The Oakland Roots Season opener is this Saturday, April 1st at Cal State University, Eastbay at 7pm
by JR Valrey, the Minister of Information and Editor in Chief of the San Francisco Bay View newspaper
One of the first things that struck me when I started traveling internationally was how big soccer was on the world stage. People from countries all over the world including in Latin America, Africa, Europe and Western Asia take great pride in the soccer teams that represent their region as can be seen in the international media with how crazy the world goes during World Cup Season.
In 2018 the Oakland Roots Soccer Club was formed. In the Fall of 2019, they began to play in the National Independent Soccer Association. In 2021, the Oakland Roots Soccer Club began to play in the USL Championship, the second division of professional soccer in the United States. The season consists of 34 games from March to October that are played on the Laney College field or a nearby field. The Oakland Roots Soccer Club also plays on the road.
I was interested, like many Bay Area residents, in what the Oakland Roots Soccer Club is about. I wanted to talk to somebody high ranking within the executive body of the club that is Black to come talk to the Black media. This is the first time that the Oakland Roots Soccer Club has been in the pages of the San Francisco Bay View, but it most likely will not be the last. Tap in with Oakland Roots Soccer Club Technical Operations Director Jordan Ferrell to get updated on Oakland’s first pro soccer team.
JR Valrey: Can you tell the people what exactly is it that you do for the Oakland Roots? What does your job consist of?
Jordan Ferrell: I oversee all technical operations on the football side of things. The key elements are technical operations, recruitment, coaching and scouting for all three teams: Oakland Roots, Oakland Soul and Project 51O, our development team.
JR Valrey: What was your job in professional soccer prior to being the technical director?
Jordan Ferrell: I was the assistant coach for Oakland Roots in 2019 and became the head coach in 2020 before stepping into the technical director role for the last three years. In 2021 I was both head coach and technical director.
JR Valrey: What makes this year’s Oakland Roots a unique team from your perspective? What makes you want to stay and be a part of the team that is building the Oakland Roots into a powerhouse soccer club?
Jordan Ferrell: Oakland Roots align with me closely and my personal values as a person and a leader. Oakland is a city at the forefront of many social movements and the purpose of the club is to use sports as a power for social good. This is something I want to be a part of for a long time. To be able to help build a club from day one, and continue to build out the entire technical department is something that is special to me.
JR Valrey: What made the Oakland Roots organization add a women’s team this year?
Jordan Ferrell: A women’s team is something that was discussed by the co-founders from the start. Women and women in sports are often at the forefront when it comes to social justice and social movements. It was only a matter of when not if for adding Oakland Soul to Oakland Roots in the Bay Area where women’s sports are very popular and feature deep talent pools.
JR Valrey: In your opinion, what makes a good soccer player? What makes a good coach?
Jordan Ferrell: Wow, that’s a loaded question. Someone who is able to be creative and think on their feet. A top player can take in information and sees the field very quickly. A good coach is someone who can pull those qualities out of a player in an effective manner.
JR Valrey: How could people get more information about the Oakland Roots 2023 season?
Jordan Ferrell: Head to oaklandtootssc.com or follow us on Social Media.
JR Valrey, The People’s Minister of Information, is the Editor in Chief of the SF Bay View. He is also the instructor for The Community Journalism Program which is funded by the California State Library.