Oakland Roots SC

Oakland Roots Sports Club is an American sports club based in Oakland, California who began play as a men's professional soccer team. The club was formed in 2018 by a group of Oakland natives and began play in the National Independent Soccer Association in the fall of 2019.

Oakland Roots
Full nameOakland Roots Sports Club
GroundLaney College
PresidentBenno Nagel
Head coachJordan Ferrell
LeagueNational Independent Soccer Association
WebsiteClub website


The club was formed in July 2018 when it was announced the club would be known as Oakland Roots Sports Club.[1] The club followed it up when they dropped their club crest in the Fall of 2018 to rave reviews.[2] The club originally was slated to play in the NPSL Founders Cup, but the club ultimately withdrew and instead joined the National Independent Soccer Association a division 3 sanctioned United States Soccer Federation Professional League.[3][4]

Oakland Roots began by signing 3 Oakland raised players in the Spring of 2019 in Devante Dubose, Julio Cervantes and Yohannes Harish. [5] [6] This was followed by the signing of a few higher profile players as the club built out its inaugural rosters. Those players included former MLS and Liga MX player Benji Joya, former Honduran World Cup veteran Victor Bernardez and former 1st round MLS Draft Pick Jack McInerney.[7] [8] [9]

The Club announced its first ever head coach on May 9, 2019 when they signed Bay Area native, former MLS Player and Colorado Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo. [10]


The club opened up the inaugural 2019–20 NISA season season as the league’s first ever game, at home in front of a sold out crowd of more than 4,500. Jack McInerney would score a first half perfect hat trick in a match that would eventually end up in a 3-3 draw. [11]

Oakland Roots played 8 games in their inaugural season 6 in NISA and 2 friendlies vs Mexican opposition, FC Juarez and Club Atlético Zacatepec. The club picked up their first ever win at home vs Ascenso MX Club, CA Zacatepec by a score of 2-0. [12]

Oakland Roots sold out all 4 home games of the 2019 fall season averaging 4,927 fans including a record 5,723 in their final home game of 2019 a 1-1 draw vs Los Angeles Force. [13]

On October 31, 2019 Oakland Roots and Paul Bravo mutually agreed to part ways. [14] On December 3, 2019 Oakland Roots announced Jordan Ferrell as the club's new Head Coach. [15]

Oakland Roots added a reserve team on December 9, 2019 to be called "Project 51O". The reserve team will compete in the National Premier Soccer League. [16]


Roots home matches are played at Laney College Stadium, a multi-purpose stadium located near Lake Merritt where East and West Oakland meet. For Roots games the pitch is widened using a modular turf system. The Stadium has room for 3,500 seated and up to 5,500+ with standing room. [17]

Average attendance

YearReg. Season
2019 Fall 4,927

Club culture

The Oakland Roots have been featured regularly in pop culture in their short history. Oakland Roots merchandise has been featured in two G-Eazy Video’s “West Coast” and "Bang". [18][19] The Roots Origins shirt then appeared in Zion I "Flame Go" Video a few months later.[20] As well Oakland Basketball legend Damian Lillard wore Oakland Roots merchandise before an NBA game in the 2019 playoffs.[21] Roots merchandise additionally was featured in FourFourTwo magazine in the April and August additions of 2019. [22] The Club was also treated to a special performance by Oakland Hip Hop Legend Mistah F.A.B before their final home game of 2019. [23] Oakland Roots were featured on Men in Blazers on November 25, 2019 when Roger Bennett wore the Roots Jersey on the show. [24] Then that night Kevon Looney of the Golden State Warriors wore a Roots t-shirt on the bench during a regular season NBA game. [25]

The club works closely with the Oakland Community and points to this as the reason they exist. [26] The Clubs two Mottos are “Oakland First, Always” and “Know Your Roots” [27]


The Supporters Group is known as the “Roots Radicals” in reference to a song by 90’s East Bay Punk Rock band Rancid.[28]

