Tacoma Defiance

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Tacoma Defiance
Tacoma Defiance primary logo.svg
FoundedOctober 14, 2014; 8 years ago (2014-10-14) (as Seattle Sounders FC 2)
StadiumCheney Stadium
Starfire Sports Complex
Head coachWade Webber
LeagueMLS Next Pro
20222nd, Western Conference
Playoffs: Conference Final
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Tacoma Defiance, formerly Seattle Sounders FC 2, is an American professional soccer team based in Tacoma, Washington, U.S. that competes in the MLS Next Pro, the third tier of the United States soccer league system, as the reserve team of Seattle Sounders FC. The Defiance is operated by The Baseball Club of Tacoma (operator/owner of the Tacoma Rainiers)[1] and managed by Seattle Sounders FC, while 20 percent of the club is fan-owned through the non-profit Sounders Community Trust.[2]

The club was established in 2014 as Seattle Sounders FC 2 (S2) and originally played at Starfire Sports in Tukwila, Washington. The team moved to Tacoma's Cheney Stadium in 2018 and was rebranded as the Defiance the following season. The Defiance plans to move into a new soccer-specific stadium near Cheney Stadium in the 2020s.[3]


The club was announced on October 14, 2014 at an event held at the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum and began play in 2015 at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.[4][5][6] Sounders assistant coach Ezra Hendrickson was named the team's coach on November 13, 2014.[7]

Inaugural season[edit]

S2 played its inaugural match on March 21, 2015, winning 4–2 over the defending USL champion Sacramento Republic. Andy Craven notched the first goal in team history.[8] Their second game yielded the team's first shutout, a home game against Whitecaps FC 2 that ended 4–0. Darwin Jones scored the team's first hat-trick during the game.[9]

Tacoma relocation[edit]

The owners of the Tacoma Rainiers baseball team had expressed interest in hosting a lower-division soccer team at its ballpark, Cheney Stadium, or a separate soccer stadium as early as 2013.[10] Cheney Field hosted an MLS Reserve League match between the Sounders and Orlando City SC reserve teams in May 2013, which brought an attendance of 2,174.[11] The Rainiers partnered with the Tacoma Stars, an indoor soccer team, and discussed a potential move for S2 with the Sounders organization.[12][13] The Sounders had previously discussed plans to move their lower-league franchise to the Tacoma area in the 2000s in the event of a successful MLS expansion bid.[14]

On May 6, 2017, the Sounders and Rainiers announced that they had agreed to relocate the reserve team to Tacoma upon completion of a new, 5,000-seat soccer-specific stadium by 2020.[15] After the USL announced its intention to refuse waivers for teams with smaller venues that did not meet full Division II requirements, the Sounders announced in November 2017 that S2 would temporarily play at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma beginning in the 2018 season.[16] The team had previously played in front of crowds of less than 1,000 at Starfire Sports, but debuted at Cheney Stadium with a sellout crowd of 6,049 on March 16, 2018.[17][18] The team failed to qualify for the USL playoffs, but the first season in Tacoma garnered an average attendance of over 3,000.[19]

The club was re-branded as the Tacoma Defiance on January 30, 2019, following a campaign to solicit suggestions from the public for a new name. The Defiance name was the top choice in the poll and references Point Defiance Park and Tacoma's civic pride.[20] MultiCare Health System was named as the team's jersey sponsor and Reign FC of the National Women's Soccer League also announced a move to Cheney Stadium for the 2019 season.[21] Sounders FC Academy Director Chris Little had been named as the team's new head coach a week earlier, replacing John Hutchinson.[22]

MLS Next Pro[edit]

The club announced on December 6, 2021, that it was joining the inaugural 21-team MLS Next Pro season starting in 2022.[23]

Team colors and crest[edit]

