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Around the Pacific Division: Defiance look good, San Diego slumping

Getting the lay of the land a few weeks into the season.

Charis Wilson courtesy of Seattle Sounders and Tacoma Defiance

Since Sacramento Republic FC are kind of easing into the 2021 USL Championship season, and since the Pacific Division is likely to be very competitive and maybe very fun this season, let’s take a periodic look at how things are going with Republic FC’s main competition this season.

Good week for...

Tacoma Defiance

If you thought the MLS2 teams would be easy wins for everyone else, for at least two of the three, think again. Tacoma had a double-game week at home and posted two impressive wins, a 3-1 victory over San Diego Loyal on Thursday and a 1-0 decision over Orange County SC on Sunday. The cadre of young players on new head coach Wade Webber’s team look like they are really coming of age and while it’s still early, they could be the surprise package of the Pacific Division this year.

Position in Pacific Division: 2nd place (7 points)

LA Galaxy II

Los Dos made it three games in a row unbeaten, with an impressive 2-0 road win over Real Monarchs on Friday. It’s the only meeting of the season between the teams, with Real Monarchs in the Mountain Division, but Galaxy II look like they’ve found their stride and they look miles better than the team that came out flat in the season opener against Sac Republic.

Position in Pacific Division: 1st place (7 points)

Sacramento Republic

You probably already know the deal, but Republic FC beat Las Vegas Lights FC 3-1 on Wednesday. They are the only perfect team in the division at this stage, and you can’t do much better than that.

Position in Pacific Division: 3rd place (6 points)

Bad week for...

San Diego Loyal

Only one game this week, but San Diego are now 0-3-0 after their 3-1 loss to Tacoma Defiance on Thursday and that is a little concerning. On the bright side, they started slowly last season and nearly reached the playoffs in a brutal group, but this division may be even harder this season. Landon Donovan’s team probably can’t afford to keep this losing streak running on much longer.

Position in Pacific Division: 7th place (0 points)

Las Vegas Lights

The 3-1 loss at Sac Republic on Wednesday is their second loss on the trot to open the season. This is a new team with a new head coach in Steve Cherundolo, but their defense has struggled to open the campaign and the games won’t get any easier.

Position in Pacific Division: 8th place (0 points)

Orange County SC

The last team in the entire league to open their season, OCSC lost 1-0 at Tacoma Defiance on Sunday. They didn’t look terrible but understandably rusty, and they’re taking on Sac Republic next, in Orange County on Saturday.

Position in Pacific Division: 5th place (0 points)

Phoenix Rising

The juggernaut lost their mojo for one night, losing 2-1 at Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday in the 2020 Championship match that never was. They’ve won two of three games to open their season, though, so I wouldn’t write their obituary just yet.

Position in Pacific Division: 3rd place (6 points)

Off this week

Oakland Roots

The newcomers are likely content to get another week of work on the training field before facing LA Galaxy II next Sunday on the road. Like Orange County, Oakland are going to have a bunch of games in hand on the rest of the division heading into the middle of the season.

Position in Pacific Division: 6th place (0 points)

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