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Defiance add four more to roster

Tacoma Defiance add four players to the roster ahead of the 2024 season.

Last Updated
2 min read

The Tacoma Defiance made four more additions ahead of the 2024 season, first announcing that defender Travian Sousa had signed a new contract, then announcing that midfielders Faysal Bettache, Burke Fahling and Sebastian Gomez had all signed with the team as well.

Sousa is a left back who spent the last two seasons with Defiance, initially joining in 2022 after spending the previous season playing with Sporting Kansas City II and Oakland Roots in the USL Championship. His contract had expired at the end of the 2023 season, but he rejoins the team with a chance to build on his 39 appearances over the last two seasons. In addition to his play with Tacoma, Sousa also appeared as a substitute in both of the Seattle Sounders U.S. Open Cup games last season, and spent time with the first team again during this year’s preseason.

The group of new signings have varying degrees of experience and connection to the area. “It’s always a good thing when you can sign players from a variety of pathways and backgrounds to your club, and that’s what we have done with Faysal [Bettache], Burke [Fahling] and Sebastian [Gomez],” explained new Defiance Head Coach Hervé Diese.

Bettache, 23, joins the club most recently having played with St. Louis CITY2 in 2023. He made 28 MLS Next Pro appearances as a central midfielder with St. Louis, scoring nine times including the team’s first hat trick. Bettache spent time bouncing around the lower levels of the English professional pyramid on loan from Queens Park Rangers after having come up through their youth setup.

Fahling, 26, is a Kirkland native making a bit of a homecoming. After playing in the Sounders Academy, Fahling went on to play collegiately at the University of Memphis and Seattle University. After leaving SU in 2021, he turned pro when he joined USL Championship side Charleston Battery. After a season with Charleston in which he made 16 starts in 27 appearances, Fahling spent the '22 season in USL League One with FC Tucson, then moved back to USLC with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds for 2023.

Gomez is the latest player to sign with Defiance from the Sounders development pipeline. The 17-year-old joined the Sounders Academy in 2017 when he was just 10 as part of the Discovery Program and has since worked his way up through the U-15 and U-17 teams. Gomez is a creative and skillful midfielder who was part of the U-17 team that won the 2022 Generation Adidas Cup, and made nine appearances with two starts for Defiance last year.

These four signings leave Tacoma Defiance with 13 players signed directly to the team and available for the start of the MLS Next Pro season when the team kicks things off on the road against Austin FC II on Friday, March 15.

DEFENDERS (4): Blake Bowen, Elias Katsaros, Pedro Rodrigues, Travian Sousa

MIDFIELDERS (8): Chris Aquino, Faysal Bettache, Snyder Brunell, Frank Daroma, Burke Fahling, Sebastian Gomez, Antonio Herrera*, Gio Miglietti, Georgi Minoungou,

Forwards (1): Yu Tsukanome

*On loan to Chivas de Guadalajara U-23