The former logo of S2

The Tacoma Defiance branding was unveiled on January 30, 2019, replacing the original S2 brand that was inherited from the Sounders. The name references Point Defiance Park, a major park with gardens, a zoo and aquarium complex, and several marinas. The club's crest is a black circle featuring an image of a stylized ship, based on USS Point Defiance, in the foreground and the tentacles of a Giant Pacific octopus surrounding it.[24]

The original team colors for S2 were inherited from the first team, including the Sounders' trademark Rave Green. The crest was a green silhouette of the Sounders crest, itself constructed with symbolism representing the club, fans, and players, with "S2" in the center.[25] The club continues to use the basic silhouette in their secondary mark, with "TAC" in the center to represent Tacoma. A tertiary crest includes the words "Defiantly Tacoma".[24]


Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
2015–2018 Adidas Xbox
2019–present Multicare


The main stadium at Starfire Sports Complex.
The main stadium at Starfire Sports Complex, the former home of S2

The Defiance plays home matches at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Washington. The stadium has capacity for 6,500. They played at the Starfire Sports Complex from 2015–2017, and will still train there.[26] The record for largest attendance for an S2 game at Starfire was 2,951, set on March 21, 2015.[27]

After two years in Tukwila, it was announced that the team would move its business operations and home field to Tacoma, Washington. A new 5,000-seat soccer stadium was also announced with an estimated opening date of 2021, located on city-owned land adjacent to Cheney Stadium.[28] The preliminary plan approved by Metro Parks Tacoma is to use part of Heidelberg Davis Park near Foss High School for the stadium and a complex of sportsfields for public use.[29] Following the departure of OL Reign in 2021, the stadium plan was paused and later scrapped in favor of relocating the Defiance to a new Sounders training facility at Longacres in Tukwila. It is scheduled to open in 2024.[30][31]

Ownership and team management[edit]

The ownership of the club is composed of two groups. The majority owner is the Sounders FC organization, with the non-profit Sounders Community Trust owning minority share of 20%.[5] Since 2017, the business operations of the Defiance is under the management of the Tacoma Rainiers, a Triple-A baseball affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, while soccer operations are managed by the Sounders.[32]

Andrew Opatkiewicz was hired as the General Manager in October 2014, having experience with Seattle Wolves FC (now Washington Crossfire).[33] Retired MLS veteran defender and former Assistant Coach and Reserve team coach of Seattle Sounders FC, Ezra Hendrickson, was announced as the head coach of S2 on November 13, 2014.[34]

Opatkiewicz took an indefinite leave of absence from the team in May 2016 and Kurt Schmid, the former Seattle Sounders FC head scout and son of then-coach Sigi Schmid, was named as S2 GM on an interim basis.[33] Prior to the start of the 2017 USL season, Schmid was formally named the S2 GM and John Hutchinson was added as an assistant coach on Hendrickson's staff.[35] Chris Little was named the head coach of S2 shortly before its rebranding as the Defiance in 2019.[22] Little left the organization in February 2021 to become an assistant coach for the Colorado Rapids and was replaced by assistant Wade Webber.[36]


Current roster[edit]

As of January 26, 2023[37]
No. Pos. Player Nation
31 DF Travian Sousa  United States
32 DF Hal Uderitz  United States
33 DF Cody Baker  United States
36 GK Wallis Lapsley  United States
50 DF Stuart Hawkins  United States
97 MF Juan Alvarez  United States
DF Elias Katsaros  Germany
DF Gio Miglietti  United States
MF Chris Aquino  United States
MF Georgi Minoungou  Ivory Coast
MF Paul Rothrock  United States
MF Antonio Herrera  United States
MF Frank Daroma  Sierra Leone
  1. ^

Technical staff[edit]

As of 26 March 2021.[38]
Coaching staff
Head coach Wade Webber
Assistant coach Josh Ford
Assistant coach Michael Morris

Head coaches[edit]

  • Includes Regular season & Playoffs
Coach Nationality Start End Games Win Loss Draw Win %
Ezra Hendrickson  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines November 13, 2014 January 30, 2018 94 33 46 15 035.11
John Hutchinson  Malta January 30, 2018 January 23, 2019 33 6 20 7 018.18
Chris Little  Scotland January 23, 2019 February 26, 2021 27 5 5 17 018.52
Wade Webber  United States February 26, 2021 present 26 15 7 4 057.69


