The Tacoma Defiance are finally back from what seemed an interminable three-week break from USL Championship play with a match against the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros. Despite not playing a competitive minute it was an eventful three weeks for the Defiance as players who had been under contract with them this season saw big changes in their professional careers. Justin Dhillon signed a contract with Seattle Sounders FC and earned his first start in a top-flight league; Danny Leyva got his first MLS start and scored a worldy (which was incorrectly disallowed); and Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez got his first MLS minutes with the Sounders. The Defiance are now, without a doubt, successful.
Unfortunately, this success will have a deleterious effect on their ability to be competitive in the USL Championship this season. With Will Bruin out for the year and Dhillon looking competent in his MLS minutes it is unlikely that Tacoma will see Dhillon again. That is 42.8% of the Defiance’s goals this season gone. With Peru playing in the Copa América final tomorrow Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez also traveled to Columbus which leaves Alec Diaz as Tacoma’s only striker on the roster. If the Defiance are to have any chance at a result in Edinburg, Diaz is going to need to put in a good performance up top.
The Defiance will likely need to score more to once because it is improbable that their league worst defense will be able to stymie a dangerous Toros attack. RGV have two attackers with more than 7 goals—no healthy Defiance player has more than 1—in Michael Salazar and Carlos Small.
Despite the Toros being near the bottom of the table with them, this is going to be a very difficult match for the Defiance.
nos audietis in somniis | nos audietis in altum
you will hear us in your sleep | you will hear us from the deep
this is our Sound
Keys to the Game:
- Someone in the attacking midfield needs to find a goal
- Alec Diaz needs a good match
- Defiance can’t give up a soft goal
How to Watch
Match date/time: 5:30 PM PT, Saturday, July 6, 2019.
Venue: H-E-B Park, Edinburg, Nueces-Rio Grande Coastal Basin Watershed, West Gulf Coastal Plain.
How I'm watching
Outfit: Probably my Oba #9 Pitch Black Jersey and Levi’s.
Where: Auburn, in Washington, the state.