Well, that was depressing, wasn’t it? The Oakland Roots lost 3-1 on the road to Los Angeles Galaxy II while down a man following Charlie Dennis’ red card in the final minute of first-half stoppage time. Losing a man was the major catalyst toward Los Dos’ victory after walking into halftime with just three shot attempts, progressing to 19 total shots, 13 on target, and seven big chances. It pushed Los Angeles up to sixth place in the Western Conference and Oakland down to ninth.
For the most part, it was all Roots in the first half. Prior to Dennis’ red card, Oakland put up eight shots with five of them on target and missed one big opportunity to score. They finished with 14 shots, eight on target, but they struggled to keep the ball and stop LA in possession. Galaxy finished with 59 percent of the ball, which is the first time all season Oakland didn’t own the possession battle.
Oakland could’ve easily led 3-0 in the first half with proper finishing, which has become a common trend so far this season.
In the game’s first two minutes, Roots got off to a progressive start with Mikael Johnsen feeding Dennis in good position in front of the net, but he couldn’t find his touch on the pass. Moments later, Edgardo Rito had a shot on target that forced one of Eric Lopez’s five saves in the first half.
Rito had another opportunity in the 20th minute following another great run into the area, but Lopez was able to make the diving stop again. In the very next minute, Johnsen turned his defender inside-out with a great one-on-one move to step into the area, but Lopez made another diving stop to make the ball bounce and fly over the crossbar.
Roots had two more chances in the 26th when Karlsson forced one more diving save by Lopez which forced a corner, which led to Tarek Morad nailing the crossbar on a header.
But in the 35th minute was another major turning point for Oakland when Mikael Johnsen was forced off of the pitch due to an injury. He was perhaps the best player on the pitch at the time of leaving, it had a similar impact to when Rito left against New Mexico United after scoring a goal. From there, Jose Hernandez had a shot on target saved in the 40th, but the biggest turning point came shortly after.
Dennis drew his first yellow card in the 41st minute after tugging on the shoulder of Josh Drack. And then, in the last minute of stoppage time at 45+5′, Dennis was carded a second time when lunging for a ball he lost possession of, making contact with Remi Cabral’s ankle. It seemed like a harsh call to directly impact the game, but you’d like to have more awareness from Dennis in that moment.
It was all Los Angeles in the second half. Their goal came six minutes after halftime in the 51st when Owen Lambe sent a perfect cross into the area to Cabral, who made a good run in front of Joseph Nane. LA could’ve had another goal in the 54th minute when Paul Blanchette came out of goal to stop a shot, but it ricocheted back to Michael Salazar, but he pulled his shot wide.
Los Angeles then made it 2-nil in the 56th on solid footwork and 1-2 passes into the area. It started with Cabral flicking a pass to Hamza Barry, who backheeled a pass to Drack. The LA left back dribbled by Nane, Morad, and Alejandro Fuenmayor and found Cameron Dunbar wide open with the defense strung out.
Blanchette then saved Roots from falling farther behind with critical saves in the 64th, 67th, 72nd, and 81st minutes. It could’ve easily been 5-0 without him.
Juan Carlos Azocar gave Oakland some hope in the 88th when slamming home a rocket on the volley after retrieving a corner, but the joy was short-lived with Preston Judd putting the game away in the next minute.
In the buildup, Cabral got a long pass out of the back, and with the defense pushing forward to try and create more offensive opportunities, Judd ran free several feet ahead of Danny Barbir and the back line. Judd scored and did Stephen Curry’s night-night taunt, which seems illegal to be doing in Los Angeles.
Oakland falls to 5-9-6 and move into a critical rivalry week against Sacramento Republic at Heart Health Park. The Republicans are coming off of a disappointing 3-nil loss to Colorado Springs, but are still in fifth place with just 16 games played compared to Roots’ 20.
Roots will be watching Saturday’s scoreboards with seventh-place New Mexico facing Monterey Bay, eighth-place Las Vegas faces Detroit City, while 11th place Phoenix plays Orange County.
Should any readers be interested in a free ticket to Roots’ July 9 match at Sacramento, reach out to La Brigada Del Pueblo, Homegrown Hooligans, the Oakland 68s, or the official Function social media channels.
FotMob Top-10 Ratings
- Juan Carlos Azocar, 7.2
In 21 minutes, Azocar scored once with two shots, one on target and one blocked, completing five of seven passes, won 1/1 aerial duel, and finished with 12 total touches.
2. Ottar Magnus Karlsson, 7.2
In 90 minutes, Karlsson recorded three shots with two on target and completed 15 of 19 passes, created two chances, had 1/2 successful dribbles, won 2/3 ground duels, 5/6 aerial duels, one interception, one recovery, drew one foul, and finished with 35 total touches.
3. Memo Diaz, 7.1
In 90 minutes, Diaz recorded two shots with one on target and one blocked, completing 21 of 30 passes, 3/8 long balls, created one chance, had 6/7 successful dribbles, dribbled past two defenders, won 6/11 ground duels, one interception, two recoveries, and finished with 49 total touches.
4. Jose Hernandez, 7.1
In 90 minutes, Hernandez recorded one shot on target and completed 44 of 50 passes, 1/2 long balls, took one corner, had 3/3 successful dribbles, dribbled past one defender, won 5/6 ground duels, one clearance, seven recoveries, drew two fouls, and finished with 58 total touches.
5. Edgardo Rito, 6.7
In 81 minutes, Rito recorded one shot on target and completed 26 of 30 passes, 2/2 long balls, missed one big chance, had 3/6 successful dribbles, dribbled past one defender, won 3/8 ground duels, 1/1 aerial duel, two interceptions, six recoveries, and finished with 46 total touches.
6. Mikael Johnsen, 6.6
In 35 minutes, Johnsen recorded one shot on target and completed nine of 10 passes, 1/1 long ball, created one chance, had 1/3 successful dribbles, dribbled past one defender, won 2/5 ground duels, five recoveries, drew one foul, and finished with 18 total touches.
7. Tarek Morad, 6.5
In 90 minutes, Morad had one shot attempt which hit the woodwork and completed 54 of 56 passes, 2/2 long balls, created one chance, six clearances with four by header, three recoveries, won 2/2 ground duels, 2/3 aerial duels, drew two fouls, and finished with 70 total touches.
8. Alejandro Fuenmayor, 6.3
In 69 minutes, Fuenmayor completed 20 of 21 passes, 2/3 long balls, dribbled past one defender, won 3/4 tackles, won 5/8 ground duels, blocked one shot, one clearance, three recoveries, drew one foul, and finished with 31 total touches.
9. Paul Blanchette, 6.2
In 90 minutes, Blanchette recorded 10 saves with four by dives and seven inside the box, completing 19 of 26 passes, 8/15 long balls, three throws, nine recoveries, and finished with 39 total touches.
10. Chuy Enriquez, 6.2
In 55 minutes, Enriquez recorded one shot on target and completed 10 of 11 passes, took two corners, created three chances, one interception, two recoveries, and finished with 25 total touches.