Oakland Roots SC vs. San Diego Loyal SC
Laney College Field — Oakland, California
Kickoff is 7 p.m Saturday, September 11
The San Diego Loyal travel to the bay for the first time to take on the up-and-coming Oakland Roots SC.
There are just 10 games left in the season. Every single one of them will matter if the Loyal want to make the playoffs.
Four of the 10 will be at home at Torero Stadium, where they are (7-4-1). Overall, they are (10-9-3) with 33 points which is good for second place in the Pacific Division.
The Loyal currently has the third-highest points in the entire Western Conference, behind Phoenix Rising (44) and El Paso Locomotive FC (42).
The Oakland Roots (6-9-5) sit in sixth place with 23 points.
Last Time Out
The Loyal continue to play well at home in San Diego. The Loyal connected with four goals in the 4-2 win over LA Galaxy II.
Newly signed Augustine Williams from MLS side LA Galaxy scored his third goal (11′) in two straight starts for SD. Corey Hertzog scored two goals (65′, 86′) to ultimately win the match for the Loyal. Tumi Moshobane did score his eighth of the season in the 79th minute.
Hertzog was named to the USL Championship’s Team of the Week after his two-goal outing.
Tied for second place in the league’s all-time regular season scoring list 🥈@SanDiegoLoyal forward @Hertzog_Corey‘s landmark two-goal performance earns him Player of the Week honors for Week 20! pic.twitter.com/ZZjkZsOMSX
— USL Championship (@USLChampionship) September 7, 2021
Hertzog is now the third player in Loyal history to be named to the Team of the Week. If Hertzog scores one more goal, he’ll put himself in sole possession of second in all-time USL goals. The first acquisition of the offseason continues to impress every week.
What to Expect in Saturday’s Matchup
In their first-ever meeting back on June 29, the Loyal defeated the Roots 1-0 at Torero Stadium. These two squads will meet three more times during the Loyal’s final 10-game stretch.
Oakland is playing very well right now, winning in four of their last five matches. They didn’t start too well, but their best play has been in the last few weeks, which means more than it seems. Oakland is in a similar situation as the Loyal when it comes to how their season started, but what matters is how it’s finished. The Roots are figuring out their rhythm and finding ways to score as the season winds down.
This is a big match for the Loyal, as every single one of them will be. The Loyal has a chance to add three more points and extend their second-place lead to five, depending on other team’s results. Orange County (31 points) will host Las Vegas at the same time as the Loyal play. If Vegas can pull off the upset against OC, then the Loyal put themselves into more of a comfortable position for the time being.
Building on our momentum.
Pushing towards the playoffs.
— San Diego Loyal (@SanDiegoLoyal) September 10, 2021
Expect Manager Landon Donovan to issue a similar formation as he did against LA, starting his best goal scorers. SD has proven to get out to the early lead in previous matches and will look to repeat against Oakland. If the Loyal can get out to an early one or two-score advantage, then it should be smooth sailing from there.