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Five reasons to watch Defiance at Phoenix Rising

Tacoma can still make the playoffs. They just need to take points at Wild Horse Pass and get help from Orange County and a Sporting2 team that hasn’t won since Sep 4.

Danny Robles surveys the pitch before taking a free kick.
Charis Wilson courtesy of Seattle Sounders and Tacoma Defiance.

The last time Tacoma Defiance beat Phoenix Rising in Arizona the landscape of the USL was quite different. Defiance were called Sounders 2; Rising were called Arizona United; Phoenix played in Peoria. That 3-2 result in 2016 was one of only two wins by Tacoma over Phoenix — the other came back in 2015.

Tacoma needs to repeat one of those two results to have the best chance at the USL Championship playoffs. Meanwhile, Rising are gunning for the best record in the league, and the potential to host every match of the second season.

It’s a huge match for both teams. Both will also be paying attention to other scores, too.

How do Tacoma Defiance make the playoffs?

  • With a win AND an LA Galaxy II loss or draw AND an Oakland Roots loss or draw.
  • With a draw AND an LA Galaxy II loss AND an Oakland Roots loss.
  • With a draw AND an Oakland Roots draw AND an LA Galaxy II loss, as Defiance own the three-way tiebreaker due to their performance in the Pacific Division.

Why you should watch

  • Samuel Adeniran a goal from history: The S2/Defiance single-season scoring record is held by Justin Dhillon, who scored 12 goals in 2019. Slammin’ Sam has already matched that. With a goal tonight he’ll be inked in history.
  • Backline of the future: Now that Tom Brewitt has his US citizenship, there’s a possibility that Brewitt, Jackson Ragen, and Eric Kinzner all earn MLS contracts. Brewitt and Ragen look MLS replacement level already.
  • What’s up at right back?: Wade Webber has started four players at right back and none have owned the position. All are young and have flashes of what they can do to change the game. Lately, Cody Baker’s earned the starts and gets involved in the attack, but without assists. Ray Serrano contributed most to the attack. When Issa Rayyan started the club earned the most points. When Ethan Dobbelaere plays there you get a sense of why he’s on a first-team HGP contract.
  • Playing for their futures: For several players this will be their last match with Tacoma. A strong performance on the road against Phoenix can demonstrate to the USL or CPL or MLS that they are capable of helping quality teams earn points, and they can earn more money. Not every prospect winds up wearing Rave Green, but there are dozens who’ve made soccer their career after leaving the Sounders.

How to watch

Match date/kickoff time: Saturday, October 30, 7:30 PM PT

Venue: Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex at Wild Horse Pass, Chandler Arizona

Online Streaming: ESPN+

Defiance Absences: Randy Mendoza is out with a broken jaw. Sota Kitahara is on loan to FC Pinzgau Saalfelden in Austria until the end of 2021. Azriel Gonzalez is on loan to FC Edmonton through the 2021 CPL season.

Rising: Darnell King and Former Sounder Zac Lubin are out.

At Monday’s Seattle Sounders match, Tacoma Defiance midfielder Danny Robles will be honored for his community contributions. Robles has been active at several of the RAVE Foundation mini-pitch openings and coaches youth soccer.

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