The Oakland Roots announced on Tuesday that they have officially loaned backup goal keeper Taylor Bailey to USL League One side Forward Madison FC.
This leaves Roots with two keepers on its active roster with Benny Diaz and Paul Blanchette and allows Bailey to get routine minutes in Madison, Wisconsin–which boasts an awesome lineup of jerseys.
For Bailey, the plan appears to have him develop with Forward Madison FC and have a better opportunity to gain “guaranteed starts,” per a Roots source.
Moreover, Bailey’s loan-out doesn’t mean that the club is turning the page on its 25-year old keeper. The sense is that Taylor will return once the season is completed and have another shot on Oakland’s roster.
Oakland’s current plan is to go forward with Benny Diaz and Paul Blanchette as its two keepers, but are also eligible to recall Bailey at any point should an injury occur or if Diaz gets recalled from Club Tijuana. It’s worth mentioning that Diaz is scheduled to return to Xolos once the season is finished while Blanchette and Bailey remain on permanent deals with Roots SC.
Rob Chappell of Madison365 reports that Bailey’s loan has “been in the works for a while” and Forward Madison was focused on adding depth to the keeper position as opposed to answering an immediate need.
Chappell, citing Forward Madison FC’s director of soccer operations Keith Tiemeyer, writes that Bailey hasn’t necessarily been guaranteed to outright start, but will undoubtedly “compete for time” with GK Phil Breno.
Bailey worked his way back into the Roots’ starting lineup three times this season, including in the season-opener against RGV Toros, Memphis 901 on March 19, and against Greenville Triumph in the U.S. Open Cup.
Bailey is a native of Greenville, Tennessee and was a member of City College of San Francisco from 2017-2019. He signed with the Oakland Roots in 2020 and was the club’s routine starter in NISA before suffering an extensive fibula and ankle injury that required surgery.