Tacoma Defiance (0-2-0, 0 points) on Wednesday at Cheney Stadium fell to expansion club San Diego Loyal SC (1-0-1, 4 points) by a 2-1 score. Justin Dhillon scored his first goal of the season for Defiance, while Francis Atuahene recorded a brace for San Diego. Tonight’s match was closed to the public due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the area.
San Diego took a 1-0 lead in the 31st minute on a goal from Francis Atuahene. Collin Martin sent a free kick to the far post that landed at the foot of Atuahene who finished with one touch past Tacoma goalkeeper Trey Muse.
Dhillon’s first goal of the season came off a feed from Shandon Hopeau in the 56th minute. Taylor Mueller sent a ball down the right sideline to Hopeau, who took two touches and played a pass to the center of the area for a streaking Dhillon. The First Team forward took one touch with his right foot and slotted the ball past San Diego keeper Jon Kempin to even the score at 1-1.
Atuahene’s second goal of the evening came in the 85th minute. Jack Metcalf was streaking down the right sideline before sending a pass into the area that Atuahene finished with his right foot. The victory was the first in franchise history for San Diego.
After learning of Governor Inslee’s announcement earlier today, tonight’s USL Championship match was played behind closed doors at Cheney Stadium. With San Diego Loyal’s squad already in town to play the contest, Tacoma Defiance was in touch with the United Soccer League, regional government agencies and health authorities about the best path forward. Because Cheney Stadium was closed to the public, it was deemed safe to proceed with Tacoma Defiance’s second match of the season. Tacoma’s third match of the season, originally planned for March 22 vs. OKC Energy FC at Cheney Stadium, is set to be rescheduled due to the on-going health risks.