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Tacoma Defiance v. Colorado Springs Switchbacks, recap: Tacoma unable to mount attack

Keeper mistakes and poor set piece defending doom the Defiance yet again.

Saturday night might have been the Tacoma Defiance’s best chance all season to get a road win. Justin Dhillon was on a heater, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC are only one place (2 points) ahead of the Defiance in the USL Championship Western Conference Table, and the Switchbacks are one of only two teams that Tacoma/S2 have a positive goal differential against. Unfortunately, after one good chance that was well saved early, the Defiance couldn’t get anything going and eventually fell 3-0.

Key Moments

7’ Antonee Burke-Gilroy put in an excellent through ball to Dhillon who did some nice hold up in the box, eventually working free and giving the return pass to Burke-Gilroy who took a one-time shot from the penalty spot. The shot was excellent but Rawls made a sprawling save to his right.

17’ Trey Muse came way out of his box and was beat to the ball by a good 5 yards. Luckily Rogers did very well to get in front of Saeed Robinson just in time to prevent him from shooting at the empty net. By the time Robinson got another open look, Muse had just about gotten back into his goal frame.

23’ Under no pressure in his box Muse took a bizarrely long touch into the path of Jordan Burt. Muse made a desperate attempt to tackle the ball away but it deflected off of Burt to the edge of the goal mouth. With Muse on the ground Burt was easily the first to the ball and tapped it into the net from a foot out.

43’ It became unbelievably windy out of nowhere.

45’ Muse partially atoned for his earlier gaffe with a decent save to his left. A ball was served in by Ismaila Jome. Mike Seth got on the end of it and headed a ball from the penalty spot that looked to be headed just inside the post. It didn’t have a ton of pace but Muse pushed off well and parried it out for a corner, though he probably should have caught it.

55’ Aleks Berkolds has his square pass to no one intercepted by Jordan Schweitzer. He pushed the ball forward with no one in front of him and eventually laid it off to Matthew Hundley, who was in on goal. Hundley made a mess of his shot though, sending it weakly right at Muse. Tacoma survive yet another turnover by their centerbacks and goalie.

71’ Colorado played a short corner and eventually put a cross in. Colorado won a header in the box and directed it towards Logan Dorsey, who was wide open 3 yards out from goal. Dorsey settled the ball well with his first touch and blasted it past Muse for their second goal.

87’ Sam Rogers stepped when he should have dropped off and was beaten badly by a Seth pass that put Jome in on goal. Jome easily put the ball past Muse.

Talking Points

Tacoma are the masters of ineffective possession.

The Defiance once again dominated possession (63% to 37%) and pass attempts (472 to 250) but were unable to do anything with it. They seem obsessed with the idea of simply keeping the ball. They hardly attempted to break lines—when they did it was with hopeful long balls—and only completed two forward passes from Zone 14 (the area in the middle of the pitch just outside the 18-yard-box). Being able to hold onto the ball is a useful skill but it might be time for Coach Little to instill more aggression and risk-taking in his young side.

Do we need to worry about Muse’s struggles with the ball at his feet?

The Indiana alum continues to struggle with his passing and decision making with the ball at his feet. On Saturday night, the Defiance again let in a goal because of these struggles. The way the First Team plays requires the Goalkeeper to be at least a decent passer, and right now Muse is nowhere near that. Now, he is only 19, but it is still worrying that he hasn’t shown even the slightest bit of improvement so far this season. We aren’t even close to the point where alarm bells should be going off but it is something to keep an eye on.

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. Shandon Hopeau (↑2)
  2. Denso Ulysse (↓1)
  3. Sam Rogers (↓1)
  4. Justin Dhillon (NEW)
  5. Josh Atencio (—)


Match Stats


Tacoma Defiance I 0-3 I Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Venue: Weidner Field I Colorado Springs, Colorado

Referee: Greg Dopka

Assistants: Jacob Herold, Kastriot Baruni

Fourth Official: Chris Greer

Weather: 76 degrees and partly cloudy

Attendance: 3,547


COL - Jordan Burt 23’

COL - Logan Dorsey 71’

COL - Ismaila Jome (Mike Seth) 87’


COL - Ibrahim Yaro (caution) 34’

COL - Jordan Burt (caution) 45’+3’

TAC - Azriel Gonzalez (caution) 51’

TAC - Aleks Berkolds (caution) 89’


TAC - Trey Muse; Denso Ulysse, Sam Rogers, Aleks Berkolds, Nick Hinds; Josh Atencio, Jesse Daley (Alec Diaz 73’); Shandon Hopeau (Marlon Vargas 71’), Antonee Burke-Gilroy (Danny Robles 59’), Azriel Gonzalez; Justin Dhillon

Substitutes not used: Sam Fowler, Joel Rydstrand

Total shots: 10

Shots on goal: 3

Fouls: 7

Offside: 2

Corner-kicks: 5

Saves: 4

COL - Andre Rawls; Ibrahim Yaro, Krisoffer Reaves, Abdul Rwatubyaye, Ismaila Jome; Jordan Burt (Kwasi Donsu 82’), Jordan Schweitzer, Rony Argueta, Matthew Hundley (Logan Dorsey 67’); Saeed Robinson (Brandon Farmelo 77’), Mike Seth

Substitutes not used: Abraham Rodriguez, Alejandro Padilla, Sam Raben, Alex Molano

Total shots: 17

Shots on goal: 7

Fouls: 9

Offside: 4

Corner-kicks: 8

Saves: 3

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