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Tacoma Defiance at Real Monarchs SLC, recap: One to forget

The Defiance were completely dismantled in Utah.

Friday night’s match against the Real Monarchs SLC went bad for the Tacoma Defiance from the moment their lineup went out. They started the match with an odd collection of players that included five centerbacks and three players out of position. Things never went well enough to decipher what the coaches’ game plan was with the lineup as the Monarchs dominated the match from start to finish and sent the Defiance out of Utah with a 5-0 loss.

Key Moments

8’- Handwalla Bwana made a bad turnover in the Defiance half and then played lackadaisical defense on Maikel Chang who was able to easily cut inside and send a curling effort over the head of Trey Muse into the back of the net for the match’s first goal.

20’- Horrible defense on the left again allowed the Monarchs to mount a dangerous attack. The ball eventually found its way to Luis Arriaga who was wide open at the top of the box. His shot took a deflection which took the ball close enough to Muse that he could make a nice reaction save.

36’- Joseph Okumu played Douglas Martínez in behind down the sideline. With Ever Rubio up field, Martínez beat Berkolds badly for speed and slammed it past Muse from a tight angle for the Monarchs’ second.

63’- Tacoma got their first chance of any venom when Bwana cut in from the left to get off a shot that looked headed for the top corner before being intercepted by a Monarch head.

67’- After Tacoma’s first useful spell of possession the Monarchs hit them on the counter. Josh Atencio made a good last ditch tackle at the top of the box but the ball fell to a wide open Martínez who powered a shot through Muse for his second.

69’- An excellent shot from outside the box by Atencio missed the top corner by inches

76’- Martínez got his hat trick after Jonathan Campbell misplayed the ball at the top of the box with no one around.

84’- Jack Blake put in the Monarchs’ fifth from outside the box after Nick Hinds bit on his shot fake.

90’- The center referee mercifully called the game at 90’; adding no stoppage time.

Talking Points

Hits and misses (mostly misses) with players at unfamiliar(ish) positions.

Chris Little’s lineup choices put a lot of players in positions they haven’t played in awhile and positions they are unfamiliar with. Sam Rogers made a return to defensive midfield, Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez played as a wide midfielder, Everardo Rubio — who played at centerback at Murciélagos FC before his move here — played at left back and Aleks Berkolds had a brief cameo at left back. In most cases it went very badly but we did learn a few things.

  1. As stop and start as his progress has been, moving Rogers to centerback was probably the right choice.
  2. Ocampo-Chavez has the passing and defensive abilities to play as a wide forward or midfielder.
  3. Berkolds can play left back in a pinch.

Handwalla Bwana needs some time with Tacoma

It is obvious that Bwana has some ball skills but this match made it apparent that he needs to make some improvements to his game. There has been indication of this in his play with the Sounders but some of his deficiencies have been covered by the quality around him. For the good of the player and the team the Sounders should consider doing what they need to in order to allow Bwana to get a lot more playing time with Tacoma.

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. Denso Ulysse (—)
  3. Sam Rogers (—)
  4. Aleks Berkolds (—)
  5. Josh Atencio (—)


Match Stats


Tacoma Defiance I 0-5 I Real Monarchs SLC

Friday, July 12, 2019

Venue: Zions Bank Stadium I Herriman, Utah

Referee: Michael Radchuk

Assistants: Joshua Haimes, Karsten Gillwald

Fourth Official: Casey Harward


SLC - Maikel Chang (Mastanabal Kacher) 8’

SLC - Douglas Martinez (Joseph Okumu) 36’

SLC - Douglas Martinez 67’

SLC - Douglas Martinez 76’

SLC - Jack Blake (Lionel Abate Etoundi) 83’


SLC - Douglas Martinez (caution) 62’


TAC - Trey Muse; Denso Ulysse, Jonathan Campbell, Aleks Berkolds (Nick Hinds 61’), Ever Rubio (Joel Rydstrand HT); Josh Atencio, Sam Rogers; Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, Antonee Burke-Gilroy (Marlon Vargas 72’), Handwalla Bwana; Alec Diaz

Substitutes not used: Sam Fowler, Danny Robles

Total shots: 8

Shots on goal: 3

Fouls: 3

Offside: 1

Corner-kicks: 2

Saves: 6

SLC - Andrew Putna; James Moberg, Joseph Okumu, Konrad Plewa, Noah Powder; Luke Mulholland, Jordan Pena (Jack Blake 74’); Maikel Chang, Luis Arriaga, Mastanabal Kacher (Julian Vazquez HT); Douglas Martinez (Lionel Abate Etoundi 77’)

Substitutes not used: Evan Finney, Kalen Ryden, Steve Jasso, Luis Palma

Total shots: 22

Shots on goal: 11

Fouls: 9

Offside: 0

Corner-kicks: 6

Saves: 3

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