Winning every match in a month is sure to get notice. Doing so while averaging more than 4 goals a game and only giving up a goal a game even more so. Tacoma Defiance were recognized by MLS Next Pro as the Team of the Month for July. Head coach Wade Webber earned the Coach of the Month as well.
“I am flattered to be named coach of the month in MLS NEXT Pro for July because there were many deserving coaches,” said Webber. “It’s always nice to hear that people think you are doing your job well. I’ve always found awards like this in a sport that is so collective in nature to be a little odd. We celebrate the whole with Defiance. I suppose I am the public face of the team, but I am certainly not also the heart, lungs and other parts that make the group function. The staff and players that I have the privilege to work with every day are exceptional and work so hard that everyone is challenged to maintain the pace. But I am thankful for the acknowledgment that we are doing a good job.”
Webber doesn’t want the credit, so let’s look at the players.
Nine different players scored at least a goal, with Marlon Vargas leading the charge scoring five (maybe he should have been Player of the Month). Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, Georgi Minoungou, Dylan Teves and Ethan Dobbeleare all scored two on the month.
Andrew Thomas gave up two goals in his three starts.
Twice the group started a three-man backline. Twice they started with four. In every match Defiance would flex to the other style as needed.
Winning over teams younger and older, Defiance showed a buy-in to Webber’s forward-defense system.
They play again on Aug. 5bwhen some other team has to lose to Defiance (Earthquakes II at 7:30 PM PT).