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Three reasons to watch Defiance at Phoenix Rising with us

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Facing the best team in the Western Conference, Tacoma will have to be perfect in order to take 3 points.

Jimmy Medranda will wear Commencement Gray tonight.
Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

Tacoma Defiance continue their month-long road trip with a journey down to Chandler, Arizona to face Phoenix Rising. Phoenix expects a near-capacity crowd in their new stadium.

With talent like reigning MVP Solomon Asante and May 2021 Player of the Month Santi Moar, Rising are the jewel of the West. Phoenix’s 4-1-1, +10 record may undersell how good they are.

Wade Webber has Tacoma off to a 2-1-1, +1 start. There are still questions about the side, with any points taken in Phoenix providing some clarity. Defiance last won at Phoenix on July 16, 2016, back when they were still known as Sounders 2, powered by a Darwin Jones brace. Current Sounders Nouhou and Jordy Delem each played 90 in that win. Defiance/S2 are only 3-10-0 all time against Phoenix.

Why You Should Watch

  1. The Jimmy Medranda Experience. Now on Standard Loan to Defiance, Medranda will almost certainly start. The MLS vet offers help at either left wingback or defensive mid, as well as leadership for the young side. Up against the best of the USL, Jimmy must be able to limit the Rising attack and be a creative threat.
  2. Rebooting the Attack. Defiance were held scoreless for the first time this year in the loss to Vegas, but worse than not scoring they weren’t threatening. Alec Diaz, Azriel Gonzalez, Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, Danny Robles, and Ray Serrano all have multi-month periods of success at the USL level. They need to get that back together if Tacoma’s going to make a run at a playoff spot.
  3. Test of Resilience. Phoenix are good. 538 thinks they’re better than a dozen MLS teams. The talent that Rik Schantz has available is exactly the type that Lagerwey, Waibel & Co. want Defiance players to develop against. To earn those contracts you have to pass the tests.

How to Watch

Match date/kickoff time: Saturday, June 12, 7:30 PM PT

Venue: Phoenix Rising Stadium I Chandler, Arizona

Online Streaming: ESPN+ (affiliate link)

Defiance Injuries: None reported.

Rising Injuries: Out: Zac Lubin (back) | Questionable: Noah Billingsley (lower body); Aodhan Quinn (lower body)