Staying on the road, mostly down in Phoenix, Tacoma Defiance will look to improve on their losses to Las Vegas Lights and Phoenix Rising. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC are a solid team with a deceiving 1-2-2, -1 record on the early season. Defiance are 2-2-1, -2 on the year after the road swing.
Tonight is a chance to see brand-new 8,000-seat stadium Weidner Field, the $42 million project that moved the team to downtown Colorado Springs. And yes, it’s over a mile high — over 6,000 feet in elevation on short rest will force heavier than standard rotation for Defiance.
Switchbacks FC isn’t going to take Wade Webber’s side as if they are an easy 3 points.
“Tacoma will bring a lot of energy – they’re not afraid to come out and press opponents,” said Switchbacks Head Coach Brendan Burke. “They’re playing out of a 3-4-3 right now with a lot of talented young guys. Those [MLS] 2 teams tend – and I used to coach one – to be boom-or-bust, so if you catch them on the wrong day they can be every bit as good, if not better, than the top USL teams. We’re not unaware that they bring a lot of quality and they’ve already knocked off some big teams this year.”
There are at least three players that Seattle Sounders fans will recognize on the Switchbacks — former USMNT midfielder José Torres, Dillon Serna, and former Sounder Jimmy Ockford.
Why You Should Watch
- Fresh Legs. Players that didn’t feature against Phoenix have to come out and establish themselves and Tacoma early. They can use their energy to create problems and to demonstrate that they deserve more minutes.
- Learning the 3-4-3. While Seattle isn’t using it yet, this formation may be the answer to 2022’s question of how to get Jordan Morris back on the field. Defiance have used it to some success so far, with their largest challenge being that they usually start two 8s rather than have two more traditional defensive mids.
- Rise in Defiance. Certain contests in the season require more than tactics, more than talent. The demand a demeanor of strength, of resilience, of spirit. This is one of those tests. Mentality will mean as much as endurance.
How to Watch
Match date/kickoff time: Wednesday, June 16, 6 PM PT
Venue: Weidner Field I Colorado Springs, Colorado
Online Streaming: ESPN+ (affiliate link)
Defiance Injuries: None reported.
Switchbacks Injuries: Out: (Dillon Serna, Matt Hundley, Jordan Burt) | 3 questionable (Michael Edwards, Beverley Makangila, José Torres).