The Roots face off against Las Vegas Lights at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 9 at Cashman Field in Las Vegas. The match will be available on KTVU Plus, ESPN+, and TeleXitos. For those of you who did not make it out to Vegas, there is a watch party at the newly reopened Oakland Athletic Club, where I expect to be.
I have spent a lot of the last couple of days reading SEC filings from this club, and it has severely cut into my trash talking time. In light of that, this is going to be a pretty brief post. Here’s an update on the community investment:
Around the Western Conference
It’s only bad news, friends. El Paso fell at home to Monterey, which is good news for keeping the Roots in the playoffs, but doesn’t help much with positioning. Same with New Mexico losing at home to Charleston 1-0. Colorado Springs Switchbacks lost at home to Louisville 3-2. Phoenix beat RGV 2-0 in Phoenix, and Orange County smashed Lights 5-1 in Vegas. Mid-week San Antonio fell 2-1 to Tulsa (who hadn’t won since July) and San Diego turned the hammer on Birmingham 3-0 in SD.
This team is abject. They have as many games where they have conceded two goals as games where they have conceded one or none. Allow me to visualize this for you:
This Blog is heading in a very “data visualization” direction, and I am leading the charge.
Vegas have two wins, a 1-0 over Juan Guerra’s Phoenix Rising (hilarious), and a 2-1 over RGV Toros on August 5. Since then, they have four losses and a draw.
Here’s the draw:
Vegas’s goals come on (1) a header from a corner kick; (2) a low, curled shot from distance; (3) a full-field counterattack. None of these have ever hurt the Roots. New Mexico’s goals all come on pretty great individual skill, but the Vegas defense tended to give them time to show off.
Last week, Orange County went to Cashman and played Lights off.
|March 11||at San Antonio FC||L||1||3|
|March 19||at RGV Toros||D||1||1|
|April 1||vs New Mexico United||W||1||0|
|April 8||at Indy Eleven||W||3||0|
|April 15||vs Hartford||L||1||2|
|April 23||at Loudoun||L||0||2|
|April 29||vs Miami FC||D||0||0|
|May 6||at Birmingham Legion||W||4||1|
|May 13||vs Orb County||W||3||0|
|May 20||at Sacramento||L||1||3|
|May 27||vs San Diego Loyal||W||2||0|
|June 2||at Colorado Springs Switchbacks||W||1||0|
|June 10||at Phoenix Rising||D||2||2|
|June 17||vs Pittsburgh Riverhounds||D||0||0|
|June 24||vs Phoenix Rising||D||1||1|
|June 28||vs RGV Toros||L||0||2|
|July 8||at Tampa Bay Rowdies||L||0||3|
|July 12||vs. Memphis 901 (rescheduled)||D||1||1|
|July 15||at Monterey Bay Union F.C. of Seaside||W||3||1|
|July 22||at El Paso Locomotiv||W||3||1|
|July 26||vs Las Vegas Lights||W||1||0|
|July 29||vs Detroit City||D||1||1|
|August 4||at Charleston Battery||W||1||0|
|August 19||vs Colorado Springs Switchbacks||L||2||3|
|August 23||at New Mexico United||W||2||1|
|August 26||at Louisville City||L||1||2|
|September 2||vs Sacramento||L||0||1|
|September 9||at Las Vegas Lights|||||||
|September 16||vs FC Tulsa|||||||
|September 23||vs Monterey Bay Union F.C. of Seaside|||||||
|September 30||vs San Antonio FC|||||||
|October 4||at Orb County|||||||
|October 7||at Loyal|||||||
|October 14||El Paso Locomotiv|||||
For 70 minutes of that game, Sacramento did not have a sniff at the Roots’ goal. Unfortunately, that was after they had their 1-0 lead. Sacramento has the best defense in the USL by some margin, and we got to see that in action on Saturday. The Roots had some real chances, but ultimately could not find the equalizer, which I think would have opened the game up and made it a lot of fun. Instead…
Players to Watch
Lineup and Score Predictions
I think this would be a great game to start Reid or Pelaez, except that without Hackshaw and Tamacas the team is already playing with one arm behind its back, and this team cannot get anything other than three points here. I think we see changes if the Roots can build a comfortable lead, and I’d pick Diaz, Barbir, Mfeka, Rodriguez, and Cedeño, in roughly that order, to get rest.
Vegas aren’t very good, but they have only been embarrassed a couple of times this season. Nonetheless, I think this is a team that Prentice can take advantage of with his speed and trickery. Mfeka’s one-touch passing should allow him to get the ball with a head of steam in the box. I think it will be his best game for the Roots. I called 4-0 on the pod and I’m sticking with it.
I like Peter’s lineup above. I’d also like to see Pelaez combine with Johnny again, but I think Cedeño is too good to take off of the field. I also like Napo/Gomez in the midfield, I feel that’s the best midfield combination.
I hadn’t heard from Aaron in several days, but I got an email yesterday from a dummy hotmail address telling me to be across the street from the Oakland Museum at half past midnight. I tried to get there early, but not too early; there was no sign of Aaron or anyone else. The streetlight, atop a lamppost skeletal white from Night Heron shit, was flickering. At 12:31 my phone buzzed. The text, from someone with Aaron’s phone at least, read “a very nervy 2-1.”