Game Notes & Player Ratings: Oakland Roots Red Carded In 1-0 Loss To OCSC

It was a rough night for the Oakland Roots in its 1-nil loss to Orange County SC at Laney College Stadium on Saturday, October 16, evident by coach Jordan Ferrell's postgame interview--voicing clear frustration that reflected with his body language.

"It's a tough one. We did it to ourselves. We had some good chances, Paul [Blanchette] even almost scored. Obviously, we were pretty stretched going down to 10 men, but we're not just gonna pack it in. We're going to go after it and we had some chances. That was a tough one," said Ferrell after the loss. 

The loss brings Oakland's record to 9-7-13, clinging onto fifth with 34 points. With eyes on the table, Los Dos faces El Paso while Sacramento squares off with Tacoma on Saturday. An El Paso wins keeps LA in striking distance of Oakland, while a Republic-Defiance draw would bring both clubs to 34 points--Roots hold the tiebreaker against both clubs. 

Orange County scored in the 25th minute after Ronaldo Damus shouldered off Emrah Klimenta and sent a ball across the face of the goal, finding Benjamin Mines at the end.

Four minutes prior, Oakland conceded a penalty kick after Ariel Mbumba collided with Mines when looking to clear a ball. In the buildup, Paul Blanchette dove to the feet of Damus to prevent a look at goal. 

Soya Takahashi rushed to clear the ball while Blanchette attempted to jump on it--causing the clearance to remain in the box. Charging in was Mbumba, perhaps not realizing that Mines was in position when following through with his left foot, subsequently making contact. 

Orange County's initial attempt by Dillon Powers was called off for encroachment. On the second attempt, Blanchette made the kick-save after Powers kept his shot towards the center. 

The game changed at 54 minutes when Jose Hernandez was red-carded for violent conduct, kicking up from his back into Mikko Kuningas nether-region with the referee standing nearby. 

"You expect a more seasoned ref to manage that with his personality; give a yellow, it was retaliation from someone stepping over and rolling up on them. I understand that it's a red, but I think it could've been handled differently, so that's tough. In tight games, emotion is a part of the game. Without emotion, you wouldn't want to play, but there's also that fine line," said Ferrell. 

"Tonight, Jose put the team in that situation. But I'd like to add that the team stepped up and did really well afterward. We conceded the one tonight, which we were really playing out of spaces we shouldn't of put ourselves in. But there were a lot of good things there that we'll try to pull from and take into next week."

Oakland had a couple moments of pressure when going down to 10 men, notably in the final 15 minutes. Wal Fall had a header attempt go high of the net in the 79th minute on a corner opportunity, but Blanchette had a look at '90+5 in the final moments. 

On a corner in stoppage time, Blanchette put a header towards the left post, but Michael Orozco was positioned to clear the ball as it approached the goal. 

Roots SC finishes with 54 percent possession, eight shots with none on target, and six chances created. Orange County came away with 15 shots with three on target, 10 chances created, and one big chance. 

Player-Ratings via

    1.    Paul Blanchette, 7.8

In 90 minutes, Blanchette recorded two saves both by dives and one penalty stop, seven throws, completed 14 passes (41 percent), 3/23 long balls, and nine recoveries. 

    2.    Matias Fissore, 7.6

In 90 minutes, Fissore completed 51 passes (71 percent), 2/4 crosses, 3/13 long balls, three key passes,  and took three corners, to go along with one duel won, drew two fouls, two interceptions, and 17 recoveries. 

    3.    Soya Takahashi, 7.2

In 90 minutes, Takahashi completed 30 passes (77 percent), 1/3 crosses, 2/9 long balls, and one key pass, to go along with five duels won, two clearances, one headed clearance, one successful dribble in as many attempts, 3/3 on tackles, one aerial won, and five recoveries. 

    4.    Kai Greene, 6.8

In 90 minutes, Greene recorded one shot and completed 33 passes (72 percent), 3/8 long balls,  eight duels won, three clearances, one headed clearance, 1/2 successful tackles, six aerials won, one interception, and six recoveries. 

    5.    Emrah Klimenta, 6.8

In 79 minutes, Klimenta recorded one shot and completed 25 passes (57 percent), 2/13 long balls, eight duels won, three clearances all by header, 1/2 successful tackles, six aerials won, one interception, and two recoveries. 

    6.    Tarek Morad, 6.7

In 31 minutes, Morad recorded two shots and completed 17 passes (77 percent), five duels won, two clearances, blocked one shot, three aerials won, and five recoveries. 

    7.    Wal Fall, 6.5

In 90 minutes, Fall recorded one shot and completed 37 passes (88 percent), 2/4 long balls, four duels won, one clearance, 1/3 successful dribbles, drew one foul, 2/2 successful tackles, and four recoveries. 

    8.    Memo Diaz, 6.4

In 59 minutes, Diaz completed 13 passes (54 percent), 3/7 long balls, three key passes, seven duels won, one clearance by header, drew two fouls, 2/2 successful tackles, four aerials won, one interception, and three recoveries.

    9.    Jesus Enriquez, 6.4

In 11 minutes, Enriquez completed four passes (80 percent), one cross, one key pass, took one corner, one duel won, and one successful dribble in as many attempts. 

    10.    Akeem Ward, 6.3

In 31 minutes, Ward completed nine passes (90 percent), three duels won, 1/1 successful dribbles, 1.1 successful tackles, and one aerial won. 



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