Live Blog: Oakland Roots at Sacramento Republic FC, U.S. Open Cup (April 26, 2023)

Hello and welcome to the blog’s live coverage of Oakland Roots at Sacramento Republic FC from Heart Health Park for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup’s third round. Without an official stream of the match, we’re providing the only coverage you can find outside of each club’s Twitter accounts. With that, apologies to any Sac fans coming across this very Oakland-centric blog. But also, congrats for watching me potentially suffer a meltdown at some point tonight.

It’s ridiculous this isn’t being broadcasted. One would think a defending Open Cup finalists would have all of its matches on the air. points out budget cuts from U.S. Soccer, however, have greatly impacted both of Sacramento’s tournament matches while some teams are “balking” at broadcasts. It is also downright terrible timing to line tonight’s game up against Golden State and the Kings. Honestly, GSW vs. SAC is where everyone’s attention should be, but you’re a USL Sicko.

Roots walk into Heart Health park in a bad run of form, dropping its last two matches against Hartford and Loudoun–who were considered bottom-barrel teams at the end of 2022’s USL Championship season. Sacramento, meanwhile, is the best team in the league with 17 points, 13 goals scores, and just one allowed. There’s no clear name for this rivalry match and perhaps the match deserves its own trophy. The history between Roots and Republic is literally even with both clubs holding a 1-5-1 against each other.

The question coming in is what the starting lineups will be with both teams playing on a short week and Sacramento nearly getting upset by Crossfire Redmond the previous round. For Oakland Roots, striker Johnny Rodriguez has already been ruled out. My full reaction to the starting lineups are below, along with all of tonight’s key moments.

Refresh and scroll down for all of the latest updates.

Postgame Presser

Initial Takeaways

  • Roots’ offensive struggles continue. They had just one shot on target after having 2 versus Hartford and 1 against Loudoun.
  • No Johnny Rodriguez revealing a thin striker spot. Darek Formella moved to the 9-role in the second half and there’s no one behind him. We knew the depth there wasn’t good, but the lack of quality there is glaring with Johnny out and Pelaez struggling.
  • Sacramento took away the center of the park, evident by Oakland’s lack of shot attempts. Its been the gameplan against Roots for the last three games.

Key Events

  • Sac goal – 49′

Wicked curling goal by Sacramento’s Nick Ross. From the left side of the area to the far post, very nice goal.

  • Oakland Roots Starting 11

Solid lineup for Roots, very much a variation of the first-team; sort of like 1-C. Anuar Pelaez gets the start up top with Trayvone Reid to his left and Darek Formella on the right, facing his old team. Kevin Wright at left back wih Edgardo Rito on the right. JoJo and Koze in the middle. Neveal Hackshaw starts, as expected, while Tarek Morad returns in the middle and Drew Murray to his right.

  • Sacramento Republic Starting 11

Several starters in the lineup like Cicerone, Felipe, Lopez, Donovan, Gurr. Vitiello on the bench, but a strong lineup.


  • Gametime! Keep it locked here for all of tonight’s updates.

  • Sac shot very wide – 3′

  • Pelaez shot wide but slow, on first touch – 10′

  • Tarek Morad draws yellow – 10′

  • Sac mostly keeping possession in Oakland’s half through the first 10 mins.

  • Sac play towards goal cleared out – 17′

  • Oakland frequent long balls not working – 18′

  • Drew Murray great tackle to stop a counter – 22′

  • Sac draws free kick in good area about 20 yards about box – 23′

    Foul after Koze lost possession.

    Ball in easily claimed.

  • Nane shot on target saved by Saldana – 29

    Bad giveaway by Sac in its own end. Nane feeds Formella, who returned it to JoJo. Saldana with a kick save.

  • Sac free kick leads to a shot that hits the crossbar – 39′

  • Paul diving save, not sure if it was on target – 45′

  • Rito ball into the side netting – stoppage

  • Gurr with a shot wide – stoppage

  • First half notes: Sac controlled the early action but things evened out from there. Oakland with a clear scoring opportunity with Nane, but a great kick save. Sac has taken more shots and hit the crossbar, but nothing overtly challenging aside from that.

  • Nane huge recovery to stop a potential shot. Forces a corner – 46′

  • Sac scores – 49′

    Nice curling shot by Nick Ross from left side of area to far post.

  • Oakland corner – 51′

    Leads to a Sac counter.

  • Oakland free kick goes nowhere – 54′

  • Cicerone great dribble into area, squares a pass but volley attempt sails – 60′

  • Formella shot blocked – 62′

  • Rito draws foul – 62′

  • Reid draws free kickbin good area, about 10 yards above box – 63′

    Shot trails wide.

  • Tamacas on for Reid – 65′

  • Tamacas sends a great forward pass to Rito, takes contact but no call – 69′

    Saldana makes contact with him out of the box.

  • Roots free kick – 73′

    Napo on. Memo on. Pelaez off, Formella into the 9.

    Memo ball in falls to Napo. Ball in cleared.

  • Sac shot wide – 79′

  • Roots free kick about 15 yards above area – 81′

    Play to Formella, header centrally grabbed.

  • Rito shot wide – 83′

    Took it from Tamacas, two were too close to eachother.

  • Sac free kick – 85′

    Plays back.

  • Roots free kick – 88′

    Memo ball in from left side, cleared.

  • Roots corner – stoppage

    Ball cleared.

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