Men in Black Stand Ground Against Reno 1868 FC

Tacoma Defiance need to impose their will in wide spaces.

With another home game at Cheney Stadium (7 pm., ESPN+, tickets available) Tacoma Defiance are in their stark black-white-black kits, defiantly carrying their pride for the South Sound on their chest. Reno 1868 FC are in Tacoma for their second visit in history.

But just so we’re reminded of the ones who are held back,
Up front there ought ‘a be a Man In Black.
– Johnny Cash, Man in Black

Defiance look to convert chance creation into more goals. Over their last four matches, Tacoma regularly threatened goal, but failed to net more than a goal in any match. Justin Dhillon will be key. The forward has 1 goal on 11 shots in his last two starts for Tacoma.

Coach Little’s side will focus on creating imbalance and overload by using passing from the back.

“The starting position of the fullback and how they are attacking space is important. I think our game model is how to break that first line, and how we play out against the two. Once we get past the two strikers the other team needs to make a decision. Somebody has to come out of their shape. When they do it’s us picking the right pass. It’s us trying to create those overloads in the middle of the field.”

Diamonds are forever

With Reno 1868 FC using a diamond as their primary formation, breaking that first line with the two forwards will be key. The wide midfielders of that diamond will be pulled out to confront Tacoma’s fullback and winger, or Defiance will have two v. ones. On the other hand, Reno knows that’s the way to beat them.

“They’re a well-organized team, balanced in terms of shape. They have good, experienced players. Obviously two strikers that are a threat. They play with a mobile midfield. Their 10 is clever between the lines. He’ll be fluid and drop back as well.”

Addressing that has been a focus in practice this week.

“We have some cues to look for, with a diamond it’s more compact centrally. How we take advantage is important.”


Reno 1868 notes

  • Reno is coming to Tacoma on short rest. 1868 lost to Sacramento Republic FC in US Open Cup action on Wednesday night. The lineup in the 1-0 loss featured only three players from their 4-1 win over Republic last Saturday.
  • Forward Brian Brown is 5th in the West in goals scored and 4th in the West for assists.
  • Sergio Rivas  and Nathan Aune both return to Puget Sound. Each played college soccer at Seattle U and spent time with the Sounders U-23s.
  • Six of their 19 goals have come in the final 15 minutes of a match.
  • Their match preview.


Tacoma Defiance notes

  • On Wednesday Ocampo-Chavez and Leyva finished 2nd in the Concacaf U-17 Championships while qualifying for the U-17 World Cup in Brazil this September. They will be unavailable for selection.
  • Captain Sam Rogers has three-straight starts since returning to full health.
  • Reign FC play at 1 p.m. at Cheney Stadium in a day-night soccer double header.
  • Defiance have scored in their last three home matches.


How to Watch

Stadium: Cheney Stadium, Tacoma, Washington
Kickoff Time: Saturday, May 18 (7:00 pm.)
Home: Tacoma Defiance (2-9-0 -26)
Away: Reno 1868 FC (4-2-4 +4)
Streaming: ESPN+


Defiantly Tacoma