The Oakland Soul play their first competitive match on May 6, 2023 at 1:00p.m. Pacific Time at San Joaquin Delta College in beautiful Stockton, California. For those who cannot (or will not on principle) make the journey to Stockton, you can catch the match on the Soul website (https://www.oaklandsoulsc.com/stream/). We don’t know a lot about either team in this match, so this post will be brief, but let’s discuss what we do know!
The Soul’s entry into the USL W League opens a whole new world of PR copy written by undoubtedly undercompensated, hard-working professionals trying to make it in sports. Let’s mock it.
I had seen this logo a dozen times without ever once thinking that was a ship. I just assumed it was either an anvil or an Acme Industries-style dynamite blasting machine (was “bicycle pump” the more obvious comparison? Yes, but I can’t make my brain work better).
Alternatively it’s a giant rolling suitcase setting like the sun behind distant hills.
I mocked this up to show how it looks like a suitcase and Aaron told me it was “totally unintelligible” and “the ravings of a lunatic.”
They are also absolutely stretching it with the cargo ship being “intertwined with pitch markings.” It’s a rectangle that has a square inside it, which isn’t even really much of a minimalist interpretation of what a soccer pitch looks like.
Finally, you will just never get me to associate Stockton with big maritime shipping. Moreover, saying that the Stockton Blue is “inspired by the cities [sic] connection to the sea” is overdoing it with the maritime connection, right? Stockton is 55-ish miles from the nearest salt water. “The white in the Soul away kit represents the snow at Lake Tahoe, a thing many Oakland residents enjoy during the winter.”
The Cargo President/CEO Lee Neves is a “nationally recognized political consultant.”
Alright, he gets a pass.
Cargo have two or three co-head coaches, based on where you look, Adrienne Sorensen (“Sorrensen” in the headline and “Sorensen” in the bio immediately under it), Sialei Manuleleua, and Anahie Duran, who I think are all coaches for San Joaquin Delta College Mustangs. Duran is capped by the Mexican National Team, but I have not yet found a reliable way to check prior rosters to see if she played with Soul’s Noyola, but a search of their two names together did not turn anything up.
Here’s the Stockton roster based on twitter announcements:
- Kassandra Ceja, F/M (Cal State Long Beach)
- Abigail Souza, CB (Nevada)
- Kaya Scott, M/F (Fresno State)
- Yareli Hernandez, FB (Delta College)
- Heather Tarabini, F/M (Sac State)
- Miette Sessoms, F (UC Riverside–commit)
- Niella Sessoms, D (UC Riverside–commit)
- Tiana Cello, M/F (SJ State)
I suspect their situation is comparable to the Roots, with a big roster that will change over the course of the season based on availability and priority of school commitments. I think it’s noteworthy, however, that Cargo have not announced any players who are out of college. I also don’t think these are quite the same kind of blue-chip programs that the Soul are drawing from, but of course that’s not everything.
We don’t have any game footage to go on here, so I will direct you to Jon’s season preview post here. To hear from the Soul themselves, check out Jon’s interview with Jessica Clinton and some of the players from Soul media day.
3-0. Oakland over everything.
I asked Jon to prepare a prediction for this post and he said we know so much about these two teams that it’s almost too easy to predict how this will go. 30-0 Oakland.
An unmarked run to the far post (it will later be said that the runner looked like a ghost) gets Oakland on the scoresheet. They double it up when a shot from the edge of the area is met by a sea of hands, at least one of which will not belong to the keeper, giving Soul a spot kick, which they convert. Cargo get two unlikely goals before Soul capitalize on an underhit back pass, a mistake by the…delta (?), for the winner. 3-2 Soul.