The wait for Tacoma Defiance games is nearly over as the team’s return to action begins on Monday, July 13 with a trip to Northern California to face Sacramento Republic FC. Following the announcement of groups for the restructured USL Championship season, Tacoma now knows the dates and opponents for the remaining 14 games of their regular season schedule.
The USL’s return to play ensures that all teams will get a total of 16 games for the 2020 regular season, with any games played before the stoppage due to the pandemic counting towards that total; hence Tacoma’s 14 remaining games. The league’s initial announcement indicated that those 16 games would include 12 intra-group games and four games against opponents based on proximity. There was also a suggestion that an effort would be made to balance schedules for home and away, but an acknowledgment that that might not be possible for all teams. As it worked out for Tacoma Defiance they had already played one of their out-of-group games when they hosted San Diego Loyal, and one of their group games in their opener against Reno 1868 FC. Those two games took place at Cheney Stadium, meaning the club would already have an away-heavy schedule for the return.
Tacoma’s group includes Sacramento, Reno, and their Cascadia rivals, Portland Timbers 2. The Defiance will play three more games against Reno, including a trip there for their season finale; four games against Sacramento; and Portland accounts for five games on the calendar as a match against them serves as one of Tacoma’s three non-group games. The remaining two games against non-group teams will be a pair of road trips, first to face Las Vegas Lights FC on August 12, followed by a match against Real Monarchs SLC on September 2.
With only four of Tacoma’s 14 remaining regular season games taking place in the familiar confines of Cheney Stadium, what was already sure to be a challenging push for the postseason becomes even more difficult. To further complicate a return to action amidst all of the mental and emotional strain of playing during a pandemic while around the country protests against police violence and systemic racism, Tacoma’s schedule includes an eight-game road trip that is sure to be filled with strange experiences. USL’s return to play involves games in home stadiums, and whether or not fans will be allowed to attend will be left up to local and state guidance for each team, meaning that teams could be going from empty stadiums one game to 50% capacity crowds in the next.
You can tune in to watch as Tacoma Defiance pushes to overcome the 0-2-0 hole they find themselves in on their way to a possible playoff berth, with every USL Championship game being broadcast on ESPN+. The first game back on Monday, July 13 against Sacramento Republic FC will also be shown on ESPN Deportes.
2020 Tacoma Defiance schedule
|Monday, July 13||7:00 PM||Sacramento Republic FC||Tacoma Defiance||ESPN+ & ESPN Deportes|
|Saturday, July 18||5:00 PM||Tacoma Defiance||Portland Timbers 2||ESPN+|
|Thursday, July 23||7:00 PM||Tacoma Defiance||Reno 1868 FC||ESPN+|
|Monday, August 3||6:00 PM||Portland Timbers 2||Tacoma Defiance||ESPN+|
|Saturday, August 8||7:30 PM||Reno 1868 FC||Tacoma Defiance||ESPN+|
|Wednesday, August 12||7:30 PM||Las Vegas Lights FC||Tacoma Defiance||ESPN+|
|Saturday, August 15||8:00 PM||Sacramento Republic FC||Tacoma Defiance||ESPN+|
|Saturday, August 29||7:00 PM||Portland Timbers 2||Tacoma Defiance||ESPN+|
|Wednesday, September 2||TBC||Real Monarchs SLC||Tacoma Defiance||ESPN+|
|Saturday, September 12||7:00 PM||Portland Timbers 2||Tacoma Defiance||ESPN+|
|Saturday, September 19||7:30 PM||Sacramento Republic FC||Tacoma Defiance||ESPN+|
|Sunday, September 27||1:30 PM||Tacoma Defiance||Portland Timbers 2||ESPN+|
|Wednesday, September 30||7:00 PM||Tacoma Defiance||Sacramento Republic FC||ESPN+|
|Saturday, October 3||6:00 PM||Reno 1868 FC||Tacoma Defiance||ESPN+|