Site icon RootsBlog

Las Vegas Lights vs. Oakland Roots – Match Preview (September 9, 2023)

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.

Lights’ Form

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.


Roots’ Form

March 11at San Antonio FCL13
March 19at RGV TorosD11
April 1vs New Mexico UnitedW10
April 8at Indy ElevenW30
April 15vs HartfordL12
April 23at LoudounL02
April 29vs Miami FCD00
May 6at Birmingham LegionW41
May 13vs Orb CountyW30
May 20at SacramentoL13
May 27vs San Diego LoyalW20
June 2at Colorado Springs SwitchbacksW10
June 10at Phoenix RisingD22
June 17vs Pittsburgh RiverhoundsD00
June 24vs Phoenix RisingD11
June 28vs RGV TorosL02
July 8at Tampa Bay RowdiesL03
July 12vs. Memphis 901 (rescheduled)D11
July 15at Monterey Bay Union F.C. of SeasideW31
July 22at El Paso LocomotivW31
July 26vs Las Vegas LightsW10
July 29vs Detroit CityD11
August 4at Charleston BatteryW10
August 19vs Colorado Springs SwitchbacksL23
August 23at New Mexico UnitedW21
August 26at Louisville CityL12
September 2vs SacramentoL01
September 9at Las Vegas Lights
September 16vs FC Tulsa
September 23vs Monterey Bay Union F.C. of Seaside
September 30vs San Antonio FC
October 4at Orb County
October 7at Loyal
October 14El 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


lmao even

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.

3-0 Roots!


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.”

Exit mobile version