TUESDAY: SD Loyal returns home to host Oakland Roots. It is the first of five-straight home matches. The Pacific Division match is slated to be broadcasted on Fox 5 San Diego and on Azteca 33 in Spanish. This match will also be broadcasted on SiriusXM FC, Channel 157.
SD Loyal manager Landon Donovan gave his team a list of things to try and accomplish this past weekend. Get a set piece goal. Get a shutout. Get a road win.
Donovan’s squad was able to accomplish one of those but it was the most important, a 2-1 road win against Las Vegas Lights on June 25. The other two things on the list will have to come later. Donovan is hoping those can come this week as his team heads into a pair of home matches this week starting with Tuesday night’s affair against Oakland Roots SC. The first road win came while SD Loyal rides a wave of earning points. It has not lost in six matches as it moved its way into a tie for second place (third after tiebreakers) in the Pacific Division Standings after starting the season 0-4.
“It’s a long week but we have a lot of depth now,” Donovan said. “The last time we had a three game week we had 21 guys for us and we picked up five points that week. It was a successful week and we want to do at least that this week. It’s a good start to the week. We don’t know a lot about Oakland. They haven’t played a lot of games but they are a good team. We know some of their players but we just don’t know how well they play. They will be good. Sacramento is another team we don’t know very well. We know their players but we’ll have to watch them (more) to get a better feeling. These are two very good teams coming into San Diego this week so it’s going to be tough.”
Oakland Roots has had a rough start to its USL Championship inaugural season. It began slowly with four matches where it won one on the road, a 3-2 victory against LA Galaxy II. Then it had to reschedule its first ever home match after the league determined hours before kickoff that the field was not up to league standards. The sod at Laney College Football stadium was not ready. Instead, Oakland Roots had to wait to play that match and had to play its next home match on the 2021 schedule at Las Positas College in Livermore, Calif. in a closed door event.
Oakland is coming off a scoreless draw against Austin FC. It went into that match looking for its second win after a loss to Orange County SC two weeks ago. Oakland controlled possession in that match but could not find the net. Oakland also finds itself in last place in the Pacific Division standings with a couple matches in hand. The Roots will come into Torero Stadium with two familiar faces, Defenders Emrah Klimenta and Tarek Morad both played with SD Loyal during the inaugural 2020 season.
Donovan hopes his team can capitalize on the opportunity to earn points at home in front of its fans.
“So far the crowd, I would say, in all three of our home matches has helped us win the game,” Donovan said. “Chavos, The Locals, Rainbow Loyal fans and all Loyal fans have helped push us over the edge, I think. Now with the stadium open to full capacity, growing and growing with bigger crowds, more people are noticing in the San Diego market. It’s great to have that and it gives our players something to push them. We want to make Torero (Stadium) a hard place to come play and I think we’ve done that.