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Oakland Roots Earn 2-1 Victory Over El Farolito

Team advances to next round of U.S. Open Cup, announces Shaun Livingston has joined ownership group

The Oakland Roots had to take advantage of an extra 30 minutes of play to do it, but they prevailed in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in a thrilling 2-1 victory against NPSL club El Farolito Tuesday night, April 16, at Pioneer Stadium in Hayward.

Alameda Post - two Oakland Roots players smile at the camera
Photo Oakland Roots SC.

The visitors looked every bit worth the Cinderella story they had established so far in the Open Cup to start the match, putting early pressure on Roots and earning numerous scoring chances in the first few minutes.

This pressure culminated in an attacking play that saw an El Farolito winger put a cross towards the far post where a waiting forward fanned on a shot. The ball deflected off of a Roots player only to find El Farolito’s Dembor Benson, who lofted a header over keeper Tim Syrel to give the visitors a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute.

Following the goal, play began to shift in Oakland’s favor with the Roots nearly equalizing in the 39th minute when Miche-Naider Chéry took a shot from in close that pinged off the post.

Oakland’s determination in the first half was eventually rewarded, when a beautiful cross from Ilya Alekseev outside the box found Memo Diaz waiting in front of the net, and he finished a header of his own into the top corner to level the match at 1-1 heading into the halftime break.

Physicality picked up in the second half of play, with El Farolito’s Edgard Kreye earning his second yellow card of the match, forcing the visitors to play with 10 for the remainder of the contest.

Despite the man advantage, El Farolito continued to press the Roots’ defense, and the field looked to tilt back in their favor. Subs from Oakland saw the team start to press forward once again, but neither side could find a winner before the regulation whistle.

Eight minutes into the first overtime frame, the Roots scored what would eventually become the game winner when Ali Elmasnaouy put a ball into the twine just minutes into his professional debut.

A second yellow card for Trayvone Reid erased Oakland’s man advantage in the 116th minute of play, but it was too little too late for El Farolito, who couldn’t find an equalizer to bring the game to penalty shots before the final whistle.

The Roots will either play Sacramento Republic or MLS club San Jose Earthquakes in the Open Cup’s Round of 32, with the drawing scheduled for Thursday, April 18. Oakland will now head on the road for a quick turnaround as they prepare to face Detroit City FC in USL Championship action on Saturday, April 20.


  • ELF: Dembor Benson 12’
  • OAK: Memo Diaz 45’+
  • OAK: Ali Elmasnaouy 98’
  • ELF: Edgard Kreye 33’ (yellow card)
  • ELF: Edgard Kreye 51’ (2nd yellow card) (red card)
  • OAK: Memo Diaz 55’ (yellow card)
  • ELF: Jhoann Yabur 55’ (yellow card)
  • ELF: Herlbert Soto 80’ (yellow card)
  • OAK: Justin Rasmussen 90’+ (yellow card)
  • ELF: Daouda Sidibe 90’+ (yellow card)
  • OAK: Trayvone Reid 95’ (yellow card)
  • ELF: Jesus Martinez 101’ (yellow card)
  • ELF: Daniel Buitrago 101’ (yellow card)
  • OAK: Trayvone Reid 106’ (2nd yellow card) (red card)
  • ELF: Judas Higuera 116’ (yellow card)
Oakland Roots

Lineup: Timothy Syrel, Justin Rasmussen, Neveal Hackshaw, Thomas Camier (Ali Elmasnaouy), Ilya Alekseev, Memo Diaz (Eli Wachs), Javier Bedolla-Vera (Kieran Bracken Serra), Daniel Gomez (Irakoze Donasiyano), Etsgar Cruz, Miche-Naider Chéry (Johnny Rodriguez), Trayvone Reid

Unused subs: Tomas Caminos, Edwin Rodriguez

El Farolito

Lineup: Johan Lizarralde, Jhonatan Mosquera, Jesus Martinez, Jhoann Yabur, Herlbert Soto (Daouda Sidibe), Jehimy Arias (Daniel Buitrago), Kipre Sacre (Gabriel Arias), Jonatan Valdivia (Judas Higuera), Dembor Benson, Edgard Kreye, Erik Arias (Jorge Murillo)

Unused subs: Julian Escobar, Ramon Cordoba

Former Warrior Shaun Livingston joins Roots ownership group

Former Golden State Warrior Shaun Livingston has become the latest Oakland sporting great to join the ownership group of Oakland Roots and Soul Sports Club. Livingston, who won NBA Championships in 2015, 2017, and 2018 while playing with the Warriors in Oakland, and served as an executive within the organization, will utilize his 15 years of NBA experience and knowledge to help secure the 2024 Championship.

“Playing in Oakland and representing ‘The Town’ were some of the most impactful years of my career,” said Livingston. “The energy from the Oakland fans is special and a legacy I want to continue to be a part of years into the future.”

Livingston joins a long list of celebrity investors in Oakland Roots and Soul SC, including NBA legend Jason Kidd, rockstar Billie Joe Armstrong, NFL legend Marshawn Lynch, global rap star G-Eazy, and many more.

Welcome to the club, Shaun.

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