Live Blog: Oakland Roots host Birmingham Legion (October 1, 2022)

Hello and welcome back to the blog’s live coverage of Oakland Roots hosting Birmingham Legion for the Laney Stadium finale. Roots enter tonight’s match arguably needing a victory, finding itself in ninth place but just three points behind El Paso Locomotive in sixth.

Some things went in Roots’ favor this week with New Mexico and Las Vegas playing to a 0-0 draw, while Lights defeated Monterey Bay 4-nil. RGV is currently losing to Louisville City, which keeps them two points above Oakland. Here’s a look at the table from 5th-10th

  • New Mexico United, 44 points
  • El Paso Locomotive, 43 points
  • RGV Toros, 42 points (currently)
  • Las Vegas Lights, 41 points
  • Oakland Roots, 40 points
  • Monterey Bay, 39 points

A win would put Oakland equal on points with El Paso–where Roots hold the tiebreaker based on Head-to-Head goal differential–while it would also give Roots their first positive winning percentage of the season.

Birmingham, meanwhile, won’t be an easy game. They are playing to keep themselves above Pittsburgh in fourth and a win would catapult them to third in the Eastern Conference. Bloom takes a look at their run of form in his match preview:

Birmingham are a solid offense, with 1.65 g/90, and a solid defense, with 1.03 goals conceded per 90. The caveat that is always required for Eastern Conference teams is that the bottom of the Eastern Conference is straight trash. Birmingham has 51 goals on the season, but 21 of those come in just five games against Loudoun, Atlanta 2 twice, Charleston, and the Baby Bulls. No shame in putting four past Memphis and three past Indy Eleven, though. Birmingham have been solid throughout the season, with their worst stretch coming to start the season with two points in four games. Birmingham have two four-match win streaks (where the Roots do not have a three match win streak). Let’s start with that 3-4 barnstormer against Indy Eleven.

Bloom names Enzo Martinez and Juan Agudelo as his two players to watch on Birmingham Legion.

Postgame Presser

Man of the Match

We named Memo and Azocar RootsBlog’s Man of the Match recipients for connecting on the game winner with a beautiful cross and header.

Key Events

  • ROOTS GOAL – 24′

Failed clearance falls straight to Ottar, hits it across the keeper’s face.

  • Birmingham goal – 21′

Agudelo assists Enzo Martinez, shot goes off of Paul’s hands. I’m sure he wants that back.

  • Oakland Roots Starting 11

Overall no changes with Emrah Klimenta out of the starting 11 for the third straight game after picking up a knee injury against Phoenix. Charlie Dennis gets his third consecutive start in the midfield, while Lindo Mfeka makes his fifth consecutive start.

  • Birmingham Legion Starting 11

Both of Bloom’s players to watch are in the match.


  • Gametime! Roots need a win to put themselves in playoff position.

  • Azocar weak shot on target – 4′

  • Birmingham scores – 21′

    Agudelo assists Enzo Martinez, shot goes off of Paul’s hands. I’m sure he wants that back.

  • ROOTS GOAL – 24′

    Failed clearance falls straight to Ottar, hits it across the keeper’s face.

  • Roots corner – 32′

    Lindo skies his attempt.

  • Birmingham corner – 33′

  • Paul save – 39′

    Good buildup from Birmingham

  • Birmingham header on goal – 44′

    Paul there

  • First half notes:

    Roots with 5 shots, 3 on target, big chance converted and 54 percent possession. Legion with 6 shots, 5 on target, 1 big chance missed.

  • Paul big save – 52′

  • Birmingham corner – 54′

    cleared out but Legion keeping possession.

  • Roots corner – 65′

    leads to nothing.

  • Roots corner 68′

    Third corner in 3 minutes. Azocar shot wide.

  • Johnsen and Memo on for Lindo and Formella.

  • Another Roots corner – 70′

    Ball just misses Ottar

  • Birmingham near chance – 73′

    Ball across face, goes out for goal kick

  • Roots corner – 75′

    leads to a counter.

  • Roots set piece – 78′

    Dennis ball in cleared out.

  • Roots corner – 81′

    Ball cleared out.

  • Roots corner – 83′

    Johnsen ball in cleared out the back.

    Leads to nothing. Ball skips around in the area.

  • Legion set piece – stoppage

    play short, Paul closes it out. HUUUUUUGE.

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