Live Blog: Oakland Roots vs. Colorado Switchbacks

Hello and welcome to Saturday’s live coverage of Oakland Roots hosting the Colorado Switchbacks, which is a feature you find on hiking trails, and currently the No. 1 team in the USL Championship Western Conference with a 6-0-1 record. The Roots enter at 1-4-3 overall with seven points and would jump back into the top-seven with a victory and a loss by RGV Toros.

Oakland is currently five games unbeaten and taking at least a point tonight would be nothing to frown about.

The Switchbacks are tough, the Roots will have to limit their potent attack with Hadji Berry. Bloom highlighted the 2021 USL Championship Golden Boot winner in his official match preview:

The 29-year-old Guinean forward won the Golden Boot for the USL Championship in 2021 with 25 goals. He had never come close to that kind of production, although he netted 17 for Swope Park Rangers, the predecessor to Sporting KC II, in 2018. Barry was back and forth between the Orlando City A and B teams in 2016-2017, but never managed to score in MLS. Barry is 6’2″, fast, and clinical. He only has two goals and three assists so far this season, and while I cannot bring myself to hope he won’t repeat last season, we should hope he doesn’t start that upward trajectory today.

Juan Guerra press conference:

Talking Point: Mikael Johnsen time?

You may have noticed a shaggy-haired 21-year old in the Oakland Roots’ training photos this week. Norway’s own Mikael Tørset Johnsen (finally!) had his paperwork go through to officially start his loan from Venezia, could he provide as big of an impact as fellow Venezia-loanee Ottar Magnus Karlsson?

Johnsen has been turning heads at training with his speed and maneuverability on the ball. I’m told he’ll be in the 18-man gameday lineup, although he seems unlikely to start.

The question is where he will line up at. A team source anticipates that he’ll be used as a #8 style “box-to-box” center midfielder. Should he feature as a CM, he’d likely slot in behind Jose Hernandez on the depth chart and could spell him tonight. He also has experience as a winger and, as I’m told, showed some flashes running out wide this week.

Here is a scouting report we did on Johnsen at the time of his loan being announced in February. He was under contract in Norway’s top division with Rosenborg from 2019-2021 and went on loan to Dutch first-tier organization Ferenoord’s U-21 team in 2020. He also made three appearances for the Norway National Team’s Under-21 team in 2019.

Key Events

  • Switchbacks goal

Ngalina finishes a 1-on-1 situation. Colorado up 2-nil

  • Switchbacks goal – 57′

Switchbacks score in the 57′. Nice feed from Makangila to Zandi for the open shot.

  • Roots PK missed – 32′

Jose draws the foul after a feed by Formella. Ottar’s PK stopped by the keeper.

  • Oakland Roots Starting 11


  • Gameday!

    It’s a blustery night at Laney! 15+ mile per hour winds

  • Colorado set piece- 2′

    Header goes out.

  • Formella shot on target – 6′

    Good chance for Roots. Dennis plays ball forward to Formella, take a shot off the keeper’s chest.

  • Charlie yellow – 12′

  • Giveaway – 15′

    Errant pass back by Jose, Benny closes out the shooter

  • Ottar shot on target – 17′

    Fuenmayor feeds Rito, who centers a pass to Ottar, but he can’t find the finishing touch. Good save by keeper.

  • Colorado corner – 21′

    Goes out.

  • Roots corner – 22′

    At end of nice play from Rito to Ottar. The Icelanders got the feed in close quarters, ball defended out.

  • Corner – 25′ & 26

    Ball defended out for another corner, second one kicked out the sideline.

  • Roots PK Missed – 32′

    Jose draws the foul after a feed by Formella. Ottar’s PK stopped by the keeper.

  • COL set piece – 35′

    Pushed out.

  • Colorado shot high – 36′

  • Roots set piece – 42′

    Jose draws foul 10 yards above area. Charlie’s attempt sails high. Jose can continue

  • First half notes:

    Roots have had the chances, but the score sits 0-0. Switchbacks likely glad it’s still tied.

    Oakland has 4 shots, 3 on target, 3 big chances missed, and holding 55% possession.

  • Rito on target – 52′

    Charlie feeds Rito at the right post, another huge stop by Colorado’s Jefferson Caldwell.

  • Switchbacks score in the 57′. Nice feed from Makangila to Zandi for the open shot.

  • Two Roots corners in 58th lead to nothing. Fuenmayor free header on feed from Formella, can’t find net.

  • Azocar feeds Ottar, can’t finish in front of net – 63′

  • Colorado near chance – 66′

    Ball in, cant find finishing touch on cross.

  • Switchbacks goal – 70′

    Ngalina finishes a 1-on-1 situation. Colorado up 2-nil

  • Roots set piece – 72′

    Jose has a shot, contends for a hand ball. No call.

  • Roots sub

    Chuy came on for Dennis. Johnny on for Barbir.

  • 3 roots corners in last minute

    Cant connect on the passes.

  • Colorado score after mistake at the back.

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