Oakland Roots add several NPSL veterans to their squad
Oakland Roots is pleased to announce the signings of Armando Castro, Kevin Gonzales, Bengy Ruiz and Jesus Maldonado. All four players will be available for Oakland Roots development partner Oakland Leopards US Open Cup campaign. “These players add significant value to our roster,” said Club President and Director of Soccer, Benno Nagel. “All are proven players at the NPSL level and further strengthen our push to establish a group of players capable of representing Oakland at a high level of soccer.”
Armando Castro is another local product to join Oakland Roots. Having grown up in Hayward, Armando attended City College of SF where he helped guide the team to the State finals before moving on to Holy Names University (Oakland, CA) to conclude his college career. Armando has played two seasons in the NPSL, with Napa Valley 1829 FC and CD Aguiluchos USA. "Armando is a very versatile player who can cover a lot of different positions in a game depending on the tactical needs of the team. His best position is probably at right back, but he can also play centrally, especially in a 3 central defender system, or also in the central midfield as more of a deep lying player. He's a player who has a lot of desire still left in his tank and we're excited to add someone of his mindset to our project."
The signing of Kevin Gonzales brings an experienced and talented net minder to defend the Oakland Roots goal. After a standout junior college career at City College of San Francisco, Kevin Gonzales played two seasons at Holy Names University (Oakland, CA) before joining local NPSL side CD Aguiluchos USA. During his time with Aguiluchos, Keving anchored a defense that was of the top in the nation and helped to guide the team to the 2017 NPSL final four championships. "Kevin and I initially connected while playing together at El Farolito and have remained in contact ever since. He's a player with amazing experience, having been a member of one of the top NPSL teams in the country over the last two seasons. As a goalkeeper, his ability to make close reactions saves really helps him standout. His additional ability to play with his feet will help to put a stamp on how we want to develop our attack involving all 11 field players. Lastly, his past experience in the US Open Cup, playing against USL side Sacramento Republic, gives us full confidence that Kevin is someone we can count on between the pipes for us with Oakland Roots."
Bengy Ruiz comes to Oakland by way of Marin County where he was born and raised. Ruiz is another Aguiluchos player to make his way to Roots through CD Aguiluchos USA who have been one of the top performing NPSL sides nationally over the last 4 years. His addition adds another player who’s experience at the top semiprofessional level will bring tremendous value to Roots as they look to quickly assemble a roster capable of meeting high performance goals on the field. “Bengy is a unique player in that he has the ability to win tackles but isn’t someone you think of as a “destroyer” type center back. He’s very calm on the ball and his composure will provide us with a player who we know can execute our game model. His experience with Aguiluchos speaks volumes to the type of roster we’ve built.”
Jesus Maldonado is the latest player from Aguiluchos to make the move to Oakland Roots. Maldonado, who plays primarily as a forward, bring versatility to the Roots roster through being able to be deployed as a wide player or an attacking midfielder. “Pesca can give us a lot of different looks. He lacks the pace that you might expect from an out and out winger but he is deceptively fast and is probably best set up centrally to play underneath a target player. He’s been playing with Edward Stephen of Leopards this past SFSFL season and has scored some cracking goals. With the options we have up top, Pesca will bring a lot of competition to that group.”
Please join us in welcoming Armando, Kevin, Bengy and Pesca (Jesus) 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.