Oakland Roots signs former NCAA Division 1 standouts from University of Pacific Men’s Soccer

Oakland Roots has added former University of Pacific (Stockton, Ca) men’s soccer standouts Andres Ochoa and Jamie Bent, along with Kalei Gallarde and Oakland’s own, Julio Cervantes.  Both Ochoa and Bent will be available for Oakland’s Roots development partner, Oakland Leopards, for their US Open Cup campaign. Gallarde and Cervantes will unfortunately miss out on the Cup due to injury but are very much in the clubs plans for the spring period.  “We’re really excited to have brought in several players from one of the preeminent up and coming NCAA Division 1 programs in the nation.  This is a group of guys who literally built the Pacific program from scratch and helped them to secure one of the best turnarounds in NCAA soccer history,” said Benno Nagel, Club President and Director of Soccer.  “Andres captained Pacific during his time there, and has spent time in a professional environment with the Portland Timbers U23’s of the PDL. His past role as a team captain checks a lot of boxes for us.  He’s a leader on the field and outside of that, adds a lot of class to the side given his skillset as a holding midfielder.  He has the size and physical presence to win balls but also possesses the quality on the ball to facilitate our buildup and help us to advance the ball into dangerous areas.”  Ochoa was a standout at Archbishop Mitty High school in San Jose, winning WCAL Player of the Year honors along with 5 state championships at the youth level with Santa Clara Sporting.    

Andres Ochoa

Andres Ochoa

Another Pacific men’s soccer mainstay, Jamie Bent, makes his way to Oakland from his hometown of West Hills, Ca where he was a two year captain with Chaminade College Prep. “Jamie is a guy who can play in a few different positions for us,” said Nagel. “He has the ability to play as a central defender, although his best position is probably as an outside fullback.  He possesses tremendous pace and is a player with the fitness level to consistently join the attack for the duration of a 90 minute match.”  

Just missing out, due to injury, on the Leopards Open Cup roster we’re fellow Pacific standouts Kalei Gallarde and Oakland’s own, Julio Cervantes.  Kalei Gallrde spent two seasons with Pacific contributing as both an outside back and midfielder.  “Kalei unfortunately came in with a hamstring issue which made his prognosis on a full recovery in time for our opening match a question.  He is someone you will be seeing in an Oakland Roots jersey moving forward and it was a really bummer for him to miss out on this first go around.” 

Julio Cervantes, a former college standout at Merritt College in Oakland, spent three years with Pacific, earning WCC 1stteam and All-Far West regional 1stteam honors during his breakout senior year where he scored 9 goals and added 3 assists.  “Julio and I go back quite a number of years having played together at El Faroito.  He is someone who exemplifies the type of young person we are hoping to help develop in Oakland.  He was unlucky to have a minor knee surgery earlier this Fall which he is still rehabilitating from and which prevented him from joining in for the Cup.  Julio will be a vital part of what we’re building here in Oakland, and is someone who in the right environment, has the tools to advance himself to a professional level sooner rather than later.”  

Please join us in welcoming Andres Ochoa, Jamie Bent, Kalei Gallarde and Julio Cervantes to the Oakland Roots family!

About Oakland Roots:

The Oakland Roots are a recently launched sports club in Oakland committed to bringing professional soccer to the Town.  More than just a club, more than just soccer.  Oakland Roots Sports Club, referred to as "Oakland Roots" seeks to harness the magic of Oakland and the beautiful game of soccer as a force for social good.  Whether on the field, in the stands or within the community, Oakland Roots will represent our wonderful city with passion, pride and commitment to all things Oakland. Player by player, fan by fan, resident by resident.  One day at a time, one game at a time; this is about Oakland first, always.  

For the Fall of 2018, Oakland Roots has entered its reserve side, Oakland Leopards, into the Fall Qualifying Rounds of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.  Stay tuned about our brand and club launch this and follow us online at www.oaklandrootssc.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter.