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Tacoma Defiance’s trip to Vegas Strip did not go well

Irvin Parra got a hat trick and for the second time this week a former S2 player got the better of the Defiance.

Well, across the field from the Tacoma Defiance and Las Vegas Lights FC benches there was a foam party, complete with two people with jumpsuits and vacuums to suck up the foam that spilled onto the pitch. The Lights fans enjoyed it as their side put five goals on a goalless Tacoma Defiance including a hat trick by former S2 player Irvin Parra.

For the Defiance it was a match marked by individual mistakes that led directly to goals for their opposition. On the first Jonathan Campbell left his man to intercept a cross. Unfortunately he mistimed his jump and the ball floated to the man he just left who easily put it past Trey Muse. For the second Antonee Burke-Gilroy needlessly pulled down Parra in the box. Parra emphatically finished the penalty chance. The third saw Muse fail to make a routine save on a Parra shot from the most acute of angles. Fourth, Joel Rydstrand badly misplayed a ball at the top of the Defiance box and sent Vegas’ Preston Tabort Etaka in behind the Defiance backline where he easily finished his one-on-one chance with Muse. On the last, Campbell failed to jump for a cross giving Parra a free header which he finished for his hat trick. Shortly after the fifth Jesse Daley made a foolish and slightly dangerous frustration tackle to earn his second yellow, forcing Defiance to see out the game with 10 men.

This match was an encapsulation of the back six’s struggles all year, down to the First Team players (minus Román Torres and Jordy Delem) not performing anywhere near the level they should. On a night where Tacoma’s box was constantly under attack, Campbell quit on several plays and put up a paltry stat line of 1 tackle, 0 clearance, 0 blocks, 0 interceptions and 1 header won. It was just not good enough in quality or leadership from the most experienced Defiance player on the field.

Luckily, even on the darkest of nights there are bright spots for the Sounders and their developmental side. Campbell’s partner, Aleks Berkolds, quietly had a very good match, likely his best of the season. He did a diligent job trying to clean up the mistakes going on around him, had his best passing match and put up a solid stat line of 3 tackle, 5 clearance, 1 blocks, 3 interceptions and won 11 of his 19 duels.

Shandon Hopeau was also very good on the night, especially early on. He had several incisive in-cutting runs where he looked unstoppable at the USL level. He ended a couple of those runs with excellent shots, one going just inches wide and the other stopped by an excellent save. If he can start putting those in he has a real chance at success at the next level.

The match also saw the season debut of Sam Rogers. The centerback has had some rough luck with injuries and illness, but hopefully he can get a long run in the side now that he has finally recovered. He might add some much needed stability to the Defiance backline and, if he can continue to improve, could earn a First Team contract before season’s end, which is the actual measure of success for the Tacoma Defiance.

First Team call-up power rankings

(A quick explainer of my methodology: The rankings don’t take into account the roster situation of the First Team, so the player at #1 is the player not on a First Team contract most ready for MLS, not the player the Sounders need to fill out their roster. However, the player in Bold is the player most likely to be the first player given a contract by the Sounders taking into account their roster needs.)

  1. Denso Ulysse (-)
  2. Shandon Hopeau (-)
  3. Sam Rogers (-)
  4. Alec Diaz (-)
  5. Nick Hinds (-)


Match stats


Tacoma Defiance I 0-5 I Las Vegas Lights FC

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Venue: Cashman Field I Las Vegas, NV

Referee: Elijio Arreguin

Assistants: Seth Martin, Uriel Aguilera

Fourth Official: Ryan Cuddy


LV - Preston Tabort Etaka (Bryan Arguez) 11’

LV - Irvin Parra (penalty) 23’

LV - Irvin Parra (Thomas Olsen) 32’

LV - Preston Tabort Etaka 50’

LV - Irvin Parra (Matt Thomas) 60’


TAC - Jesse Daley (caution) 28’

TAC - Jonathan Campbell (caution) 56’

LV - Irvin Parra (caution) 61’

TAC - Jesse Daley (second yellow - ejection) 63’


TAC - Trey Muse; Henry Wingo, Jonathan Campbell, Aleks Berkolds, Matt Nance; Jesse Daley, Joel Rydstrand; Shandon Hopeau, Antonee Burke-Gilroy (Marlon Vargas HT), Azriel Gonzalez (Sam Rogers 61’); Alec Diaz (Justin Dhillon 71’)

Substitutes not used: Jacob Castro, Nick Hinds, Ben Numbi, Blake Malone

Total shots: 10

Shots on goal: 2

Fouls: 12

Offside: 3

Corner-kicks: 4

Saves: 4

LV - Thomas Olsen; Kevin Garcia-Lopez, Gabe Robinson, Javan Torre (Christian Hernandez 52’), Christian Torres (Matt Thomas 32’); Pablo Cruz, Mobi Fehr, Bryan Arguez (Samuel Ochoa 70’), Lucas Scaglia; Preston Tabort Etaka, Irvin Parra

Substitutes not used: Angel Alvarez, Ferrety Sousa, Eric Gonzalez, Edwin Rivas

Total shots: 18

Shots on goal: 9

Fouls: 12

Offside: 1

Corner-kicks: 3

Saves: 2

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