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Oakland Roots Earn a Point in 1-1 Draw vs. Charleston Battery

Oakland’s Ilya Alekseev scored just 50 minutes into his professional debut, allowing the Roots to salvage a point in a 1-1 draw versus visiting Charleston Battery on Saturday, March 16, at Pioneer Stadium in Hayward.

Alameda Post - the Oakland Roots team, including Ilya Alekseev
Photo Oakland Roots SC.

The night started slow for Oakland. Playing with a thin roster, both Alekseev and Thomas Camier made their professional debuts to fill in for missing starters. From the opening whistle it looked like Charleston would control the night, playing much of the first half in Roots’ defensive zone.

Facing constant pressure, Oakland finally relinquished a goal in the 35th minute when the Battery’s Arturo Rodriguez sent a cross into the box, where his teammate Nicholas Markanich was waiting to head home the finish to give Charleston a 1-0 lead.

But the Roots were determined to play stronger in the second half—and they did not disappoint. At the 50-minute mark, Alekseev, who was making his professional debut, found some unguarded real estate in front of the Charleston keeper. Memo Diaz capitalized by sending a picture-perfect cross from the left side, which Alekseev headed home from in-close to knot the game back up at 1-1.

Oakland continued applying pressure in the second half, and nearly found a winner on multiple occasions, including a 90th-minute header from Neveal Hackshaw that was cleaned up by the Charleston keeper.

Both teams played to a dramatic finish, but neither side could find a game-winner before the referee blew the final whistle. The Roots will now head to Arizona for their first road test of the season versus Phoenix Rising on Saturday, March 23.

The Roots will be back home to face Las Vegas Lights FC at Pioneer Stadium on Saturday, March 30, at 7 p.m.

Talking with the head coach

After the match, Head Coach Noah Delgado was asked about the challenges that the team faced coming into the match.

“We had four guys sick, and out for the game. Lindo wasn’t available to go much,” Delgado said. “But we’ve talked about it. We’re going to need everyone this season, especially with injuries and the international window opening and players leaving…people are going to have to step up. We just look at the quality, players, understanding. And we had guys making their debut (Saturday night) and contributing, which was awesome.”

Delgado was then asked what it meant to see so many young players step up from Project 51O, the Roots community-based development team, including Alekseev Ilya with his first goal.

“You know, he came in as a young professional, getting minutes,” Delgado answered. “Thomas made his debut as well tonight. That’s a credit to the organization. There’s a plan—building up, building youth, building local—and  now we’re seeing some very early profits and seeing those players contributing.”


  • CHS: Nicholas Markanich 35’
  • OAK: Ilya Alekseev 50’
  • OAK: Bryan Tamacas 6’ (yellow card)
  • CHS: Juan Sebastian Palma Micolta 16’ (yellow card)
  • OAK: Johnny Rodriguez 43’ (yellow card)
  • CHS: Juan David Torres Henriquez 63’ (yellow card)
  • OAK: Miche-Naider Chéry 66’ (yellow card)
  • CHS: Nicholas Markanich 77’ (yellow card)
  • CHS: Adam Grinwis 90’+ (yellow card)
  • CHS: Aaron Molloy 90’+ (yellow card)
Oakland Roots

Lineup: Paul Blanchette, Justin Rasmussen, Niall Logue, Bryan Tamacas (Etsgar Cruz), Neveal Hackshaw, Ilya Alekseev (Thomas Camier), Memo Diaz, Napo Matsoso (Miche-Naider Chéry) (Trayvone Reid), Daniel Gomez, Jeciel Cedeño, Johnny Rodriguez.

Unused Subs: Lindo Mfeka, Javier Bedolla-Vera, Kieran Bracken Serra, Tim Syrel, Edwin Rodriguez.

Line: Shots: 6 | Shots On Goal: 2 | Corner Kicks: 0 | Fouls: 17 | Offside: 1

Charleston Battery

Lineup: Adam Grinwis, Graham Smith, Juan Sebastian Palma Micolta, Nathan Dossantos (Joshua Drack-Asami) (Robert Crawford), Mark Segbers, Chris Allan (Emilio Ycaza), Aaron Molloy, Arturo Rodriguez, Diego Gutiérrez (Juan David Torres Henriquez), Nicholas Markanich, Jackson Conway (Matthew Meyers).

Unused Subs: Daniel Kuzemka, Jake LaCava.

Line: Shots: 21 | Shots On Goal: 7 | Corner Kicks: 9 | Fouls: 15 | Offside: 2

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