Most points[edit]

The following players are the club's top point leaders.
As of October 13, 2018
Rank Name Goals[A] Assists Points
1 United States Zach Mathers 14 9 37
2 United States Darwin Jones 12 2 26
3 United States Andy Craven 8 7 23
Mexico David Estrada 11 1 23
5 United States Irvin Parra 7 7 21
6 Cameroon Felix Chenkam 9 1 19
7 Argentina Pablo Rossi 8 2 18
8 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Myron Samuel 5 5 15
9 United States Ray Saari 4 6 14
10 United States Victor Mansaray 5 3 13

Bolded players are currently on the Sounders FC 2 roster.
A Two points awarded per goal.


Year by Year

Year Division League Regular Season W–T–L Playoffs U.S. Open Cup Avg. Attendance
Seattle Sounders FC 2
2015 3 USL 6th, Western: 13–3–12 Conference 1st Round 4th Round 2,045
2016 3 USL 12th, Western: 9–8–13 Did not qualify Not eligible (MLS Reserve Team) 1,401
2017 2 USL 12th, Western: 9–4–19 Did not qualify Not eligible (MLS Reserve Team) 1,033
2018 2 USL 16th, Western: 6–7–21 Did not qualify Not eligible (MLS Reserve Team) 3,370
Tacoma Defiance
2019 2 USLC 17th, Western: 8–7–19 Did not qualify Not eligible (MLS Reserve Team) 2,636
2020 2 USLC 12th, Western: 4–10–2
3rd, Group A
Did not qualify Not eligible (MLS Reserve Team) N/A
2021 2 USLC 5th, Western: 10–13–9 Did not qualify Not eligible (MLS Reserve Team) 1,105
2022 3 MLSNP 2nd, Western: 14–4–6 Conference Final Not eligible (MLS Reserve Team) N/A


