When Danny Leyva steps onto the field at CenturyLink Field there’s a group of fans that can say “I saw him when.” Those Tacomans recollect the professional origins of Sounders like Justin Dhillon, Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, and Leyva; as well as a dozen other talents scattered in leagues around the world.
Fans like Stacy Maddux get the opportunity to meet players just as careers start. Part of the appeal of Tacoma Defiance soccer for this super supporter is the access to the talent on their way up. She particularly enjoys the post-match autograph sessions.
“Talking to players and having the ability to speak plainly about how a game went is pretty awesome.”
After every Tacoma Defiance match players will sign autographs for excited fans. That level of access, the proximity to the field that Cheney Stadium offers amplifies the connections between players and fans.
“They become family and being there to cheer them on at home or watching online to show support no matter win, lose or tie, is as important to the players as to the fans.”
Maddux is excited to see the growth of the crowds as much as she is the advancement of the players’ careers. The intimate venue means each fan is more influential in the stadium vibe.
“The smaller atmosphere makes you feel like a part of what is happening.”
Community and connection are why you can see Maddux at almost every Tacoma Defiance match. You’ll find her – usually with a black Defiance jersey and a scarf – cheering from the stands, waiting for autographs, and after the gates are closed talking to the friends she made along the way.