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Tacoma Defiance vs. Real Monarchs SLC, recap: A song of rain and yellows

A flooded pitch at Cheney Stadium made for a bit of an ugly one

Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez raising high above the flooded pitch for a header against the Real Monarchs
Charis Wilson//Tacoma Defiance

Tuesday night’s match between the Tacoma Defiance and the Real Monarchs SLC was stacked against the Defiance from the start. The disadvantages of playing on a baseball field— they are not designed to be played on in the rain so drainage, especially where turf is laid over the infield dirt, is less than ideal for soccer — came to roost for the first time this season. The resulting conditions, namely ball-stopping pools of water throughout but concentrated on the south end of the field, were not conducive to the Defiance’s style of play that relies on a high volume of quick, short passing. They attempted to play more direct soccer but, as one would expect, it did not produce dangerous attacks.

Despite the conditions, the Defiance kept the Monarchs within striking distance with fairly solid defense in the first half. Unfortunately, at the end of the first half Ever Rubio received a harsh but correct pair of yellow cards. They still managed to keep the Monarchs close through solid defense and an opportunistic goal by Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez until Danny Leyva received a second yellow in the 64’. With their forces reduced to nine, the Defiance were no longer able to suppress the Monarchs’ attack which scored two goals in the match’s final 20 minutes to bring the match to a 4-1 conclusion.

Key Moments

6’- Jake Black got to the edge of the box and took a well struck shot that was only stopped by the post.

22’- Rubio cleared a Monarchs header off the line.

25’- The pitch goo reached up and completely stopped an attempted pass from Rubio to Berkholds. Kyle Coffee got to the stopped ball first and was out on the break. Aleks Berkolds did very well to slow him down while shading towards the second attacker, Luis Palma, so he was able to shift over to him to prevent the Monarchs a clear look at goal. Palma was able to get a shot off but it was from distance and straight at Bryan Meredith.

32’- After some good defending by Berkolds and a good save from Meredith the Defiance were not able to clear the ball away. On their third time getting to a loose ball in the box, the Monarchs put the ball into the goal off the left foot of Coffee. 0-1

38’- After a well worked short corner Alex Roldan got to a second ball in the box and put in a shot with the outside of his right foot. David Ochoa was able to paw it aside but he sent the ball right to Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez’s feet. The Defiance striker had an open net but blasted the ball off the post from a few feet out.

44’- Rubio was sent off after receiving two yellows on the same play. His first yellow was for a play that was given advantage before he followed up with another yellow-worthy tackle.

55’- After a very poor punch attempt by Meredith the ball fell directly to Maikel Chang who passed it into the net voided by Meredith for his 10th goal of the season. 0-2

60’- Nick Hinds intercepted a pass well and bounded into the space in front of him down the sideline. He sent in an early low cross that Ocampo-Chavez somehow lifted over Ochoa from a tight angle to pull one back for the Defiance. 1-2

64’- Leyva was sent off after receiving a second yellow on a challenge in the Monarch’s penalty area.

73’- Hinds tripped while tracking Chang in the box and unfortunately fell in front of him. The ref rightly pointed to the spot after Hinds accidentally took out Chang’s legs with his torso. Chang converted. 1-3

89’- Cristian Calix scored his first goal of the season from outside the box. Meredith probably should have done much better with the fairly weak shot. 1-4

Talking Points

Ethan Dobbelaere and Sota Kitahara made their first starts for the Defiance.

After having made several good substitute appearances, Dobbelaere really struggled in his first start. He was unable to get involved in the match from his position out on the left wing and had trouble adjusting his attacking to the inclement weather. Despite completing only 9 of his 17 passes, Dobbelaere showed maturity to stay engaged with the match to contribute three tackles and win 5 of his 8 duels.

Kitahara was not only making his first start but playing his first-ever minutes with the Defiance. He was unable to get involved up field but managed his passing in the back fairly well, helping the Defiance keep possession the few times they had the opportunity. On defense he was very cautious, leading to an anemic stat line, but held his own well and managed not to make any catastrophic mistakes.

There is no way to make any evaluations of either of their futures in a match that was this much of a mess but they held their composure well despite said mess.

What happened when Ever Rubio was sent off?

In 44’ the ref blew his whistle for a foul committed by Rubio and then proceeded to give him two yellow cards. The situation was a bit confusing because Rubio didn’t appear to have an over-the-top reaction or argument with the ref. What appears to have happened is the ref played advantage after an offense committed by Rubio near the halfway line. Rubio then — in an attempt to recover after his first ineffective challenge — tackled a player from behind. The ref deemed both offenses to be worthy of a yellow so gave two yellows and the subsequent red card.

There is nothing in the Laws of the Game that directly addresses this situation, but since the laws do not specifically prohibit it there is no reason for the ref not to issue a yellow for each yellow card tackle no matter the surrounding circumstances. The consensus between refs appears to be that a ref should attempt to tell the offending player that he/she will receive a yellow for the offense advantage is being played on — which the ref did not do in this situation — but that it is not required.

In the end Rubio being sent off was harsh, and frustrating, but hard to argue against.


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. Danny Robles (—)
  4. Marlon Vargas (—)
  5. Jesse Daley (—)

Match Stats


Tacoma Defiance I 1-4 I Real Monarchs SLC

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Venue: Cheney Stadium I Tacoma, Washington

Referee: Mark Allatin

Assistants: Baboucarr Jallow, Christian Clerc

Fourth Official: Christopher Turner

Attendance: 2,016


SLC - Kyle Coffee 32’

SLC - Maikel Chang 55’

TAC - Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Nick Hinds 60’)

SLC - Maikel Chang (penalty) 73’

SLC - Cristian Calix (Luis Arriaga) 89’


TAC - Danny Leyva (caution) 4’

TAC - Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (caution) 4’

TAC - Ever Rubio (caution) 44’

TAC - Ever Rubio (ejection) 44’

SLC - Sam Brown (caution) 58’

SLC - Konrad Plewa (caution) 63’

TAC - Danny Leyva (ejection) 64’

SLC - Jack Blake (caution) 81’

TAC - Aleks Berkolds (caution) 90’+2’

SLC - Noah Powder (caution) 90’+2’


TAC - Bryan Meredith; Sota Kitahara, Aleks Berkolds, Ever Rubio, Nick Hinds; Alex Roldan (Jesse Daley 61’), Danny Leyva; Shandon Hopeau, Danny Robles (Josh Atencio HT), Ethan Dobbelaere (Justin Dhillon 71’); Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez

Substitutes not used: Trey Muse, Ray Serrano, Alex Villanueva, Handwalla Bwana

Total shots: 12

Shots on goal: 3

Fouls: 6

Offside: 1

Corner-kicks: 3

Saves: 6

SLC - David Ochoa; James Moberg, Konrad Plewa, Kalen Ryden, Noah Powder; Sam Brown (Cristian Calix 85’), Jack Blake; Maikel Chang, Luis Arriaga, Luis Palma (Julien Vazquez 82’); Kyle Coffee (Damien German 89’)

Substitutes not used: Evan Finney, Fertil Pierre, Juan Silva, Etoundi

Total shots: 24

Shots on goal: 11

Fouls: 12

Offside: 1

Corner-kicks: 6

Saves: 2

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