Oakland Roots Aiming to Begin Play in 2019

Oakland Roots

Staffing and branding details have been announced for the Oakland Roots, an organization led by Benno Nagel that is working on a 2019 team launch. 

Nagel, whose background includes an assistant coaching position with Rayo OKC (NASL) in 2016, has been leading a push to bring a higher level of soccer to Oakland. That effort was continuing earlier this year, though Nagel was still working to resolve some major details, including finding a league for the prospective club.

More concrete information on the club is emerging, including branding for the Oakland Roots, along with the announcement of several key front office staffing appointments. Nagel, a co-founder, will serve as president and director of soccer. The league in which the club will compete remains to be announced, but the Roots are preparing to launch men’s and women’s teams in 2019. More from SFGate:

Oakland Roots rebranded their social media last week and [on Monday] announced the initial front office staff. It includes: Co-founder Edreece Arghandiwal as an advisor for brand development and marketing, Mike Geddes as Senior Vice President of Impact and Social Enterprise, Benjamin Aziz as Senior Adviser on Club Affairs, Tommy Hodul as Press Officer and Director of Fan Engagement, Ezra Gonzalez as Director of Sales and Sponsorship, and Devante Dubose and Hailai Arghandiwal as Club Ambassadors.

The team already has several investors on board and is finalizing an investors group. They plan to launch in the Spring of 2019. It is not yet clear what league the team will play in. Oakland Roots also plans to launch a women’s professional soccer team starting as well in 2019.

“We’re blessed to be officially adding a group of people to our project who collectively possess a very impressive and diverse background in sport, business, social impact and of course, Oakland,” Nagel said in a press statement. “These are folks who have actually been privately involved with the project for quite some time but as we inch closer to our public launch, we wanted to get these names out into the public domain as official Roots members.”

Within that same press release, it was noted that the initial staffing appointments demonstrate “Roots commitment to bringing the highest level possible, of soccer, to Oakland.” Additional staffing appointments are expected to take place over the coming weeks.

It should be noted that there is a separate effort taking place to bring a USL club to the region. Walnut Creek-based developer Mark Hall has been pitching an Oakland East Bay USL team, and is currently working to finalize a stadium plan. Hall had previously proposed a new soccer-specific stadium as part of a larger development at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum site, but is now working on a stadium/development effort in Concord.

RELATED STORIES: Oakland Pro Soccer Continues to Seek Club for Oakland

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