Players and staff

Current roster

As of August 27, 2019[29]
No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Larry Jackson  United States
2 Defender David Chavez  United States
4 Defender Nadeer Ghantous  Israel
5 Defender Víctor Bernárdez  Honduras
6 Midfielder Niall Irwin  Ireland
7 Forward Dembakwi Yomba  Sierra Leone
8 Midfielder Andres Jimenez  United States
9 Forward Jack McInerney  United States
10 Midfielder Benji Joya  United States
11 Forward Dylan Autran  United States
13 Defender Chris Christian  United States
14 Forward Jesus Maldonado  Mexico
15 Midfielder Khadim Seye  Senegal
17 Midfielder Octavio Guzmán  Mexico
19 Defender Ricardo Guerra  Mexico
20 Midfielder Angel Heredia  United States
21 Midfielder Ryan Masch  United States
23 Defender Yoshi Chaffin  Japan
24 Midfielder Nikolai Littleton  United States
25 Goalkeeper Jairo Zermeno  United States
27 Forward Julio Cervantes  Mexico
28 Defender Eric Gonzalez  United States
33 Defender Robert Hines II  United States
48 Forward Salifu Jatta  Gambia
90 Goalkeeper Kevin Gonzalez  United States
91 Forward Yohannes Harish  Eritrea
Forward Naia Graham  United States

Technical staff

  • Jordan Ferrell, Head Coach
  • Eric Yamamoto, Technical Consultant
  • Víctor Bernárdez, Player-Assistant Coach
  • Larry Jackson, Player-Goalkeeping Coach
  • Yuta Tanaka, Strength and Conditioning Coach

Front office

  • Steven Aldrich, Chairman
  • Benno Nagel, Co-founder, President, Director of Soccer
  • Edreece Arghandiwal, Co-founder, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Mike Geddes, SVP of Social Enterprise and Impact


  1. "Bay Area Soccer Roundup: 'Oakland Roots' announced, USL East Bay heads to Concord, Street Soccer USA Cup in SF, Quakes play 2 this week". blog.sfgate.com. 24 July 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  2. https://oaklandrootssc.com/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. "NPSL FOUNDERS CUP MEMBERS ANNOUNCE DATES FOR 2019 EVENT". National Premier Soccer League. 11 February 2019. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  4. "Oakland Roots Statement: League and Membership". Oakland Roots SC. 27 June 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  5. https://blog.sfgate.com/soccer/2019/02/19/oakland-sticks-to-its-roots-with-first-signing-devante-dubose-oakland-roots-npsl/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. https://blog.sfgate.com/soccer/2019/03/18/bay-area-soccer-oakland-roots-announce-players-quakes-lose-again-upsl-npsl-results/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. https://blog.sfgate.com/soccer/2019/04/25/i-am-ready-for-this-former-u-s-u-20-captain-benji-joya-joins-oakland-roots/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. https://oaklandrootssc.com/news/victorbernardez. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. https://blog.sfgate.com/soccer/2019/07/24/ex-mls-star-jack-mcinerney-joins-oakland-roots/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. https://www.socceramerica.com/publications/article/82233/paul-bravo-takes-oakland-roots-helm-to-complete-b.html. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. https://blog.sfgate.com/soccer/2019/09/01/oakland-roots-tie-first-ever-game-3-3/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. https://blog.sfgate.com/soccer/2019/10/14/bay-area-soccer-oakland-roots-win-first-ever-game-college-upsl-roundup/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. https://blog.sfgate.com/soccer/2019/10/20/oakland-roots-earn-draw-in-front-of-another-sell-out-crowd/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. https://oaklandrootssc.com/news/2019/10/31/oakland-roots-and-paul-bravo-mutually-agree-to-part-ways. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. https://oaklandrootssc.com/news/jordanferrell. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. https://oaklandrootssc.com/news/project51o. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. https://blog.sfgate.com/soccer/2019/10/20/oakland-roots-earn-draw-in-front-of-another-sell-out-crowd/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. [(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCXSkp-CFqQ) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCXSkp-CFqQ)] Check |url= value (help). Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cn827BVSuAI. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. [(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uu6my5GG7xQ) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uu6my5GG7xQ)] Check |url= value (help). Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. https://urbanpitch.com/oakland-roots/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1104037808614760450. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. https://blog.sfgate.com/soccer/2019/10/20/oakland-roots-earn-draw-in-front-of-another-sell-out-crowd/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. [httpshttps://twitter.com/oaklandrootssc/status/1199134384344879104 httpshttps://twitter.com/oaklandrootssc/status/1199134384344879104]. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. [httpshttps://twitter.com/oaklandrootssc/status/1199190312331051010 httpshttps://twitter.com/oaklandrootssc/status/1199190312331051010]. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. https://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/oakland-roots-draw-big-crowds-show-town-pride/Content?oid=27545466. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. https://oaklandrootssc.com/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. https://twitter.com/RootsOakland. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. "Oakland Roots SC Roster". Retrieved August 4, 2019.

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