Live Blog: Oakland Roots at Phoenix Rising (June 10, 2023)

Hello and welcome to the blog’s live coverage of Oakland Roots traveling to Phoenix Rising, coming to you from Phoenix Rising’s new stadium at 38th/Washington. Rising received approval to build its stadium over the offseason and already hosting matches. Amazing how quickly things get done in Arizona, huh?

Roots have an opportunity to separate itself by seven points from Phoenix with a win tonight, while it would also push Oakland one point above San Diego in fourth.

Tonight is one of the more underrated rivalries in the USL Championship with Oakland set to face former coach Juan Guerra for the first time. Roots beat a Guerra-led team 2-0 last September, but he was not permitted on the touchline for the match. Guerra went public this week when building this game up, describing he’s letting the know what the match means to him, in particular.

Check out Bloom’s amazing work:

In his preview, Bloom highlights Rising’s 4-4-4 showing so far this season and its current run of form. He names Manuel Arteaga, Danny Trejo, and former Roots midfielder, Jose Hernandez, as his players to watch.

Rising being 4-4-4 is seriously almost as perfectly Juan Guerra as being 0-12-0. The man is like the living embodiment of the Larry David gif.

Phoenix were pretty reliably picking up points, and had a pretty good run beating Loudoun, Hartford, and Orange County in a four-game run marred only by a completely reasonable 0-2 loss away to Tampa (goal from Charlie Dennis, the king). Things got worse for Phoenix, though.

RootsBlog Man of the Match – Darek Formella

Darek Formella receives our RootsBlog Man of the Match for scoring the opening goal and being a consistent presence for Roots. He had a very strong performance with two shots on target, two successful dribbles, and won three ground duels.

Initial Takeaways

  • Unfortunate to drop points against Phoenix after leading 1-0 and 2-1. I thought Oakland had some great moments in the first half and could’ve led 2-0 or 3-0 at the half. It turns out the missed opportunities costed them in the end. The second half definitely left more to be desired.
  • Roots looked great on the counter attack and in transition, especially in the first half. I thought it was a great gameplan against Guerra’s over-possessive tendencies. Phoenix looked better in the second half, but Delgado had a good plan for the match. It’l be an intriguing rematch in two weeks.
  • Strong performances from Roots’ midfield like Nane, Napo, and Cedeno. Nane and Napo were key in both of Oakland’s goals, while Cedeno looked comfortable in his first appearance. He had some miscommunication on a feed to Pelaez, but those moments can be expected in a debut.

Starting Lineups

  • Oakland Roots Starting 11

Johnny starts up top with Lindo Mfeka returning to the right wing role. Napo and Nane are the midfield combo, as expected. Recently acquired Jeciel Cedeno is on the subs.

  • Phoenix Rising Starting 11


  • GAMETIME! Oakland Roots look to continue its hot streak against its former coach. It’s a grudge match! This should be fun.

  • PHX shot blocked – 4′

  • PHX corner- 5′

    Play short, Phoenix hits the crossbar on a volley attempt. Would’ve been athletic.

  • ROOTS GOAL!!!! – 9′

    GREAT counter attack. Starts with Nane and kicks to Johnny inside. He feeds Nane, who feeds Formella at the left post for the goal.

  • Memo nearly fed on counter, tackle from behind stops it – 14′

  • Formella shot on target, nearly the same play as his goal – 17′

  • Memo yellow – 21′

  • Phoenix’s Munjoma shot blocked – 23′

  • Napo great job to stop a Trejo shot. Phoenix shot, Paul saves it and it pushes just past – 25′

  • Formella shot on target, more great work from Roots in transition – 30′

    Draws a corner.

  • Roots corner- 30′

    Cleared out. Retains possession

  • Lindo and Barbir get a yellow- 31′

  • Phoenix botched a counter attack. Varela scuffs his attempt- 42′

  • Lindo draws a free kick a foot above the area – stoppage

    Memo and Lindo standing above it. Memo shot blocked by the wall and starts a counter attack.

  • First half notes:

    Roots looking great in transition, that’s where they’ve been their best. I feel like it could easily be 2-0 or 3-0 with proper finishing. Oakland has 3 shots, 2 on target with just 42

  • Phoenix corner – 49′

    Paul spills a corner, a rare occurrence. Roots eventually regain possession

  • No call on a counter headed to Johnny. Wouldve been trouble – 52′

  • Johnny shot goes wide – 54′

  • Phoenix goal – 59′

    Some beautiful touchwork in the box by Trejo. Ball rolls to Varela, pushes it by Paul.

  • Phoenix corner – 63′

    Cleared out.

  • All Phoenix through th4 first 20 mins of the second – 65′

  • ROOTS GOAL – 66′


  • Phoenix free kick, good area – 71′

    cleared out.

  • Morad in for Nane, Pelaez on for Lindo – 72′

    Johnny pushes to the right.

  • Emrah getting checked out – 77′

    Emrah off for Jeciel Cedeno. Debut time.

  • Phoenix header goes wide – 81′

  • Hackshaw tries to catch keeper off of his line – 84

    Long free kick.

  • Phoenix free kick – 86′

    Good area. Ball in leads to a shot very wide.

  • Phoenix draws a corner – 88′

    And they score. Ball goes through area and falls to Arteaga for a tap in.

  • Roots will have a possession on their end – stoppage

    Six mins of stoppage.

  • Roots free kick great area -stoppage

    About 10 yards above the area.

    Reid and Cedeno over it. Reid takes it, shot goes over. Aiming for top right bin

  • Phoenix free kick – stoppage

    Also in a good area. Ball in eventually goes out the back

  • Full time, its a tie against Guerra.

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