Live Blog: Oakland Roots at San Diego Loyal (August 24, 2022)

Hello and welcome to the blog’s live coverage of Oakland Roots taking on San Diego Loyal at Torero Stadium. It marks the Roots first appearance under interim head coach Noah Delgado with less than a week to prepare after the sudden departure of Juan Guerra. Oakland has a tall task on its hands against second-place San Diego.

Oakland, with 30 points, enters the night still in the thick of the playoff hunt just four points back of El Paso Locomotive while having two games in hand. A victory would put Roots above eighth place LA Galaxy II by goal differential. However, Roots are just three points from the bottom of the Western Conference with Orange County and RGV Toros holding 27 points.

Making matters worse, it appears that Oakland’s striker Ottar Magnus Karlsson has yet to return from Iceland as he awaits the birth of his baby.

In Bloom’s match preview, he highlights just how tight the race in the Western Conference is.

Roots are three points above last and four points below a playoff position that could conceivably result in a home playoff game (but like, it wouldn’t). Phoenix have clawed some points back and Monterey Bay has climbed fully out of the basement. El Paso is basically in free fall, but the same utter uselessness of the Roots’ rivals that has benefitted the Roots has prevented those rivals from completely overtaking El Paso. Colorado Springs likewise is basically stuck, but only Sac has really gained much ground on them. Meanwhile, San Antonio remains the overall league leader in points, with San Diego in third (although Memphis is only a point behind with a game in hand).

Bloom’s players to watch on Loyal include striker Kyle Vassell, defender Kyle Adams, midfielder Charlie Adams, and midfielder Alejandro Guido.

RootsBlog Man of the Match

Paul Blanchette was instrumental in the win, picking out huge save after huge save. He recorded 10 saves, six by dives and five shots stopped in the box. The game could’ve easily been lost without him. You have to love Paul The Wall.

Honorable Mention – Noah Delgado

Noah Delgado is undefeated as a head coach. The circumstances were certainly against him with less than a week to prepare for San Diego–the second-place team in the Western Conference and highest scoring team in the league. He switched to a 5-4-1 defense in the 61st minute, and Roots played on the counter.

Delgado and Guerra now have the same amount of career road wins as USLC coaches.

He has Roots supporters saying, “Juan who?”

Key Events

  • ROOTS DAGGER – 88′

ROOTS GOAL, THAT THE DAGGER! Memo Diaz with a beautiful ball over the top after retrieving a set piece to find Rito running free, puts it away. ITS 3-1!! Huge, huge win. Noah Delgado, one game, one win.

  • ROOTS GOAL – 38′

EMRAH SCORES ON A REBOUND. Juan Carlos Azocar shot deflected off of a defender high, Emrah hits the header goal and runs to the Oakland bench. Roots lead 2-1

  • ROOTS GOAL – 28′

ROOTS GOAL!!!! Charlie Dennis with a gorgeous longball to Juan Carlos Azocar running alone into the box. Left footed shot gets by the keeper for the equalizer.

  • San Diego goal – 24′

Evan Conway scores on a rebound. Kyle Vassell with the initial shot on target, not sure how he wasn’t called offside. Ref rules that Morad held him onside, which he was. Need to have better awareness.

  • Oakland Roots Starting 11

As anticipated, Karlsson is not included in the starting 11. Roots will have to do it, once again, with Darek Formella in the #9. No changes from the last starting 11 against Detroit City, as I predicted in the match preview.

  • Loyal Starting 11

All of Bloom’s players to watch are in the lineup.


  • Gametime! Can Roots pull off the upset in Noah Delgado’s first appearance as manager? Oakland needs a win to put itself closer to a playoff berth.

  • Loyal tries to catch Paul off of his line – 1′

  • A lot of possession for Roots through the first six minutes, doesn’t lead to much.

  • Big save from Paul – 10′

  • Corner for Roots – 12′

    leads to nothing

  • San Diego near opportunity – 14′

    Guido’s shot trickles wide.

  • San Diego corner – 22′

    Good buildup on the counter for Loyal, Mati deflects it out.

    Corner leads to nothing.

  • San Diego scores after a flick over and shot on target by Vassell. Not sure how he wasn’t offside – 24′

    Evan Conway gets the rebound shot. Morad keeps Vassell onside.

  • ROOTS GOAL – 28′

    ROOTS GOAL!!!! Charlie Dennis with a gorgeous longball to Juan Carlos Azocar running alone into the box. Left footed shot gets by the keeper for the equalizer.

  • San Diego set piece – 33′

    In a good area. Goes out for a goal kick

  • Long shot by Emrah – 36′

    Long shot on target by Emrah. Kick save by the keeper.

  • Rito shot from a tight angle pushed out by the keeper for corner – 37′

  • Roots corner – 38′

    EMRAH SCORES ON A REBOUND. Juan Carlos Azocar shot deflected off of a defender high, Emrah hits the header goal. Roots lead 2-1

  • Emrah yellow – 44′

    Holds Vassell to stop the counter.

  • San Diego corner – 45+1′

    Fuenmayor deflects it out over the goal. Scary.

    Corner – cleared out.

  • First Half Notes:

    Roots respond from a SD goal in the 24th minute, requiring just four minutes to tie and go ahead after another 10 minutes. Amazing long ball by Dennis and a great header by Emrah in the right position.

    Oakland has 6 shots, 4 on target, 2 blocked, and 1 big chance converted. San Diego has 9 shots, 4 on target, 3 big chances, and 2 missed.

  • Paul save, Roots wanted an offside that never came – 50′

    Leads to a corner, easily retrieved by Paul.

  • San Diego corner – 53′

    Another near chance for Loyal, Paul Blanchette pushes away a loose ball. Leads to another corner, Paul comes up big again with a punch out.

  • PAUL THE WALL, big save – 56′

    Leads to a corner, but goes out for a goal kick.

  • Roots sub – 61′

    Memo on for Johnsen. Defensive move, looks like a 5-4-1 formation now.

  • San Diego corner – 66′

    Deflected out for a second corner.

    Played short, Martin shot sails.

  • Fissore deflects ball back toward Paul, great reaction to keep it out – 71′

  • Lindo on for Charlie, Nane on for Mati – 73′

    Lindo first appearance since June 18.

  • Nane ball over to Formella, a good look, but Koke Vegas on top of it – 75′

  • Big block by Fuenmayor, leads to a counter attack. – 78′

  • Rito with a shot goes to side netting on a counter attack – 78′

  • San Diego shot wide – 82′

    The insurrectionist puts it wide.

  • Roots sub – 84′

    Barbir on for Hernandez

  • San Diego set piece – 88′

    Foul on Fuenmayor, along the left side.


  • PAUL BIG SAVE – 90+2′

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