Twos Return Home for Tough Game Against Tacoma

MNUFC2 v Tacoma Preview 0825

MNUFC2 v Tacoma Defiance

National Sports Center Stadium | Blaine, Minnesota

8.25.2023 | MLS NEXT Pro Game No. 24

7:00 p.m. CT | Streaming on 

Only three home games remain for MNUFC2 in the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro regular season, and the first of those three kicks off this Friday. It’s time for the Twos to take on the Tacoma Defiance once again this season, in a match that promises to be exciting from the very first minute. 

When these teams met earlier this season, viewers were treated to a 4-4 thriller in Washington. Goals from Diogo Pacheco, Molik Jesse Khan, and Emmanuel Iwe put the Loons up 3-1 by the 54th minute, only for the Defiance to come roaring back. The home side took a 4-3 lead in the 78th minute, but they wouldn’t be able to hold on. A late equalizer from Rory O’Driscoll in the 91st minute was the final word in an exhilarating matchup, while the ensuing shootout left Head Coach Cameron Knowles and his team disappointed not to come away with more. 

Last week in Kansas City, the Loons fell in a tight 1-0 loss to the high-powered offense of Sporting KC II. Despite some encouraging signs, the visitors ultimately failed to find the back of the net. Coach Knowles was pleased with his team’s performance on the whole. 

“It was a tough game, two good teams,” he said. “I think the conditions didn’t make it easy; [it was] very hot. That slowed the pace of the game down a little bit. But I’m pleased for large parts of how we played. We found some good areas, created some good chances, and it was just a shame that we couldn’t come away with a result.”

Prior to the loss, MNUFC2 was riding a three-game unbeaten streak, earning eight points out of nine. A narrow loss from a good performance doesn’t tend to affect form too much, leaving the Loons with confidence that they’ll be able to bounce back quickly against another tough opponent this week. 

Tacoma is currently sitting in third place in the Western Conference, with 43 points from 23 games. They’ve managed a 3-3-6 away record thus far, earning a result in 75% of their road matchups. They travel well, and they’re good in a shootout, winning five of the eight extra points available to them. 

The Defiance are fresh off yet another shootout win, this time against North Texas SC. Prior to that, they fell to Rapids 2 by a score of 3-1. MNUFC2 probably has the edge in form ahead of this one, but both teams will be hoping to reverse their recent fortunes. 

Your Loons are currently right above the playoff cutoff, sitting in seventh place with 36 points. A win this Friday would go a long way towards securing a postseason berth, a goal this team has been chasing since narrowly missing the playoffs in 2022. 

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CT at the National Sports Center, with streaming available via both and Major League Soccer’s YouTube channel.