Hello and welcome back to the blog’s live coverage of Saturday’s meeting between Oakland Roots and Memphis 901. Both teams lost the season-opener last week and will be eager to get things on track.
Memphis is coming off of a a 3-nil defeat to Pittsburgh where they picked up a red card 34 minutes into the match. We featured Lawrence Dockery of the 901 Soccer Podcast to give us insight on this week’s opposition, give it a listen.
Lawson also took a look into Memphis 901 in this week’s edition of “Know The Enemy” and highlights what went wrong in their last game. Check out his full article, here’s a useful excerpt:
“901 FC looked generally outclassed by Pittsburgh in their season opener. Memphis had considerable difficulty advancing the ball in attack. Slower, intricate buildups almost uniformly failed to crack the Pittsburgh midfield… Saturday features a matchup of two teams whose season openers did not go as planned, and who are looking to find the back of the net for the first time this season. Preseason prognostications rated these two teams fairly similarly, and based on limited evidence those predictions appear to be holding up. Expect a tight affair on Saturday night in Memphis.”
Scroll down for all the latest updates.
Roots goal – 81′
Darek Formella scores in the 81st after a nice feed by Lindo Mfeka.
Memphis 901 goal – 41′
Edgardo Rito falls asleep and 901’s Patrick Seagrist runs for the free header. Too easy for Memphis.
Memphis 901 goal – 13′
Aaron Molloy bags a free kick five feet above the penalty area.
Oakland Roots Starting XI reaction:
Bloom calls the centerback pair with Daniel Barbir and Alejandro Fuenmayor. We were clued about a possible change at fullback, and Edgardo Rito gets his first start in an Oakland Roots kit. Ottar Magnus Karlsson gets his first start, very excited to see his potential linking up with Darek Formella. Matias Fissore makes his season-debut.
Memphis 901 Starting XI:
Roots fall 2-1, bad defensive mistakes plague them in the first half. Need to find that second-half attack earlier on. Roots had the edge in the second half and were the more aggressive team eight shots in the latter going, only allowed one shot in the final 45.
Jose long shot wide – 90+2′
Jose takes a shot from distance at 90+1, jussssst misses.
Formella near chance – 89′
Ball toward Formella, ball pushed away before he can take the shot on the volley.
Roots Goal – 81′
Formella goal with a nice feed from Lindo Mfeka. Need that.
Azocar shot on target – 79
Azocar run in – 78′
Azocar makes a nice run in but dumps a pass off to no one. Would’ve liked to see him shoot there.
Rito ball over net – 77′
Rito sends a ball over the net at 77′ More progressive movement.
Azocar shot high – 76′
High would be an understatement. Some progressive movement from Roots.
Roots Sub – 73′
Lindo Mfeka comes on for Akeem Ward. Aggressive move, need a goal.
Roots corner – 64′
Roots draw a corner, Dennis ball in flicked over the bar for a goal kick.
Memphis chance off post – 61′
Defense strung out, Goodrum hits far post after breaking free 1-on-1 against Barbir.
Karlsson shot on target – 57′
Beautiful flick-pass by Charlie Dennis to Karlsson, take a touch with his left and follows up with a left-footed volley. Saved by the keeper.
Azocar hits post – 52′
Azocar with a good strike, goes across the face of goal and hits the post. Best chance thus far.
Roots corner – 48′
Roots draw a corner after Formella works it down. Plays short, Dennis called offside.
Roots look as bad as you can get. Missed passes, no connection, defensive mistakes that have allowed two goals and a score that was wiped. Memphis has four shots to Oakland’s three, no clear chances for Roots other than Karlsson’s miss.
Memphis goal – 41′
Edgardo Rito falls asleep and Patrick Seagrist runs for the free header. Too easy for Memphis.
Memphis goal wiped – 31′
Ball rolls through the defense. A dummy-ball to Phillip Goodrum, back line falls asleep there. Called offside, wiped off.
Fuenmayor header easily handled – 25′
Fuenmayor with a header easily saved. Not a lot of speed on the attempt.
Dennis shot high – 19′
Charlie Dennis has a curling shot trail high of the net.
Memphis near chance – 16′
Ball over the top flicked on to Memphis’ Derek Dodson. 1-on-1 and skips it wide.
Memphis spot try above the area, goal – 13′
Memphis wins a penalty five feet above the area, and the shot goes in. Tough break for Roots. Aaron Molloy on the goal.
Rito cross just misses – 9′
Roots looking much better this game already. 9 minutes into the Karlsson experiment and Oakland looks different already.
Karlsson just misses
Azocar feeds Karlsson, his shot narrowly misses. Big chance for Roots.
Roots draw foul
Ball in by Azocar, goes out the back.
And we’re off! Roots are live from Memphis
Talking Point: Looking into Benny Diaz’s addition
I went a bit overboard when looking into the Roots’ Starting XI, and the recent loan of goal keeper Benny Diaz from Club Tijuana certainly has large implications to examine going into today’s match. With Liga MX experience and a market value of $330,000, the sense is that Diaz is in-line to start in the near future, perhaps even immediately.
Taylor Bailey’s season-opener appearance makes it clear that he’s won the job over Paul Blanchette in the ramp-up to the regular season. It was a surprise given Blanchette rated at the top of the league in several categories, but Bailey has been on the rise since recovering from a torn hamstring and is still just 25-years old. Bailey and Blanchette give the organization a dependable No. 2 and 3 under contract if Diaz is recalled from his loan similarly to NYCFC keeper Luis Barraza’s two week spell in Oakland last season.
As for the potential of Blanchette being available to buyers, that’s not going to happen. A team source put firmly that Paul is “going nowhere.” With the volatility of loan deals, it’s not a big surprise that Roots intend on maintaining the group.
More recent signees should be expected to get playing time. Keep an eye on some new starters today.