Live Blog: Oakland Roots at Sacramento Republic (May 20, 2023)

Hello and welcome to the blog’s live coverage of Oakland Roots versus Sacramento Republic on the road at Heart Health Park. Roots walk into the match on a three-game unbeaten streak and back-to-back wins. Sacramento, meanwhile, is the No. 1 team in the league and is coming off a disappointing 1-nil loss to Orange County, making them eager to bounce back.

It seems unlikely Oakland will divert from its starting 11 from the last three matches that has featured Darek Formella up top and Edgardo Rito at right wing. The question is whether Joseph Nane or Irakoze Donasiyano would return to the midfield, but with Donasiyano still ruled out with a lower body injury, we’ll see Danny Gomez return.

For Sacramento, they are without starting midfielder Arnold Lopez after he drew a red card against Orange County. Republic will also be without its captain, Roro Lopez, who suffered what appears to be a season-ending injury.

In Bloom’s match preview, he highlights just how strong Sacramento has been this season. He names Russell Cicerone, Luis Felipe, and Jack Gurr as his players to watch on the Republicans.

Before I give you hope, the overarching point is that Sacramento are the class of the league with 2.1 points per game, having conceded only 4 goals in 10 matches, or 0.4 per 90. In 2022 San Antonio conceded 0.74 per 90 as they waltzed to the title, and in 2021 Tampa Bay conceded 0.69 per 90 on their way to the title game. It’s a small sample size and early in the season, but that kind of form over ten games is pretty meaningful. Relatedly, Sacramento’s 21 points leads the league. They have a huge goal threat in Cicerone, but with 7 of their 17 goals, he is not their only threat.

Postgame Presser

Initial Takeaways

  • They are who we thought they were. Sac came on a mission after losing to Orange County. It was the largest deficit in the Derby’ short history.
  • Sac didn’t need the ball. Republic finished with just 34 percent of the ball with 10 shots and 6 on target.
  • I thought Roots progressively looked better, but the production in the first and second halves were little too late.
  • Roots enter a critical stretch against potential playoff teams, making it important to take points over the next five matches. Oakland hosts San Diego (May 27), at Colorado (June 3) and Phoenix (June 10), host Pittsburgh (June 17) and hosts Phoenix (June 24).

Key Events

  • ROOTS GOAL – 62′

Rito a perfect cross to Barbir, slots it home!

  • Oakland Roots Starting 11

It’s a fourth straight game with Formella in the 9-role, Rito at right wing and Lindo Mefka on the left. Kevin Wright is in for Memo Diaz at LB, while Danny Gomez returns for His third straight. We’ll see how Delgado wants his system to work against the quick-transitioning Sac Republic.

  • Sacramento Republic Starting 11


  • Gametime! Oakland Roots look to take points from the best team in the league. Perhaps team-record can go out the door for this Derby match with the two sides completely even in league-play at 1-5-1.

  • Paul claim – 4′

  • Sac corner – 7′

    Cleared out.

  • Sac goal, beautiful curling shot by Keko. Shortly after a counter – 11′

  • Roots corner – 16′

    Cleared out. Short ball by Lindo.

  • Morad clears ball off line – 21′

    Roots need somethinf offensively

  • Sac corner- 21′

    Clears out. Sac keeps possession

  • Sac shot high – 22′

    Big chance missed there. Roots holding on rn

  • Paul big save – 23′

    Herrera shot in close distance.

  • Sac corner – 23′

  • Wright walks off but comes back on

  • Sac corner – 34′

  • Sac corner x2 – 35′

    Goes out for goal kick

  • Roots corner – 36′

    Cleared out.

  • Lindo shot from distance very wide 37′

  • Rito into the side netting – 38′

  • Sac free kick – 39′

    leads to nothing.

  • Barbir huge diving stop to prevent a scoring opportunity- 43′

  • Sac free kick from about 10 yards past midfield – 44′


  • Roots counter play to Rito, Vitiello comes out to stop – 45′

  • Rito shot on target forces corner – 45′

    does nada with it.

  • Big claim by Paul – stoppage

    getting the magic spray.

  • First half notes:

    Sac really controlled the early action but Roots began to find opportunities at the end of the half. Republic letting Oakland control the ball with 66 percent possession.

    Roots with 3 shots, 1 on target. Sac with 5

  • Roots corner – 48′

  • Roots corrner – 49′

    Ball in by Rito forces corner. Header central by Hackshaw, claimed by Vitiello

  • Cicerone puts it away. Turnover high and they punish him. Steps in, takes a hard shot. Its 2-nil. – 51′

  • Sac corner – 54′

    After another counter attack after turnover at midfield.

    Claim by Paul.

  • Sac on another counter – 55′


  • Roots corner – 61′

    Defensive header, Oakland retain possession.

  • ROOTS GOAL – 62′

    Rito a perfect cross to Barbir, slots it home!

  • Roots free kick – 69′

    Memo ball in cleared.

  • Johnny on for Danny – 70′

  • Roots corner – 71′

    Ball targets Barbir, no contact.

  • Formella shot on target – 74′

  • Johnny header cleared off of line, very near goal. Perfect pass by Tamacas. – 82′

  • Trayvone and Anuar come on

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