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Live Blog: Oakland Roots at San Antonio FC (March 11, 2023)

Hello and welcome to the blog’s live coverage of Oakland Roots traveling to San Antonio FC for the season opener of 2023, coming to you live from Old Kan Beer & Co.. Tonight starts our third year covering the organization, we’re incredibly grateful to have your support along the way.

Oakland walks into Toyota Field as the heavy underdogs to last year’s title winners, but it is arguably the best time to catch the defending champions. It’s an opportunity for revenge against SAFC after being knocked out by the title winners in the playoff quarterfinals in a 3-nil loss.

It’s been a busy offseason for Roots, requiring them to replace several starters in Ottar Magnus Karlsson, Charlie Dennis Juan Carlos Azocar, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Jose Hernandez, and Matias Fissore–quite the list. Notable new players available today are Napo Matsoso, Irakoze Donasiyano, and Drew Murray.

For a full recap of the organization’s offseason moves, head to our 2023 Offseason Tracker.

As we mentioned on RootsPod, Oakland still doesn’t have its full roster available. International players like Bryan Tamacas, Neveal Hackshaw, and Kevin Wright are still awaiting their Visas, while the starting lineup shows Anuar Pelaez and Trayvone Reid on the bench after arriving to the United States in recent time. A source familiar to Pelaez expects the newly signed Roots’ striker to play around 20-30 minutes.

In Bloom’s preview, he summed up the situation with Roots lineup going into the season.

I think my concern about the team generally is just how much we don’t know about the attack. We know that this basic group of defenders can hang, and I think there’s reason to think we’ve upgraded in defense. Likewise, I think the midfield is likely to be much more stable than it was last season. The question is what the Roots will be able to create going forward.

RootsBlog Man of the Match – Edgardo Rito

If we’re giving this to any player, it’s probably San Antonio’s Lamar Batista for bagging a brace while on a 25-day contract. We’re naming Edgardo Rito as the opening day RootsBlog Man of the Match for making the biggest difference for Roots on the night. For stretches of the first and second half, it looked like the entire offense flowed through Rito down the right wing. He had a beautiful cross to Memo Diaz on the assist for Oakland’s goal. It’s no surprise to see our RootsBlog 2022 Player of the Year start back where he left off.

Initial Takeaways

Key Events

What looked like an attempted clearance by Batista catches Paul off his line and curves into net. Just. Wow.

Rito ball goes all the way across the face to Memo Diaz. His shot hit off a defender at the line and in. It’s 2-1!

Batista with an amazing fucking goal.

Niko Hansen makes it look easy. Bad giveaway in their defensive end and catches Klimenta out of position on the right side. Hansen dribbles a few, cuts inside and reels off an easy shot.

As expected, Johnny Rodriguez gets the start in the 9-role. Darek Formella is on the left wing, while Lindo Mfeka is on the right. Anuar Pelaez is expected to get some time in the second half, maybe 20-30 minutes. More expected moves was Memo Diaz at left back and Edgardo Rito on the right. In the midfield is Napo Matsoso making his Oakland Roots debut with Joseph Nane opposite of him. The back line features Tarek Morad in the middle, Emrah Klimenta on the right side instead of Tamacas, while Danny Barbir mans the left side.

No Juan Carlos Azocar and Carter Manley for SAFC.


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