Another match against a top Western Conference opponent awaits Tacoma Defiance Sunday May 26 at 1:30 p.m. Fresno FC Foxes enter the weekend 2nd in the Western Conference with just a single loss on the year. Defiance will need to assert their nature as a gritty side, capable of scoring in seconds.
Facing another two forward set, Coach Little sees opportunity for his attacking players to work with a numbers advantage. Opportunity also can be found in space between the defense and midfield.
“We think from the attacking side when we play against a 4-4-2 that is flat we can cause some problems in possession and play with those three lines instead of four.”
Those opportunities in the midfield create danger from two forwards who support each other.
“You play with two forwards so you can use them. A lot of times that means you go from back to front quickly. How do we deal with that in terms of service into the forwards? It’s also the second ball. Our midfield creating numerical superiority in the middle so we can secure the ball in the second phase of it that was a big emphasis on the defending side.”
Qudus Lawal’s scoring streak
Former Sounders 2 player Qudus Lawal has 4 goals in his last three competitive matches. Lawal’s 3 goals in USL Championship action tie him with Christian Chaney and Jamal Johnson for the team lead. Defiance centerbacks will focus on him, but cannot ignore the rest of Los Zorros’ attacking players.
“They’ve got multiple threats. Lawal is obviously on a streak, but they have a lot of other guys that have caused a lot of other teams problems. They have a lot of pace and athleticism. They are dynamic. There’s lots of threats there. Any time you’ve got a guy getting some goals in your centerbacks, back four, add a little bit of extra attention. You look at his movements and what he’s doing well to see if you can stop that.”
Fresno FC Foxes notes
- They are first in the West, and 5th overall, in goals against.
- Foxes are a potent second half team with 11 second half goals. That is 65% of their goals.
- Midfielder Seth Moses has 3 yellow cards and 2 red cards.
- Fresno is undefeated on the road with a 3-0-2 +7 record. Three of those five games were clean sheets.
- Their preview.
Tacoma Defiance notes
- Defiance are 2-3-1 -5 at Cheney Stadium, scoring at least a goal in four straight on the grass under Mt. Rainier/Tahoma.
- Marlon Vargas is the only Tacoma Defiance player to appear in all 12 matches this season.
- Trey Muse leads the squad with 810 minutes played. Shandon Hopeau leads outfield players with 729 minutes.
MultiCare Pre-Match Health Report
Tacoma – Danny Robles is questionable
Fresno – Alex Cooper (hamstring), Elijah Martin (ankle), and Jackson (hamstring) are all out.
How to Watch
Stadium: Cheney Stadium, Tacoma, Washington
Kickoff Time: Sunday, May 16 (1:30 pm)
Home: Tacoma Defiance (2-9-1 -26)
Away: Fresno FC Foxes (5-1-4 +9)