Date: September 30, 2023
Time: 7:00 PM PT
Location: Cal State University, East Bay
How to Watch: ESPN+ (Streaming)
Oakland Roots SC will look to take a big leap towards playoff qualification when they host defending USL Champions San Antonio FC on Saturday night.
Neveal Hackshaw’s incredible 90th-minute bicycle kick saved a precious point for Oakland last weekend, and more importantly, stopped Monterey Bay FC from collecting all three. The Trinidad & Tobago International’s late equalizer ensured that Roots SC will win the tiebreaker should they remain level on points with Monterey at the end of the season due to their win at Cardinale Stadium back in July. In Saturday’s draw, Noah Delgado’s team once again conceded an early goal, this time via Alex Dixon’s 3rd-minute strike. Oakland have conceded in the first 10 minutes in each of the last 5 home matches, which is a trend they must stop should they hope to upset San Antonio this weekend.
The visitors from Texas are looking to defend their first USL title this season, and have already secured playoff qualification. Although it’s possible that head coach Alen Marcina will field a rotated XI in the interest of resting his key players, San Antonio FC remain locked in a battle for the Number 1 seed in the Western Conference with Sacramento Republic. Regardless, the reigning champions have proven to be formidable away from home this season, having picked up the joint 3rd-most points in USL on their travels. Last Saturday, they easily dispatched Orange County SC by a 4-0 scoreline and showed no signs of taking their foot off the gas heading into the postseason. However, they certainly do not need a win in the upcoming match as desperately as their opposition do, and Delgado will be hoping that his team’s desire will lead to a gritty performance against one of the best sides in the league. In the two teams’ previous meeting this season, all the way back on opening day, San Antonio took care of business and beat Oakland 3-1 at Toyota Field. Roots cannot afford a repeat of that result at this stage of the season.
Saturday’s match will also act as Oakland Roots SC’s “Clean and Green Night” so be sure to stop by the East Bay Community Energy booth to win some amazing prizes! With just two home games remaining this season, Roots will need as much support as possible in order to overcome the challenges ahead, and so we hope to see you all at Pioneer Stadium!