Oakland Roots Postgame Presser: Full Quotes From Jordan Ferrell Following 1-0 Win & Playoff Berth

It was a hyped and visibly more emotional Jordan Ferrell following the Oakland Roots' 1-nil win over Sporting Kansas City II. And rightfully so, the technical director and interim head coach helped lead the organization to a USL Championship Playoff berth in its inaugural season after starting with a dreadful 1-3-8 record. 

Approaching the Deep Roots section, Ferrell shouted the lyrics to "Dale Oakland Roots," ultimately letting out a bellowing scream with clenched fists and daughter draped on his shoulders. 

Emotions still raw and voice shaking, Ferrell stepped in front of the mics and camera to begin answering questions. His responses turned to long praise of everyone around the organization; the fans, coaching staff, players, board members, and executive Eric Yamamoto. 

The organization now prepares for No. 1 seeded El Paso Locomotive on Friday, November 5. 

Here is a full transcript of Saturday's interview. 

A crazy season; how do you feel right now? 

"I want to say thank you to our board because the four of them are people who are willing to have tough conversations and they are willing to recognize the values of the club and the things we all believe in. That's incredible. 

"This group of players is unique; it's been different players in and out throughout the season, that's the nature of a first-year program. What they've been able to do as a group as human beings and men who came together in a very short period of time. My hat's off to them.

"And then my staff. My staff is remarkable. From Chris Malenab, and Jeremy Clark, and Nana Attakora, Bruce and Crystal Lee before... They've all been incredible and we've weathered some insane storms.

"There's one person who doesn't get a lot of credit, that's Eric Yamamoto, there's a lot of people who don't know about him, and a lot of people who do know him. He manages to remain as the Godfather in the background. He texts me after every single game no matter what. There's one person who's been in very tough conversations and in the trenches with me when others haven't.

"Tonight, that man gets his credit. He's a legend in my book."  

You were 2-5-8 early in the season, elaborate on this accomplishment:

"Thank God for those ties right now, right? The different moments when we were struggling trying to get anything going, but able to get a 0-0; those are what made the difference tonight. You guys know how many different lineups we've put out this year. This is one of the first times we've returned an identical lineup. What a season."

Could you watch the ending? 

"[Laughs] I was actually on the top. I wasn't watching, I was with my wife and kids, friends, and whatnot up there. But the last five minutes, I wasn't paying attention. Someone close by had the feed up on their phone in advance." 

What was the approach mentally tonight and going forward?  

"I've said this so many times, and I don't think it changes. When we dropped points in Tacoma, our focus wasn't the entire season, our focus was on the next game against San Diego. When we got the win in San Diego, we had to flip it and put our entire focus on Sporting. It's been a long 32 games, the boys deserve time to enjoy it, but our focus has to be on El Paso.

"If we lose focus of that, it's going to be rough in El Paso. It's a brand-new season and it's felt like a win-or-go-home for quite some time. I'd like to say we're ready for it, bring on the postseason." 

Elaborate on the mentality of the team:

"There are some players there who are just some special human beings. Some players who have grown so much this year, many who have been injected midway through the season and have played big roles down the stretch, and other players who started for us who aren't here now. That's very different than Phoenix or Tampa Bay's situations where there's a consistent core of people.

"There's some USL clubs who've had stable lineups throughout the year and aren't in the playoffs. We've been in the situation where we've had four center forwards sign and none of them were available to play. The idea that we can get a result regardless of who's in the lineup is something you see in college or other teams, but it's very unique to professional sport. 

"They've been amazing at stepping up when someone goes down; or pushing each other in training when another person is succeeding with the idea of gaining three points on the weekend. There's nothing like this group, and I wouldn't go into battle with anybody else." 

What does reaching the playoffs in its first year do for the club? 

"It sets a standard, that's No. 1, we've said we want to be a playoff team in Year 1. The playoffs are a brand-new season, it's 50-50 each game. You can be ranked whatever you are, you can home or away. but some teams get tighter in the playoffs and some teams play with more drive. It's a completely different season, we've seen that a number of times in all kinds of sports. 

"For us, it's a standard that we want to set. We've actually replaced Sacramento, they've been in the playoffs since they came into the league and that says a lot about our club. 

"The type of resilience we want to have; a number of months ago we were out here when a game got canceled because Sac... was Sac. We're in the playoffs and they are at home, that's how we want to keep it. 

"Year after year, we want to keep climbing that table because we don't believe that this crowd deserves anything less than a trophy. The Western Conference is one thing, but we're in the league to win the league. That's going to take some work, for sure, but that's what we're committed to." 

What was it like to stress out for a second goal over 90 minutes? 

"It was highly unnecessary [laughs]. We had some good chances and then we just started doing questionable things. You feel good because we had positive moments, but then also Bokila's close at the end, or Akeem with a chance shortly thereafter. We had some good chances but the ball didn't bounce our way, or Kendall McIntosh makes a good play. 

"It keeps the tension, which in some ways is good, but I would've preferred the 2-0 tension. I will say this, the 4-3 comeback and this 1-0 hold was the first time we showed that type of character. Although we were winning, we weren't giving them good chances and controlling things. 

"I felt we were pretty solid, nothing was really scary outside of one or two looks. But yeah, it's unnecessary to add to my grey hair." 

You weren't expected to coach at the beginning of the season. How does it feel to lead the team to this point?

"It feels good personally, but the biggest thing that I feel is the satisfaction for everybody else involved. At that moment when I stepped in, it was done as a servant of the club. When [Dario Pot stepped down], I didn't say I wanted to coach, I wanted to help find the right solution for the group, this year, etcetera. 

"There was a lot of deliberation and collaboration on what the best approach was. Some would say that it wasn't the best decision to have me coach. But on that side of things, it felt like we started out with a mission and went through the craziness of everything that happened. 

"To achieve this, it says more about the people around me; the players, staff, club, and support that everybody gave to ride with my ideas. Now we want to beat El Paso."


Popular posts from this blog

Oakland Roots Player of the Year Fan Vote

Oakland Roots Move Into Former Raiders Headquarters In Alameda

Oakland Roots Roster Moves Hot Takes