There was some hope that the players returning from winning the GA Cup would help stop the Tacoma Defiance’s current slide with both their skill, confidence and swagger that can come from a successful tournament run. That hope never materialized and the Defiance looked just as lost and demoralized as they have since the start of this road trip. San Antonio FC put the screws to a Tacoma side adrift early and often to win 3-0.
Despite starting off on the back foot, the Defiance fashioned the game’s first chance of any venom on a corner in the 8’. Danny Robles sent in a good ball to the near post where Sam Rogers executed a nice flick that saw the ball bounce through the 6-yard-box. There were several Defiance players close to the ball’s path but none of them could quite get the touch needed to send the ball into the net. Things went downhill quickly from there.
Less than a minute later, Aleks Berkolds was put under pressure deep in the defensive third. His attempted pass was deflected towards the corner of the box. Bradford Jamieson IV just beat Peter Kingston to the ball and after one touch hit a shot that beat Trey Muse to make it 1-0.
After the opening goal, San Antonio dominated the game even more than they had before. In the 19’ Moisés Hernández drove past Enrique Montana in the box near the endline. His cutback pass found Jack Barmby who took one touch out of his feet and sent a curler past Muse. Five minutes later, Barmby got his second when Josh Atencio failed to close him down. Barmby had all the time he needed to line up his shot and send it into the net to make it 3-0.
In the 35’ Tacoma did put in a brief spell in the offensive third which included a couple very good corners by Robles but no one could finish them. San Antonio soon took back over but despite a lot of pressure, Tacoma were just about able to get to half down only 3-0.
The Defiance came out of half with some energy and in the first five minutes were able to execute their press for the first time all match. Unfortunately, they could not string together enough passes after turning San Antonio over to create any offense.
In the 61’ Pascal Eboisse came close to breaking Connor Drought’s leg with a forceful and high tackle that earned him a red card (Drought came back on the field but was soon subbed out). After that, Tacoma looked a little more comfortable, perhaps because of the extra space on the field or some confidence from knowing they had the man-advantage.
The match was a little more even from that point on. Tacoma were able to build a bit of possession and work some space down the wings. Their service into the box was inconsistent though and Justin Dhillon was unable to finish any of the chances that did find him in the box. San Antonio eventually wrestled back control of the match and should have scored one or two more in the later part of the second half but the game ended with the same score as the first half did.
Results are not the most important thing for the Defiance but over the last few matches it has become clear that these 3+ goal losses are demoralizing. Something needs to change for the sake players. Whether that is just waiting to get back to Cheney to build up some confidence in a familiar environment or something more drastic is not yet clear. It should become more clear over the next month.
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.)
- Denso Ulysse (-)
- Shandon Hopeau (-)
- Sam Rogers (-)
- Aleks Berkolds (NEW)
Tacoma Defiance I 0-3 I San Antonio FC
Friday, April 26, 2019
Venue: Toyota Field I San Antonio, Texas
Referee: Luis Guardia
Assistants: Jeremy Weed, Trent Robert Van Haitsma
Fourth Official: Baltazar Peral Hana
SA - Bradford Jamieson 9’
SA - Jack Barmby (Moises Hernandez) 19’
SA - Jack Barmby (Brian Gomez) 24’
TAC - Peter Kingston (caution) 42’
SA - Pascal Eboussi (ejection) 60’
SA - Walter Restrepo (caution) 69’
LINEUPS & STATS
TAC - Trey Muse; Enrique Montana, Sam Rogers (Joel Rydstrand 45’), Aleks Berkolds, Connor Drought (Denso Ulysse 66’); Antonee Burke-Gilroy, Peter Kingston, Josh Atencio, Danny Robles; Ray Serrano (Marlon Vargas 56’), Justin Dhillon
Substitutes not used: Jacob Castro, Alec Diaz
Total shots: 12
Shots on goal: 5
SA - Matt Cardone; Ebenezer Ackon, Joshua Yaro, Pascal Eboussi; Michael Lahoud, Jack Barmby (Rafael Castillo 88’); Moises Hernandez, Kai Greene; Brian Gomez, Bradford Jamieson (Billy Forbes 79’); Walter Restrepo (Cristian Parano 86’)
Substitutes not used: Jonathan Viscosi, Johnny Fenwick, Jose Gallegos, Ever Guzman
Total shots: 17
Shots on goal: 5