Tacoma Defiance and Seattle Sounders FC announced today that three more first-team players had entered into 2020 Standard USL Loan Agreements with Tacoma Defiance. Forward Will Bruin and midfielders Handwalla Bwana and Danny Leyva join the five other Sounders players with 2020 Loan Agreements ahead of Tacoma’s Wednesday night game at Cheney Stadium against USL expansion side San Diego Loyal.
Bruin’s inclusion in the group is both the most surprising and the most predictable. Bruin returned to full training two weeks ago and coach Brian Schmetzer has indicated that the forward could see time with the Defiance before returning to the field for the Sounders. It’s probably still a bit too early for him to be involved on Wednesday, but the fact that he’s available and eligible is a good sign for the progress of his recovery from the torn ACL he suffered last June. In his one previous appearance with Defiance in 2019, Bruin had one goal and one assist.
Bwana and Leyva both saw time with Tacoma in 2019, with nearly half of Bwana’s minutes and most of Leyva’s coming with the USL Championship side. Leyva has made two appearances for the Sounders first team in 2020, a substitute appearance in the first leg of Concacaf Champions League play against Olimpia and a start against Chicago Fire FC. Bwana has yet to make an appearance, but has been battling an injury. With the Sounders nearing full health and the emergence of new players like João Paulo and Miguel Ibarra, playing time is likely to be scarce for both Bwana and Leyva with the first team in the near future, so giving them the option of playing with Tacoma makes sense.
These additions, along with the recent group of players with loan agreements, brings the pool of players that Defiance coach Chris Little can draw from to 35. Tacoma Defiance face San Diego Loyal at Cheney Stadium tomorrow, Wednesday, March 11, at 7 PM. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.