Hello and welcome to the blog’s live coverage of Oakland Roots at Colorado Springs Switchbacks. Roots enter having won its last two matches and a victory would put the squad on its first three-match winning streak of the season and give them their first positive winning percentage of the season, having been at the .500 mark multiple times this season.
Oakland’s last three-game winning streak was in 2021 when beating Las Vegas Phoenix, and Tacoma by 3-1 scores.
Against the third-place Western Conference foe, any points would certainly be a welcomed thought. However, with RGV Toros now three points ahead while holding a game in hand following tonight’s match, Oakland gaining three points looks closer to a necessity to keep itself in the playoff hunt.
As things stand, Roots are three behind RGV and the playoff line, although Toros hold the tiebreaker versus Oakland based on head-to-head goal differential. A victory would put Roots one point behind sixth place El Paso and New Mexico in seventh.
Oakland arguably has to take at least 6-7 points from its last four matches to reach the postseason in this epically close race between the teams ranked 5th-11th. Roots have Colorado Springs tonight, Birmingham (Oct. 1), Hartford (Oct. 8), and Pittsburgh (Oct. 15). Here’s a rundown of the remaining matches for the other teams fighting for a playoff spot:
- New Mexico, 43 points: Las Vegas (Sep. 30), LA (Oct. 5), San Diego (Oct. 9), Colorado (Oct. 15)
- El Paso, 43 points: Tampa Bay (Sep. 30), Colorado (Oct. 5), Orange County (Oct. 15)
- RGV, 42 points: Louisville (Oct. 1), Memphis (Oct. 5), Phoenix (Oct. 8), Monterey (Oct. 15)
- Monterey, 39 points: Miami (tied 0-0), Vegas (Sep. 27), Tampa (Oct. 1), Tulsa (Oct. 8), RGV (Oct. 15)
- Las Vegas, 37 points: San Diego (tonight), Vegas (Sep. 27), New Mexico (Sep. 30), Miami (Oct. 8), LA (Oct. 15)
- Los Angeles, 36 points: Sac (Oct. 2), New Mexico (Oct. 5), Atlanta (Oct. 8), Vegas (Oct. 15)
As Bloom points out in his match preview, tonight may be a good time to face Colorado Springs given they are on a three-match losing streak, but they also have a lot to prove tonight.
Switchbacks don’t have a point since September 3 when they beat Phoenix Rising 1-0 at home. Their schedule has not been easy since then, and as you can see above, Sacramento has the opportunity to pip Switchbacks for third place. Even before the run of form highlighted below, Switchbacks scored only three goals in three wins, and were blanked in Sacramento the match before that, for a total of four goals in their last seven matches… So this is the form that you’d like to catch Switchbacks in, but unfortunately, they still have a lot to play for. Switchbacks concede 1.58 goals per game, so there are opportunities. Even with their lousy offensive performance recently, their season average is 1.71 goals scored per game.https://oaklandrootsblog.com/2022/09/24/colorado-springs-switchbacks-vs-oakland-roots-match-preview-september-24-2022/
Bloom’s players to watch on Switchbacks include Hadji Barry, Michee Ngalina, Elvis Amoh, and Matt Mahoney.
RootsBlog Man of the Match
We name Ottar Magnus Karlsson our RootsBlog Man of the Match after scoring from the spot while drawing the handball after his sep piece attempt. He had four shots with two on target and one blocked. It’s clear to see his impact.
- OAKLAND GOAL – 56′
Ottar sends in the penalty, Amoh out on a red card.
- Colorado goal – 1′
Elvis Amoh retrieves a loose ball and sends a rocket on the volley. Wow.
- Oakland Roots Starting 11
Not a lot of surprises, Roots run back the same lineup from the win over New York. Charlie Dennis gets his third consecutive start in the midfield; he provided the hockey-assist in Oakland’s 1-0 win over the Baby Bulls, where coach Noah Delgado pointed out afterward that he likes him in the role. Once again, Darek Formella and Lindo Mfeka start in the attack. Mfeka has been in strong form and I’ve been told he looks good in practice. Roots will need it to translate onto the field. Emrah Klimenta on the bench, which is a good sign that he’ll be back in the starting 11 in the near future.
- Colorado Springs Starting 11
Switchbacks still without star striker Hadji Berry, big break for Oakland. Bloom’s other three players to watch included.
Gametime! Oakland looks for its first three-game winning streak of the season, which would give them their first positive winning percentage this year. A win keeps Roots deadlocked for points with RGV Toros in seventh place and a point behind sixth El Paso and fifth New Mexico.
Can they get the job done? Scroll down for all the latest updates.
Colorado goal – 23 seconds
Holy shit. Elvis Amoh retrieves a loose ball and scores on a rocket shot off of the volley.
Colorado shot wide. Missed opportunity – 14′
Rito pass in front, Formella misses the touch – 14′
Good opportunity missed.
Bad giveaway in the back – 16′
Morad a bad pass back.
Charlie Dennis shot high from distance – 17′
Azocar shot trails wide – 19′
Roots set piece – 21
Leads to nothing. Ball goes out of the back.
Roots corner – 32′
JCA does well to draw it, driving down by the end line.
Ball goes out of the back.
Roots corner – 39′
Leads to a second corner
Roots second corner – 40′
Ball flies through the area, no one to collect it.
Lindo shot trails high – 40′
Nice left footed shot from atop the area. Knuckle balls over the net.
First Half notes:
Roots not getting a lot of clear looks, but had chances in the 14th with a missed look by Formella and a shot high by Lindo in the 40th. 8 shots by Oakland with none on target, 3 blocked. Colorado with 5 shots, 1 on target–which was their goal in the first minute.
Roots corner – 52′
Header goes way high by Fuenmayor
Roots set piece – 54′
Karlsson range. HANDBALL
Red card on Amoh.
Charlie shot high – 63′
Colorado corner – 65′
Shot goes out for a goal kick
Rito shot high – 66′
Colorado shot wide – 67′
Ngalina a good look
Johnsen on for Formella
Colorado corner – 69′
Lindo clears it off of the line.
Rito misplays Ottar on the counter attack – 70′
Roots set piece – 71′
On the left side of the area. Ball goes straight through for a Colorado throw in.
Roots corner – 73′
Leads to a second corner – 74′
JCA athletic shot, not close
Colorado shot high – 75′
Ngalina with the attempt
Roots set piece – 78′
Leads to nothing. JCA attempted header goes out for a goal kick.
Ottar and Lindo shots blocked – 84′
Memo on for Lindo
Roots corner – 87′
Leads to nothing. Foul on Roots turns it over.
Colorado easy shot – 89′
Chuy and Johnny on, Rito and Azocar off
Colorado set piece – 93′
Leads to a corner
Game, Roots gain a point. Not enough activity while up a man.