISA through 2019.
- Nick Hinds and Shandon Hopeau are on Short-Term Agreements with Seattle Sounders for today’s match at Colorado Rapids (6:00 p.m. / JOEtv / YouTube TV).
- Alec Diaz is with the Puerto Rico National Team for Concacaf Nations League competition. It is his first senior national team call up. He played 2 minutes in a 4-0 friendly loss to Honduras.
- Academy player Ethan Dobbelaere assisted in the US U-17 2-1 win over Mexico on Thursday.
MultiCare Pre-Match Health Report
Tacoma – Azriel Gonzalez is out (left foot fracture).
Sacramento – No injuries reported at this time.
How to Watch
Stadium: Papa Murphy’s Park, Sacramento, CA
Kickoff Time: Saturday, September 7 (7:30 p.m.)
Away: Tacoma Defiance (5-15-5, -33)
Home: Sacramento Republic FC (10-11-4, +6)