The New Head Coach of Tacoma Defiance

Tacoma Defiance, the MLS NEXT Pro side of Seattle Sounders FC, has announced the hiring of Hervé Diese as its new Head Coach for the 2024 season. Diese, a dual Congolese and South African national, has a diverse and impressive coaching background that spans across different levels and leagues of soccer in North America.

OL Reign v Angel City FC - 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup
OL Reign v Angel City FC - 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages
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Tacoma Defiance was looking for a new Head Coach after Wade Webber was promoted to Sounders FC Director of Development following the 2023 season. Webber had led Defiance since 2019 and oversaw the transition from USL Championship to MLS NEXT Pro, the new third-tier league that aims to bridge the gap between academy and first-team soccer.

The club wanted someone who could continue Webber's legacy of developing young players for the Sounders FC First Team while also competing for trophies in MLS NEXT Pro. They also wanted someone who could fit into the club's culture and philosophy of playing attractive and attacking soccer.

After a thorough search process that involved several candidates, Tacoma Defiance decided that Diese was the best fit for the job. Sounders FC General Manager Craig Waibel said in a press release:

"We are thrilled to announce Hervé Diese as the next Head Coach of Tacoma Defiance. He’s a hungry, ambitious coach with a wealth of experience across many levels of soccer. We see him as a great fit to take the reins of the club’s MLS NEXT Pro side and not only win games, but also develop players to perform for the First Team."

Craig Waibel, Sounders FC General Manage

Diese also expressed his excitement and gratitude for joining Tacoma Defiance:

"I’m excited to start my next coaching journey with Tacoma Defiance and join an incredible organization. Coaching in MLS NEXT Pro requires a dual focus – not only to win games, but also to develop young players to eventually play for the First Team. Knowing the level of success that this organization expects, I welcome the challenge ahead and will hold myself to a high standard."

Herve Diese, Tacoma Defiance Head Coach

Webber, who will now oversee Diese's work as well as that of other academy coaches, also praised Diese's appointment:

"We are privileged to welcome Hervé to the organization and are excited for him to lead Defiance staff and players in 2024. He brings not only a wide variety of experiences at all levels of the game, but also a clear vision of what he wants the game to look like. He has very high standards for himself and demonstrates the kind of leadership that is demanding yet supportive, and fits comfortably into what we want on the development side of the club."

Wade Webber, Sounders FC Director

Diese's career

Diese, who is 38 years old, began his coaching career in the United States when he moved from South Africa over ten years ago. From 2015 to 2017, he worked as a youth coach for the New York Red Bulls Regional Development School. There, he helped to find and train young talents around New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

His coaching career continued at the University of Chicago, where he was an Assistant Coach for the men's soccer team from 2017 to 2019. He also held various roles in Chicago's soccer scene, such as Technical Director for Northwind FC, Assistant Coach for Bridges FC, and High School Director for Chicago City FC.

Diese became the U-16 Head Coach and an Assistant Coach for the U-19 team at Orlando City SC's Academy when he moved to Florida in 2020. He also coached Revolver FC, a local team that played in regional and national tournaments to develop their skills.

In 2022, Diese became a Technical Assistant for Angel City FC, a new team in the NWSL. He helped the Head Coach and the Technical Director with scouting, analysis, and training. The following year, he moved to CF Montréal as an Assistant Coach for the First Team, working under Wilfried Nancy.