While the first team heads off the Mexico City, Tacoma Defiance are back in San Jose for a MLS NEXT Pro match against Earthquakes II. The Defiance started the season strong but are now winless in their last three, including two straight losses. They’ll have a younger-than-normal squad at their disposal, with most of the first-teamers heading to Mexico.
Why you should watch
- Developmental depth — With this game falling between the First Team’s weekend bout against the Earthquakes First Team, and the opening leg of the CCL finals against Pumas UNAM on Wednesday, tonight’s Defiance squad will be even more Defiant than the groups in the opening four games. Two players signed to the First Team are on the roster, Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez and Sam Adeniran, both of them starting. That’s half the previous low for Tacoma this season.
- The Kinzner-Uderitz partnership — The Sounders organization has a long history of impressive centerback pairings. At the MLS NEXT Pro level, Hal Uderitz and Eric Kinzner have the potential to be the latest example. Both skilled enough on the ball and possessing the field vision to be pivotal in how the entire organization wants to play with the ball and capitalize on transition opportunities, both players are also capable of shutting down opposition attackers when they’re at their best. Watch them learn and grow together.
- Road wins aren’t easy — Defiance are in pursuit of their first road win in their second trip away from Starfire. Earthquakes II have only played three games so far this season, and only one game at home, but they’ll be looking for their first home win against the visitors. A road result won't be easy, and on its own it won’t get the team much closer to a playoff spot come the end of the season, but it could do some good to help build confidents in the group.
How to watch
Match date/kickoff time: Monday, April 25, 5:00 PM PT
Venue: PayPal Park, San Jose
Online Streaming: MLS NEXT Pro
Defiance Absences: Cody Baker (ankle)
Earthquakes II: Unknown