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Reign FC announces move to Cheney Stadium as S2 rebrands as Tacoma Defiance

Reign FC's Beverly Yanez  models her team's new  jersey Jan. 17 during an event to unveil a jersey sponsorship with Zulily. The Reign is moving to Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, and S2 is rebranding as Tacoma Defiance.
Ted S. Warren
/
The Associated Press
Reign FC's Beverly Yanez models her team's new jersey Jan. 17 during an event to unveil a jersey sponsorship with Zulily. The Reign is moving to Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, and S2 is rebranding as Tacoma Defiance.

More soccer is coming to Tacoma. Seattle Reign FC announced Wednesday that the professional women’s team will play its 2019 matches at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma. And with the move down Interstate 5, the team also will bear a new name: Reign FC.

“The name change reflects not just the move to the South Sound, but also celebrates our ambition to represent the entire region,” a letter from the organization states. “While Reign FC will be centered in Tacoma, we will remain an asset for the entire region, including Seattle and the Eastside.”

Accompanying the newest addition to the Tacoma sports scene is a rebrand for a soccer team that’s already playing in the City of Destiny. Sounders FC 2, which started playing matches at Cheney last year, revealed a new name Wednesday: Tacoma Defiance.

The team’s maritime-themed logo is the result of its jersey partnership with Tacoma-based MultiCare Health System. The health care organization is the club’s first presenting partner. 

“Set to begin play under this new identity immediately, Tacoma’s professional soccer side now officially bears the name of its hometown, while proudly paying homage to the city’s maritime roots and deep sense of civic identity,” a statement from the organization reads.

Aaron Artman, president of Tacoma’s minor-league baseball team the Rainiers, says it’s a special day for Tacoma.

“The addition of Reign FC to Tacoma matters, and shows the power behind great partnerships,” Artman said in the statement. “We look forward to an exciting, and busy, 2019 in Cheney Stadium, and are committed – with our partners, public and private – to hopefully delivering a world-class, soccer-specific stadium and medical facility to Central Tacoma.”

Tacoma Defiance was originally founded as S2 four years ago. Its move to Tacoma came as plans were announced for a new soccer stadium adjacent to the Cheney campus. Like Tacoma Defiance, Reign FC will play future home matches at the newly constructed facility, according to the statement.

Kari Plog is an award-winning reporter covering the South Sound, including Pierce, Thurston and Kitsap counties. Before transitioning to public radio in 2018, Kari worked as a print journalist at The News Tribune in Tacoma.