Bay Area soccer fans can look forward to an exciting professional soccer game this weekend as the Oakland Roots Sports Club begins its second season on Saturday, February 29 at Laney College when the team takes on the Chattanooga Football Club.
Roots will host the 2020 National Independent Soccer Association’s (NISA) season opener with a kickoff starting at 5:10 p.m. at Laney’s College Stadium at 900 Fallon St. NISA is the new United States Soccer Federation sanctioned Division Three professional league.
New head coach Jordan Ferrell, who replaced former coach Paul Bravo, was promoted from his former position as first assistant coach, where he held day-to day coaching duties during the search for a permanent coach.
“The entire front office is thankful for the work Paul put in to help build this team in its first season,” said Roots President Benno Nagel. “He was a true professional throughout the year, and is a pioneer for the Oakland Roots, joining the club based on our vision. We wish Paul the best as he continues to serve the Bay Area soccer community with the DeAnza Force and the California Thorns. He will always be a welcomed member of our family.”
Regarding the appointment of Jordan to head coach, Nagel noted that he couldn’t think of a better person, and professional, to step into this role as the team prepares for 2020 and beyond. “Jordan has long been celebrated as one of the top up-and-coming soccer minds in our region,” said Nagel. “His work with us this past Fall made clear that he was ready for this next step in his career. In Jordan, we are truly adding someone special to our senior leadership team.”
Ferrell noted that he expects the team to continue adding to the foundation of the club and become a force in NISA in 2020. “We’ve had a terrific pre-season and I really feel the team is set to hit the ground running starting on the 29th,” said Ferrell.
“We intend to cement a style of play for the club that vibes with the Town,” said Ferrell. “Oakland is a wonderfully diverse city built on industriousness and our product on the field should represent that.”
“I’m excited to have found some new local talents to add to our handful of Oakland players continuing in the roster from last year. It’s important these guys continue to grow as players to where they can show their passion for the Town and their pride for the Roots shirt under the lights at Laney on game day.”
Co-founder and CMO Edreece Arghandiwal noted that the basic and straight-forward goal of the team is to win as many games at home as possible. “Last year, we struggled at home,” said Arghandiwal. “We want to come away with our first game with a ‘W’ and go forward with that.”
“In the U.S. soccer culture, there are very few people of color in those higher-up coaching positions,” said Arghandiwal. “Jordan is a guy that represents our community very well. He is a perfect blend of Oakland knowledge and respect that makes him an ideal candidate at this time. It’s bigger than winning or losing. It’s a challenging assumption and doing things differently.”
“When you look at the new additions of our technical staff and our more experienced players, they will add tremendous depth to our games this year. Many of them have experience from the United Soccer League. That experience cannot be discounted.”