Live Blog: Oakland Roots host Hartford Athletic (April 15, 2023)

Hello and welcome to the blog’s live coverage of Oakland Roots hosting Hartford Athletic at Cal State University Easy Bay’s Pioneer Stadium in Hayward. Roots enter with a 2-1-1 record and look for its fourth consecutive win and third straight league win, while Hartford is winless at 0-2-3. All things considered, its a great opportunity for Oakland to continue its strong run of form.

Johnny Rodriguez gets his first start since the season opener against San Antonio. He currently leads the team in goals with three and its hard to disagree that he’s very deserving of the minutes. Joseph Nane is back in the midfield in place of Napo Matsoso. Bryan Tamacas gets his first USL Championship start following Emrah Klimenta’s red card versus Indy Eleven.

In Bloom’s preview, points out Hartford are not a very good side despite bringing in former USMNT assistant and Houston Dynamo manager Tab Ramos as their lead man. Bloom names Antoine Hoppenot, Elvis Amoh, and Niall Logue as his players to watch.

Hartford do not yet have a win this season, and started with a 5-3 loss in Seaside, California (a less embarrassing result than it initially seemed, as Monterey have some respectable results since then), and a 1-1 draw to Switchbacks… Antoine Laurent Hoppenot, who sounds like someone who would’ve changed his name in 1787… but has been playing in the United States since his time at youth level in Princeton. Roots saw Amoh twice last season with Colorado Springs Switchbacks. The tall Ghanaian reached double-digits in goals each of the last two seasons, and looks poised to again with two goals in Hartford’s first five games. Derry’s own Niall Logue played two seasons at Ohio State before returning to the League of Ireland for a couple of matches with his hometown Derry City before a loan and a full season to Finn Harps in, and this is not a joke, Ballybofey, County Donegal.

Initial Takeaways

  • Hartford came with a solid plan and Oakland didn’t adjust quickly enough. Hartford consistently played the ball into space behind Rito, leading to both of their goals.
  • Speaking of Rito, I thought Ramos had a good plan to limit him. They tried to isolate him far toward the corner flag, but had two defenders on him multiple times.
  • I don’t think Johnny was bad, but I think Pelaez being a sub helped save Hartford from his physicality. Pelaez is still working on finding his form with a couple of header attempts, but they couldn’t cross the line.
  • It was a stronger second half, but just couldn’t find the finishing touch. Roots had nearly 70 percent of possession and finished with 16 shots after going into the half with six, but only three shots were on target.

Postgame Presser

Key Events

  • ROOTS GOAL – 73′

Formella buries a penalty kick.

  • Hartford goal – 31′

  • Hartford goal – 35′

  • Oakland Roots Starting 11

Johnny Rodriguez gets his moment to shine in the 9-role with Lindo Mfeka to his right and Darek Formella on his left. This is a good heat-check for Rodriguez against a struggling defense that has leaked 11 goals so far this season. I’ve thought Anuar Pelaez and Rodriguez are a strong 1-2 punch with Pelaez the more physical of the pair, but we’ll see how Johnny does with more minutes. Bryan Tamacas gets his first USL Championship start at RCB with Morad in the middle and Danny Barbir on the left, this was my preseason starting center back rotation. Still no Napo Matsoso in the midfield, apparently dealing with an issue after not being in the 18-man lineup for the second consecutive week. Joseph Nane gets the nod, once again.

  • Hartford Athletic Starting 11


  • GAMETIME! Oakland Roots look to get the job done against a struggling Hartford side. A win continues Roots best start in its three USL Championship seasons.

  • Hartford corner – 4′

    leads to nothing.

  • Rito 1-o-1 shot on target saved – 5′

    close distance. Gotta finish

  • Roots free kick – 11

  • Roots corner – 18′

  • Barbir shot wide – 19′

  • Roots corner – 20′

    second corner

    play short to Memo, cross cleared.

  • Hartford pass/shot wide – 24′

  • Hartford corner – 24

  • Roots corner – 27′

    good ball in after play short, cant make contact.

  • Play to Rito, but miscommunication with Lindo – 29′

  • Hartford called offisde -30′

    potential goal.

  • Hartford goal – 31′

  • Hartford goal – 35

  • Roots free kick just outside area – 43

    Oakland wants PK.

    Lindo ball cleared.

  • Hartford free kick good area – stoppage

    shot on target

  • First half notes

    Oakland with 6 shots, 1 on target, best chance was a shot by Rito in a 1-o-1 situation. Hartford fine without the ball with 39 percent possession, 5 shots, 4 on target, 2 big chances

  • Roots corner – 47′

  • Lindo shot blocked – 49′

  • Roots corner – 54′

  • Roots corner- 55′

  • Roots corner- 60

  • Roots corner – 61

  • Roots free kick – 64′

    Ball to Tamacas, shot sails

  • Pelaez on for Johnny

  • Roots corner – 68′


  • Corner


  • Roots free kick just outside area- 71′

    Pelaez draws.

  • Roots PK handball after free kick – 73′

    Formella buries it. 2-1 Hartford

  • Rito pulled down, no call

  • corner – stoppage

  • Pelaez header on target

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