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 national soccer pyramid, as the reserve team of Seattle Sounders FC.
Tacoma Defiance Youth Development System
At the time of this writing, there is no official academy/trial information for Tacoma Defiance. Please come back at a later date while we monitor this club or visit their parent club, Seattle Sounders FC by clicking here for more information.
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Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum on October 14, 2014, and began play in Tukwila in 2015 at the Starfire Sports Complex. On November 13, 2014, Sounders assistant coach Ezra Hendrickson became the team’s head coach.
On March 21, 2015, S2 defeated the Sacramento Republic 4–2 in its first ever encounter. The team’s first goal was scored by Andy Craven. The team’s first shutout came in their second game, a 4–0 victory over Whitecaps FC 2. The team’s first hat-trick was scored by Darwin Jones during the game.
A lower-division soccer team might have been hosted in Tacoma Rainiers’ ballpark, Cheney Venue, or a different stadium as early as 2013. In May 2013, Cheney Field held an MLS Reserve League match between the Sounders and Orlando City SC reserve teams, which drew 2,174 fans. There were discussions between Rainiers and Tacoma Stars, an indoor soccer team, about a possible transfer for S2 with the Sounders.
After the completion of a new 5,000-seat soccer-specific stadium in Tacoma by 2020, the Sounders and Rainiers decided to relocate the reserve team to Tacoma. S2 will play at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma for the 2018 season after the USL announced that it would not grant exceptions to teams with smaller stadiums that did not match full Division II qualifications following the Sounders’ announcement in November 2017. The squad had previously played in front of crowds of less than 1,000 at Starfire Sports, but on March 16, 2018, a sellout crowd of 6,049 attended the team’s debut at Cheney Stadium.
First season in Tacoma saw an average attendance of over 3,000, despite the team’s failure to qualify for the USL playoffs. The Tacoma Defiance became the new name of the team on January 30th, 2019, after a public proposal campaign for a new moniker. The most popular pick, Defiance, is a nod to Tacoma’s historic Point Defiance Park and the city’s strong sense of civic identity. Both MultiCare Health System and the National Women’s Soccer League’s Reign FC have announced that they will play at Cheney Stadium in 2019. Prior to Chris Little’s appointment as Sounders FC’s new head coach, John Hutchinson had stepped down.
Colors and Badge
As of January 30, 2019, the Tacoma Defiance logo has taken the place of the original S2 logo, which the Sounders franchise had inherited. As the name implies, the park is named after the nearby Point Defiance Park, which contains numerous gardens, a zoo and aquarium, as well as a few marinas. Its crest is a black circle with a depiction of a stylised ship, based on the USS Point Defiance, in the foreground and the tentacles of a Giant Pacific octopus encircling it.
The Sounders’ Rave Green was carried over to S2 from the original team’s colors. It was a green silhouette of the Sounders crest, with “S2” in the center, which was made using symbolism representing the club, its supporters, and its players, respectively. With “TAC” in the center of their secondary mark, the club continues to use the basic silhouette. In the tertiary crest, “Defiantly Tacoma” is emblazoned.
To host their home games, the Defiance uses Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Washington’s capital city. The stadium can hold 6,500 people. From 2015 to 2017, they competed in the Starfire Sports Complex, where they will continue to practice. On March 21, 2015, 2,951 people showed out to see an S2 game at Starfire, setting a new attendance record. It was announced that the team would relocate to Tacoma, Washington, after two years in Tukwila.
Located next to Cheney Stadium, a new 5,000-seat soccer stadium has also been announced with an expected opening date of 2021. Metro Parks Tacoma has given preliminary approval to the use of portion of Heidelberg Davis Park near Foss High School for a stadium and a set of public sportsfields.
The club’s ownership is split into two parties. The non-profit Sounders Community Trust has a minority share of 20% in the club, with the Sounders FC organization holding the bulk of the shares. A Seattle Mariners affiliate baseball team, the Tacoma Rainiers, has been in charge of Defiance’s corporate operations since 2017. Meanwhile, soccer operations are handled by the Sounders. In October 2014, Seattle Wolves FC General Manager Andrew Opatkiewicz was hired (now Washington Crossfire).
Ezra Hendrickson, a retired MLS veteran defender who served as an Assistant Coach and Reserve Team Coach for the Seattle Sounders FC, was named head coach of S2 on November 13, 2014. After Opatkiewicz took an indefinite leave of absence from the team, Kurt Schmid, the son of Sigi Schmid, the then-coach of the Seattle Sounders, was named temporary S2 GM. The S2 General Manager, Schmid, was appointed and John Hutchinson was hired as an assistant coach to Hendrickson’s staff before to the 2017 USL season beginning. Prior to the team’s renaming as the Defiance in 2019, Chris Little was designated S2’s head coach.