Live Blog: Oakland Roots at Orange County (October 4, 2023)

Hello and welcome to the blog’s live coverage of Oakland Roots visiting Orange County, marking a critical match for the outcome of the Western Conference. Roots enter the night fighting for the playoff lives in eighth place while OCSC is in fifth and competing for a home draw.

With a win, Roots would snap a six-game winless run and could catapult itself above El Paso in seventh. The Locomotive are currently facing off with San Diego Loyal. *Update: El Paso tied 0-0 with Loyal*

Orange County is currently 0-2-2 over its last four matches, so it might be the right time to catch them.

Initial Takeaways

  • We can officially say the season is fading away. Another loss, winless in 7 matches, and waiting for Monterey, New Mexico, or RGV to overtake them. This kind of run makes things look like there are problems way deeper than game planning, systems, or Xs and Os–there’s seemingly no end in sight. With two matches left, there’s no way Oakland walks in as the favorite against San Diego or El Paso. Roots are far from elimitated from playoff contention, but they look mentally and physically defeated.
  • Tonight marked the fourth time in the seven match winless run for Roots to drop points from a winning position. Each time, it looks like Oakland checks off when they pick up the initial lead. Is it a mentality issue? Is it coaching? We don’t have answers.
  • There’s no offensive firepower for Oakland and they have never established an identity on what exactly they do to generate goals. Is offense a priority when you’re running out 3 centerbacks, a CB as a midfielder, a CDM, and 2 fullbacks? The lack of attacking options, especially in the midfield, is a testament to the roster building process gone wrong and reflects on the organization not signing any depth to challenge for a starting role. Oakland could’ve bolstered the roster when in 3rd place, but instead traded a goal-scorer Darek Formella for a wingback on the mend in Baboucarr Njie in a straight-up trade. Aside from signing Luis Saldaña, Oakland made no additions to the roster. Now with the season slipping away, the failure to improve the lineup is subsequently resulting in a losing product.

Starting Lineups

  • Oakland Roots Starting 11

Anuar Pelaez and Johnny Rodriguez start, once again, while Lindo Mfeka lines up on the left side. Memo Diaz, apparently, is not on card accumulation rules and is available, he’s playing tonight at left back opposite of Bryan Tamacas. Tonight’s midfield is Tarek Morad and Napo Matsoso, giving veteran and defensivev stability there.

  • Orange County Starting 11



  • OC corner – 2′

    headed out.

  • OC corner – 7′

    off a scuffed pass by Paul, cleared.

  • Roots corner – 10′


  • ROOTS GOAL – 11′

    Hackshaw heads a pass centrally to Anuar Pelaez, slots it in!

  • OC set piece- 16′

    On edge of right side.

  • OC corner – 17′

    shot way off

  • OC set piece good area – 28′

    Ball in bounces out the back. Whew.

  • OC set piece outside area on left – 33′

    Blocked by wall

  • Amang scuff shot from right in front, should’ve been a goal – 36′

  • OC penalty – 45+1′

    Bad foul on Lindo in the area.

    Iloski buries it.

  • Amang shot in close distance saved, draws corner – 45+5′

    Amang scores. Paul fails to punch the ball away, Amang greets it for a tap in.

  • First half notes:

    Oakland hands away another lead in rapid succession. Since Pelaez’s goal in the 11th, its been alllllllll Orange County. Roots with 3 shots, 1 on target to OC’s 10 shots, 2 on target, 4 corners.

    Another game, more defensive disasters.

  • OC corner – 47′

  • Paul save – 49′

    Easy, shot from top of area on right elbow.

  • Brian Ilsoki beautiful goal – 50′

    Happen after Emrah tackles ball, lays up for Iloski, wraps his foot. Its 3-1. Season feels like its officially falling apart.

  • OC corner – 56′

  • Milan Iloski forces a diving save – 60′

  • Njie and Cedeño on – 60′

  • Roots corner – 63′

  • Napo forces diving save – 64′

  • Roots corner – 64′

    Morad misses in point blank range

  • Tray on for Johnny

  • Hack and tray shots blocked – 70′

  • Saldaña and Gomez entering for Emrah and Napo.

  • Roots corner – 79′

    terrible pass.

  • Roots free kick – 81′

    whole lot of nothing.

  • Roots corner – 84′

    near chance, wide

  • Roots corner – 88′


  • OC free kick above area – 90′

    Diving save from Paul.

  • Pelaez header wide – 90+2′

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