Live Blog: Oakland Roots vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks (August 19, 2023)

Hello and welcome to the blog’s live coverage of Oakland Roots hosting Colorado Springs Switchbacks at CSUEB’s Pioneer Stadium. Roots are back! After a two week break, Oakland started the day still in third place with 11 matches left in the season, entering a time where they can solidify itself as a home-playoff contender.

With Orange County and San Diego also playing tonight, there could be some jostling around the USL Championship’s Western Conference, making it increasingly important to take the three points over Switchbacks. Once more, a victory would secure Noah Delgado’s 17th while in charge, which would tie Jordan Ferrell for the most wins in franchise history.

*Update* San Diego Loyal tied 2-2 with New Mexico. Orange County up 2-0 on Charleston.

Colorado Springs enters the match in 6th place with a 10-3-11 record and are in a very inconsistent run of form. Bloom highlighted the Switchbacks in today’s match preview:

Hard to evaluate! Switchbacks are 10-3-11 on the season, but nearly half their losses come from a five-loss stretch in May and early June (their last loss in that stretch the 1-0 to the Roots). In their last five they are 1-2-2, which does not sound like a team rounding into playoff form, but they remain only four points off of the Roots in third.

Initial Takeaways

  • A tale of two halves for Roots. Oakland looked great in the first, responding to two deficits in quick work, but they struggled to create clear looks in the second half. Roots went into the half with seven shots and three on target, and although they notched 11 shots in the second half, only two found their way to the goal keeper–with both of those attempts not coming until the latter stages. By the end of the match, Oakland was pressing forward eager for a goal, but they couldn’t create consistent chances. Roots had two big scoring chances in the first half, but none in the second.
  • We typically don’t name a Man of the Match in losses, but Memo Diaz was masterclass tonight. He finished with a sterling FotMob rating of 8.5 with his goal, while also finishing with two scoring chances created, 33 completed passes, and 10 passes into the final third. His third goal of the season and sixth goal contribution continues his career high in both categories.
  • Neveal Hackshaw’s rotation into the midfield has certainly been a storyline from the last couple of games. Following Joseph Nane’s injury, Hackshaw was forced to the centerback position with Tarek Mared coming into a CDM role. Perhaps moving Hackshaw to CB threw off the game-plan and fluidity a bit.
  • The two weeks evidently wasn’t enough time for Napo Matsoso, Johnny Rodriguez or Lindo Mfeka with all three players missing in action. Noah Delgado gave an update on both Johnny and Lindo: “I assume [Johnny] will be back next week… [Lindo] just has a little knock, he should be back next week as well.”

Starting Lineups

  • Oakland Roots Starting 11

Bloom hits 10/11 witbh his prediction. Anuar Pelaez starts in place of Johnny Rodriguez, who was not included on the subs list–evidently still dealing with his injury. Trayvone Reid starts at LW, no Lindo Mfeka on the subs either. Neveal Hackshaw returns to the midfield with Joseph Nane rotating back to CB, seems like they have officially swapped spots. Danny Gomez gets the nod, much deserved. Bryan Tamacas returns to RB, allowing Memo back to the left. No Napo Matsoso either, appears the two weeks did not get the squad back to 100 percent.

  • Colorado Springs Starting 11


  • GAME TIME! Can Oakland Roots continue their strong results after its two week break?

  • COS freekick – 2′

    Ball in cleared out.

  • Roots counter – 2′

    Pelaez with a break downfield, doesn’t spot Reid to his left.

  • COS injury – 3′

    Fjeldberg goes down in a non-contact situation but able to walk off the field. Re-entering the match.

  • COS goal – 5′

    Maalique Foster left open in the box, just unmarked in the box and shifts it home. Williams centers a pass down by the endline past Barbir, defense doesn’t shift to Foster.

  • Reid goes down in area, no call -10′

    Goes down too easy for ref.

  • COS near giveaway – 12′

    Goal keeper puts ball right into the feet of Pelaez, but its too fast to handle for the Roots’ striker.

  • No shots through 15 mins for Roots.

