Even after the loss at Las Vegas this weekend, Tacoma Defiance are a win away from taking over the 4th place spot in the Pacific Division. At this time the top 3 are well out of sight. Rising, Loyal, and Orange County are the class of the Pacific, with Orange County SC only losing once since their loss to Tacoma back on May 16.
At 17 points in 9 matches played, OCSC are the second-best team in the division. However, they are missing their top attacking threat — six-goal scorer Ronaldo Damus is at the Gold Cup with Haiti. They also have a swath of injuries limiting their talent, but have still managed to win games.
Wade Webber’s Defiance are staying on the road for their Vegas, Orange County, LA trip. Tacoma is searching to repeat their 1-0 victory over OCSC from earlier in the season.
Why You Should Watch
Lagerwey, Schmetzer & Co are: Seattle Sounders have a short roster as it is. Now with several injuries and the Broldans off to the Gold Cup, they’re going to pay extra attention to Tacoma right now. At training Tuesday coach Brian Schmetzer said he’d be watching.
“We’re trying to make sure that if we need a player from Defiance in the short term that we know who’s available and who deserves it; who’s playing well. Wade’s another great guy — a very good coach, but he’s also a good guy, good human being good person, an educator. So I think those young guys are learning a lot. He’s got a different style. So, we’re in close contact with Wade about that possibility.”
- Who will grab that 4th forward role: Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez had the match winner in the last meeting between Orange County and Tacoma. Alec Diaz has two goals on the season, tied for the team lead. Samuel Adeniran has a single goal. All three have different styles of play (wide spaces, poaching, and hold-up, respectively), but none are a lock to help an MLS team right now.
- Opportunity on right wing: Alex Roldan is a winger converted to right back, and that might indicate that Ray Serrano can follow in his footsteps. Or maybe Issa Rayyan shows a skill that indicates he can be a better backup at right wingback than Ethan Dobbelaere (who looks to backup Rowe, for now). It is likely that Sota Kitahara’s time in wide positions is over.
How to Watch
Match date/kickoff time: Tuesday, July 6, 7:00 PM PT
Venue: Championship Soccer Stadium | Irvine, California
Online Streaming: ESPN+ (affiliate link)
Defiance Injuries: None reported
OCSC Absences: Ronaldo Damus is with Haiti in the Gold Cup. Adam Jahn is out with an ACL injury.