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Oakland Roots Fall 0-2 to Colorado Springs Switchbacks at Home

The Colorado Springs Switchbacks came to the East Bay without a win to their credit, but earned all the points at Pioneer Stadium on Saturday night, April 27, to defeat the Oakland Roots. The Switchbacks’ two second-half goals doubled their total for the entire season.

Alameda Post - a group photo of the Oakland Roots when they played the Colorado Springs Switchbacks
Photo Oakland Roots SC.

The Colorado Springs side opened the match with an immediate scoring opportunity, putting the ball off the crossbar in the first minute of the match. But the Roots controlled the majority of the first half of play.

Only moments after that Switchbacks opportunity, the Roots worked a counter attack, earning a free kick in the attacking third. The set piece was converted into a goal in the third minute, but it was negated by an offsides call due to a Roots player pushing forward a bit too early on the try.



The Roots continued to dominate time of possession throughout the remainder of the first half, playing keep-away in the Switchbacks zone and earning chance after chance to score—but the Roots could not convert. Thanks to a late diving save from Paul Blanchette, the home team entered halftime knotted up at 0-0.

In the second half, the Colorado Springs Switchbacks made adjustments that paid dividends. The field began to look tilted in their favor as they began to control the game in the same way the Roots had in the first. They opened the scoring in the 71st minute, when a shallow cross in tight from Maalique Foster found a reaching Juan Tejada who was just able to get a foot on it and redirect the ball into the back of the net.

In the 85th minute, the Switchbacks doubled their lead on a lethargic looking Roots team when Maalique Foster once again played a cross from outside the box, finding a free runner up the middle in Juan Tejada, who buried a shot easily into the bottom right corner of the net.

The Oakland Roots will play on the road in their next USL Championship matchup versus San Antonio FC on Saturday, May 4, before returning to the Bay Area to face Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes in the Round of 32 of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, May 7, at PayPal Park in San Jose.

Talking with the head coach

After the tough loss, the Roots’ head coach Noah Delgado was asked what went wrong in the second half of the match.

“Tracking in the box,” Delgado said. “Just plays where we had an advantage but were not tracking the runners. And it was two similar ones—we had to make some changes after we went down 1-0. We went for it a little bit and took some risks to try to get a goal. We put on attacking players, changed the formation a bit and got caught on a midfield recovery, and the second one was back post marking.”

Summary

Scoring:
  • COS: Juan Tejada 71’
  • COS: Aidan Rocha 85’
Discipline:
  • COS: Zack Zandi 22’ (yellow card)
  • OAK: Justin Rasmussen 52’ (yellow card)
  • COS: Duke Lacroix 73’ (yellow card)
  • OAK: Camden Riley 83’ (yellow card)
  • COS: Jairo Henriquez 90’+ (yellow card)
Oakland Roots

Lineup: Blanchette, Bryan Tamacas, Niall Logue (Miche-Naider Chéry), Justin Rasmussen, Irakoze Donasiyano (Ali Elmasnaouy), Daniel Gomez, Memo Diaz, Ilya Alekseev (Camden Riley), Jeciel Cedeño (Etsgar Cruz), Trayvone Reid (Napo Matsoso), Johnny Rodriguez

Unused subs: Tim Syrel, Thomas Camier, Eli Wachs

Line: Shots: 9 | Shots On Goal: 2 | Corner Kicks: 6 | Fouls: 16 | Offside: 5

Colorado Springs Switchbacks

Lineup: Chris Herrera, Matt Mahoney, Matt Real, Duke Lacroix, Koa Santos, Zack Zandi (Jairo Henriquez), Aidan Rocha, Yosuke Hanya (Juan Tejada), Speedy Williams, Ronaldo Damus (Quenzi Huerman), Maalique Foster (Jonas Fjeldberg)

Unused subs: Joe Rice, Pierre Delentz, Stevie Echevarria

Line: Shots: 15 | Shots On Goal: 6 | Corner Kicks: 5 | Fouls: 17 | Offside: 0

Coach transition

On Sunday, the Roots announced that Head Coach Noah Delgado would be leaving the club. “Noah has been an instrumental figure within our club, having been on staff since 2021, contributing his expertise, dedication to community, and passion to our collective goals. We express our sincere appreciation for his efforts during his time with us.”

Assistant Coach Gavin Glinton will step into the role of Interim Head Coach, according to the team’s announcement. Glinton has been an assistant with Roots since 2022. He played professionally with the San Jose Earthquakes and won an MLS Cup with LA Galaxy.

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