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Three reasons to watch Defiance v. Sacramento Republic

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A key contest against a struggling Republic side.

Andrew Thomas clears the ball.
Charis Wilson courtesy of Seattle Sounders and Tacoma Defiance

Cheney Stadium’s run of Tacoma Defiance matches continues tonight as the Greymen host Sacramento Republic. Both sides are coming off short rest. Tacoma drew New Mexico United, 0-0, on Sunday, while Republic beat New York Red Bulls II, 2-0, on Saturday, stretching their unbeaten run to three matches.

Defiance are 4-0-2, +6 at home this season, where they’ve only given up three goals this year. Republic are struggling this year — they’re currently in 6th, potentially ending their 7-year streak of playoff appearances.

Wade Webber’s side is playing their third match in seven days, all at home.

Why You Should Watch

  1. Defense, first: The last time Tacoma gave up more than a goal was June 16th. During that stretch they are 2-1-4, +3, with a four match unbeaten run heading into Thursday’s match. Wherever a Defiance player lines up they are expected to defend first. This team-centered attitude is helping the club maintain the pace of a playoff side.
  2. Andrew Thomas: Tom Dutra is downright magical. Now only does he have Stef2 operating at near-Frei levels, but he and Josh Ford have two keepers with Tacoma who look capable of MLS play in Thomas and Herrera. Thomas has been particularly good at distribution, especially proficient at using long throws to spark an attack.
  3. Captain Taylor Mueller: The youth tend to get the focus with Tacoma, which makes sense. Old-man Mueller deserves some love, too. A USL legend, Mueller is learning a new role that allows him to attack more than his past 4-man backline positions did. Taylor’s big switches are a joy to watch and his zone is nearly impenetrable, even by Gold Cup quality attackers.

How to Watch

Match date/kickoff time: Thursday, August 5, 7:00 PM PT

Venue: Cheney Stadium | Tacoma, Washington

Online Streaming: ESPN+ (affiliate link)

Defiance Absences: Sota Kitahara is on loan to FC Pinzgau Saalfelden in Austria until the end of 2021.

Republic Absences: OUT: Maalique Foster (Groin), Tucker Bone (Muscle strain), Luis Felipe (Concussion protocol); QUESTIONABLE: Dariusz Formella (Knee)