The season opener was down the I-880 south, to familiar Real San Jose's home turf, in the confines of PAL Stadium.
Stompers started quickly as they did in the preseason contest versus RSJ. Newly acquired, James Huffer, who played for the Broncos at near by Santa Clara University, put Oakland out in front 1-0, in the 3rd minute. The assist was credited to MF Sohrob Rashid, who placed a through ball for Huffer to knock home.
Second half substitute Arnulfo "PJ" Garcia scored in his return to the club in the 63rd minute. Garcia's goal was assisted by James Huffer. Huffer headed the ball over the RSJ defender, as PJ ran around and shot. The ball had just enough on it to cross the line before the defender cleared it out. The line judged was well positioned to see the entire full ball cross the goal line and signaled for the Stompers goal.
The Stompers would hold on to the 2-0 lead until 2nd half stoppage time, where Real SJ's striker, Guillermo Plancarte would cut the lead to 2-1. Immediately after the goal the referee blew the whistle for full time.
Next Game: Saturday, May 8th, @ Karl Nordvik Park (Ardenwood Blvd & Commerce Drive, Fremont, CA 94555), vs. Nor Cal Rush.
Oakland Stomper coach Billy Forte had time to answer a few questions regarding his club and the COVID shut down.
What is your team doing during the COVID shut down?
Forte: The Stompers players and I are in communication, they are working out on their own in isolation. We have kicked around the idea of some group personal fitness ideas with a new fitness trainer that wants to join the club but we all decided to hold off on that until things are a little safer.
The "normal" preseason for the NSL begins August 1st with the season beginning in early September. How are you planning to build your team for the coming NSL season?
Forte: To be honest we have solid roster. There is a handful of players that were on injured reserve that have now healed. Various former players have reached out with interest of rejoining the club.
What are your roster needs at this time?
Forte: We have depth all over except goalkeeper. Our starter is solid but it is good when you can have multiple starting caliber players competing for the spot. We always need new guys who can come in and compete to be a starter or want to come in and develop in to our system over time.
Do you have any comments that you would like fans to hear?
Forte: Yes, expect good things coming from the Oakland Stompers once the virus is defeated! We will be working with a new group in our city, coming in to the NSL, to continue to grow the sport of soccer in the community.