Live Blog: Oakland Roots host San Diego Loyal (May 27, 2023)

Hello and welcome to the blog’s live coverage of Oakland Roots hosting San Diego Loyal at Cal State University East Bay’s Pioneer Stadium. Roots look to bounce back after its 3-1 loss to Sac Republic last week while Loyal are coming off a 3-2 win over Miami FC. A win for Oakland would catapult them above Phoenix and Colorado Springs in the standings from seventh to fifth.

The series has been the most successful rivalry in Oakland’s short time in the USL Championship with a 4-2-1 record against the SoCal foe. You’ll remember Roots’ 3-0 win over San Diego in the first round of last year’s playoffs. Loyal, meanwhile, are going through the turmoil of Major League Soccer poaching their city for a new expansion franchise.

In Bloom’s preview, he highlights San Diego’s weird state of limbo after MLS came to town and its current run of form. He names Evan Conway and Ronaldo Damus as his players to watch.

There are rumors that MLS approached Loyal but the Loyal refused promotion, but the comments say that USL owns a big stake in Loyal and was demanding a $50m buyout. I have no idea if any of this is real. Loyal’s ownership put out a statement saying they are going to stay and compete, and good for them. I’m really curious if they can keep their attendance numbers up… Loyal started the season with 14 points from their first 7 games including a quality win over Tampa and a respectable loss away at Sacramento. Since then they have, lost 1-2 at home to El Paso, beaten Orange County on the road, lost 2-3 at home to Toros, and beat Miami FC on the road

Postgame Presser

Man of the Match – Paul Blanchette

Paul The Wall was on full display. He had 5 saves with 3 by dives, recording all 5 saves against shots from inside the box. His stop in the 12th was monumental, but his diving stop in the 60th was even more important.

Initial Takeaways

  • Although Paul deserved MOTM, Johnny Rodriguez and Danny Gomez deserve shouts. Rodriguez capitalized on his start to score early, showing ability to hold the ball and be patient with his distribution. Gomez, meanwhile, showed his usual consistency. Gomez keeps creeping up the depth chart.
  • Another solid defensive display with a clean sheet. SD had some chances that forced athletic saves, but nothing was easy for them. Delgado looks like he has a well-drilled defense.
  • Memo Diaz keeps getting the job done. His assist to Johnny was spot-on, which has been usual for him. Memo is easily the best passer on the team, I think he’s for sure earned routine starts.

Key Events

  • ROOTS GOAL – Second half stoppage

PELAEZ PUTS IT AWAY. His first goal in the United States.

  • ROOTS GOAL – 7′

Memo a perfect pass in to Johnny through the back line. Point blank shot and he puts it away. His fourth league goal, fifth in all competitions.

  • Oakland Roots Starting 11

Big changes to the previous starting 11 against Sacramento. Johnny Rodriguez starts in the 9-role. Memo Diaz returns to the left wingback role in place of Kevin Wright, while Danny Gomez continues to start in the midfield in place of Irakoze Donasiyano, who is still nursing his way back from a lower body injury. Joseph Nane starts with Napo on the bench. Morad also on the bench for Klimenta. We’ll see if they can get the job done.

  • San Diego Loyal Starting 11

Conway starts, Damus on the subs list.


  • GAMETIME! Roots look to get back in the win column against a top Western Conference side. Can Oakland continue its dominance over San Diego?

  • SD corner – 2′

  • ROOTS GOAL- 7′

    Memo a perfect pass in to Johnny through the back line. Point blank shot and he puts it away. His fourth league goal, fifth in all competitions.

  • Paul big save on shot inside box – 12′

  • Johnny shot high – 18′

    nice feed by Rito and job to work free by the Venezuelan

  • SD corner – 23′

    Good slide by Memo to prevent the pass, forces corner. Stoneman header goes wide.

  • SD draws free kick – 26′

    ball in from left side, cleared by Memo. SD keeps possession.

  • Rito draws corner, great feed by Johnny – 27′

    Cleared out. Roots keep possession

  • Rito draws free kick about 25 yards above box – 30′

    Memo ball in draws corner

  • Roots corner – 31′

  • Paul big save – 34′

  • SD Bodily shot wide – 38′

  • SD corner-stoppage


  • First half notes:

    Roots lead from an early goal by Johnny, very important for him to score. Aside from that, nothing too challenging except a big save from Paul in the 12th.

    Roots have 4 shots with 2 on target, San Diego with 5 shots, 1 on target.

  • Rito shot wide – 47′

    Doesnt make good contact.

  • Rito pass looking for Johnny, grabbed be keeper – 50′

  • Blanchette HUGE save – 60′

    backheel in front of net, Paul dives on it.

  • Formella on for Johnny – 65′

  • SD corner – 67′

    Damus draws it on a pass blocked out.

  • Napo on for Nane – 71′

  • Paul big leaping block to push a cross away – 73′

  • Roots corner – 83′

    Lindo does well to draw it. Shot blocked, headed out for corner.

  • SD free kick – 86′

    shot goes left of net.

  • Pelaez on

  • Rito shot on target – 89′

  • SD corner -90′

    leads to nothing.

  • Damus shot wide – 90+1′

  • SD free kick – stoppage

  • SD header easily handled – stoppage

  • ROOTS GOAL – stoppage

    PELAEZ PUTS IT AWAY. His first goal in the United States

One thought on “Live Blog: Oakland Roots host San Diego Loyal (May 27, 2023)

Leave a Reply