Oakland Roots Sports Club has entered in a partnership with Oakland based men’s team, Oakland Leopards, to field a Reserve side for Roots to begin in the Fall of 2018. The Oakland Leopards currently compete in the San Francisco Soccer Football League (SFSFL), which having been founded in 1902 is the oldest soccer league operating in continuous existence in the history of the US. “We’re ecstatic about this partnership to join with the Oakland Leopards to further the development opportunities for aspiring senior age players in Oakland,” said Benno Nagel, Club President and Director of Soccer. “The SFSFL provides a very competitive level of play which will provide younger players in our setup with a tremendous development environment as well as help more senior guys within the squad to have a place to get minutes, if needed, or to work towards regaining full fitness if recovering from an injury.”
The Leopards, led by local Oakland soccer coach Edward Stephen, we’re founded in 1998 and have along the way helped countless Oakland players to strive for their highest potential both on and off the field. The Leopards most recently returned from an international trip to London, in which they competed against several lower league sides in the surrounding area, featured here. “When you look at what Edward has done within the community and what he has committed with his time and energy to the players he’s had under him, it’s beyond inspiring. He’s had players in who have gone on to professional trials within USL, he’s helped guys get to college or have a place to play in the offseason and most importantly, he has and continues to have a commitment to finding young players and giving them exposure and opportunities to the game at the senior level. We’re blessed to be bringing Oakland Leopards and their community into this project.”
With a league announcement still looming for the newly launched Oakland Roots, the addition of Oakland Leopards additionally provides a present environment within which the club can begin to assess and evaluate local players. While the Leopards SFSFL season is reaching its conclusion, it will be fielding a team in the East Bay based, Bay Area Adult Soccer League (BAASL) during the Fall of 2018. “Obviously, having a Fall league to bring in and look at local players is key for us. We have made no secret about our plans and ambition as a pro club, but it will always be a club built around a core group of local talent. This allows us to use the Fall period, as well as through a few other player identification avenues we will be announcing, to really start building our presence within the player community.” Stay tuned for upcoming announcements relating to this partnership and Oakland Roots in general as they gear up for an exciting Fall period.