  1. ^ Oshan, Jeremiah (2017-05-06). "S2 announces plans to move to Tacoma". Sounder At Heart. Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  2. ^ Pentz, Matt (October 14, 2014). "Sounders confirm 'Sounders 2' to begin play in USL Pro in 2015". The Seattle Times. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
  3. ^ USLSoccer.com Staff (September 12, 2018). "Sounders FC Launches "A Title for Tacoma" Campaign". USLsoccer.com. United Soccer League. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  4. ^ "Sounders FC Unveils Second Team Sounders FC 2". SoundersFC.com (Press release). Seattle Sounders FC. October 14, 2014. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
  5. ^ a b MLSsoccer.com Staff (October 14, 2014). "Seattle Sounders announce creation of USL PRO team, S2, for 2015 season". MLSsoccer.com. Major League Soccer. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
  6. ^ "Portland & Seattle Launch USL PRO Teams" (Press release). Tampa, Florida: USL Pro. October 14, 2014. Archived from the original on October 21, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
  7. ^ "Sounders FC 2 Names Ezra Hendrickson First Head Coach in Team History". SoundersFC.com (Press release). Seattle Sounders FC. November 13, 2014. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
  8. ^ "Sounders FC 2 debuts with thrilling 4–2 victory over Sacramento Republic FC". SoundersFC.com. Seattle Sounders FC. March 21, 2015. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  9. ^ "USL: Sounders 2's Darwin Jones hat trick, Timbers 2's Kharlton Belmar brace highlight Week 2 action". 30 March 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  10. ^ Ruiz, Don (April 19, 2013). "Sounders reserves could find home in Tacoma". The News Tribune. p. 1. Archived from the original on June 14, 2013. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  11. ^ Ruiz, Don (May 13, 2013). "Pro soccer has its day again in Tacoma". The News Tribune. p. 1.
  12. ^ Ruiz, Don (May 19, 2015). "Tacoma Stars partner with Tacoma Rainiers". The News Tribune. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  13. ^ Ruiz, Don (April 9, 2016). "Stadium could lure Sounders 2 to Tacoma". The News Tribune. p. B2. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  14. ^ Ruiz, Don (April 21, 2003). "Professional soccer could find South Sound home". The News Tribune. p. C8. Retrieved December 21, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ Milles, Todd (May 7, 2017). "Sounders, Rainiers partnership will bring S2 soccer team to Tacoma". The News Tribune. p. C6. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  16. ^ Milles, Todd (November 2, 2017). "Sounders 2 coming to Tacoma 2 years early — and to Cheney Stadium". The News Tribune. p. A1. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  17. ^ McGrath, John (March 17, 2018). "Sounders 2 pleased to make themselves at home in Cheney Stadium". The News Tribune. p. B3. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  18. ^ "S2 opens new era in Tacoma with 2-1 victory over archrival Portland" (Press release). Seattle Sounders FC. March 16, 2018. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  19. ^ Mondello, Joseph (October 15, 2018). "S2 By The Numbers: A breakdown of the 2018 USL campaign". SoundersFC.com. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  20. ^ Baker, Geoff (January 30, 2019). "Sounders' second-division squad rebrands as Tacoma Defiance". The Seattle Times. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  21. ^ Hammond, Andrew (January 30, 2019). "Seattle Reign moving to Cheney Stadium, and the S2 team is changing its name". The News Tribune. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  22. ^ a b "Chris Little promoted to Sounders FC 2 head coach" (Press release). Tacoma Defiance. January 23, 2019. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  23. ^ "MLS NEXT Pro Unveils 21 Clubs for Inaugural Season". soundersfc.
  24. ^ a b "Tacoma Defiance debuts new brand identity and jersey front partnership with MultiCare, as NWSL side Reign FC moves operations to Cheney Stadium in Tacoma" (Press release). Seattle Sounders FC. January 30, 2019. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  25. ^ "S2 Frequently Asked Questions". SoundersFC.com. Seattle Sounders FC. Archived from the original on July 4, 2015. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  26. ^ "S2 Heads to Tacoma's Cheney Stadium for 2018". United Soccer League (USL). November 1, 2017. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  27. ^ Don Ruiz [@donruiztnt] (March 21, 2015). "Updated S2 attendance number: 2,951" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  28. ^ "Sounders FC, Tacoma Rainiers announce S2 will play in Tacoma in 2018". Seattle Sounders FC. November 1, 2017. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  29. ^ Larson, John (November 15, 2018). "Soccer stadium could be reality by 2020". Tacoma Weekly. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  30. ^ Evans, Jayda (December 19, 2021). "OL Reign's departure to Seattle leaves Defiance's future in Tacoma a question mark". The Seattle Times. Retrieved December 21, 2022.
  31. ^ Evans, Jayda (February 16, 2022). "Sounders FC unveils plans for new training facility and team headquarters at Longacres in Renton". The Seattle Times. Retrieved December 21, 2022.
  32. ^ Baker, Geoff (May 6, 2017). "Sounders and Rainiers baseball team reach deal on soccer-specific stadium in Tacoma to host USL team". Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  33. ^ a b Matt Pentz (May 25, 2016). "S2 general manager Andrew Opatkiewicz has taken leave of absence from club". The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  34. ^ Matt Pentz (November 13, 2014). "Ezra Hendrickson named Sounders 2 head coach". The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  35. ^ Dave Clark (February 28, 2017). "Kurt Schmid moving out of father's shadow, promoted to S2 GM". SounderAtHeart.com. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  36. ^ Arthur, Ben (February 26, 2021). "Wade Webber, former USL-era Seattle Sounders player, named Tacoma Defiance head coach". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  37. ^ Defiance, Tacoma. "2022 Roster". Tacoma Defiance.
  38. ^ Defiance, Tacoma. "Coaches". Tacoma Defiance.

External links[edit]