  • Cedeño bike attempt from the top of the box – 16′

    Technically their first shot attempt. Goes wide and slow.

  • Roots force turnover high -22′

    Pelaez does well to force another mistake by Kuzminsky. But Roots can’t take advantage, ball eventually goes to Tamacas–who sends ball out of the back.

  • Roots bad transition – 24′

    Cedeno misses Tamacas making his run, overcooks it on the CSUEB turf.

  • ROOTS GOAL – 25′

    MEMO DIAZ!!!!!! PERFECT FINISH. Perfect long ball from Hackshaw after reciving a pass from Reid. Memo making the run, slots it past the keeper. It’s 1-1.

  • Nane hobbling, he needs a sub – 31′

    Dire situation with COS on the front foot. Nane, hopping on the field, makes two plays before the ball clears. He’s coming off for Tarek Morad. Amazing effort from JoJo.

  • Emrah shot on target from distance – 36′

    He’s in the captain’s armband now as well.

  • Barbir from very long – 38′

    Shot goes wide right

  • COS goal – 40′

    Great interplay by Colorado Springs. Magee to Tejada, back to Magee for the shot and score. Roots fighting from behind again.

  • Handball on Tamacas a few feet above area – 43′

    Yellow on Tamacas, free kick in good area for COS.

    Magee shot wide.

  • Cedeño jussssssst misses – 45+1′

    Good interplay between Pelaez and Cedeño, who takes a dribble into area. Takes a right footed shot and it trickles just wide. Big opportunity missed.

  • ROOTS PENALTY – 45+4

    Great work between Memo and Cedeño, makes a run in and bowled over by Williams. Cedeño knows how to draw fouls.

    Pelaez steps to the ball and slots it to the right, well taken PK.

  • First Half Notes:

    What an entertaining first half! Current standings have Roots down to 5th with SD and OC winning their games.

    Slow start for Roots with no shots in the first 15 mins, but finish the first 45 with seven shots, three on target, and converted one of two big scoring chances. Oakland progressively looked better and answered both of Colorado Springs’ goals within minutes.

    Colorado Springs with just three shots but have converted its two shots on target.

  • Roots long free kick – 47′

    Memo ball in, ricochets around in the box for a bit. Falls to Cedeno, shot goes wide right.

  • Hackshaw blocks a shot by Tejada – 55′

    First action of second half.

  • Slow second half for Roots. Both teams really, really – 56′

  • Magee shot wide – 57′

    Good work by Colorado Springs to cycle around the box.

  • Magee scores a banger – 58′

    Colorado Springs up again. Oakland looked pulled apart. COS has three shots on target, three goals.

  • Roots corner – 60′

    First corner attempt for Oakland.

    Cedeno plays short to Memo, ball in blocked out for another corner.

  • Roots corner – 61′

    Cedeno ball in target Hackshaw, blocked out for a throw in.

  • Out of town: San Diego ties New Mexico 2-2. Orange County up 2-0 on Charleston.

  • Empty play in transition to Cedeno. Takes a bad touch – 68′

  • COS shot on target by Skundrich, goes straight to Paul – 69′

  • Prentice on for Reid – 70′

  • Roots free kick – 77′

    Ball goes to Barbir, goes out back.

  • Tamacas draws foul on edge of box – 80′

    Roots wanted a PK, but goes a foot outside on right side. Ball in hits off wall.

  • Roots near giveaway – 86′

    Hackshaw lucky to be not shown red after pulling player from a goal scoring opportunity.

  • COS free kick – 87′

    Shot on target, Paul handled it.

  • Luis Saldana and Donasiyano on – 88′

    Barbir and Pelaez come off.

    Barbir ends his first match early.

  • Tamacas header on target, great save – 89′

    Nice long ball by Memo.

  • Seven minutes of stoppage.

  • Roots play in the box, pair of shots by Memo Diaz blocked. Great run into area by Cedeno. – 93′

  • Koze shot deflected out for corner – 95′

  • Klimenta shot blocked – 96′

  • Roots free kick – 97′

    Koze draws it. Memo to take it.

    Goes to keeper.

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