By Oakland Roots SC
Oakland Roots have added a second team that will compete in the National Premier
Soccer League (NPSL) starting in the 2020 season.
The second team will be named Project 51O. A project is “an individual or collaborative
enterprise that is carefully planned and designed to achieve a particular aim.” For
Roots, the aim is to help develop soccer and promote culture in the 51O.
The concept of this team is based on Project 40, a Nike-sponsored program from 1997-
2005. Project 40 sought to develop the U.S. national team player pool, and helped
future stars Tim Howard, Demarcus Beasley, and Carlos Bocanegra grow during the
early stages of their soccer careers. Project 51O will mirror parts of that development
program, but with a community-based twist.
“Rather than focusing resources to simply build better soccer players, our goal with
Project 51O is to elevate soccer throughout the East Bay by building a community
team,” said Roots President Benno Nagel. “We want our entire organization to reflect
this community, and that means investing in a development program that gives more
local players competitive opportunity. We see Project 51O as another outlet for local
soccer players to continue their careers, with an eye toward creating a community-built
professional soccer team in Oakland Roots.”
The 2020 NPSL schedule will be announced at a later date. The league will run from
the end of February through June with the possibility of playoffs in July and August.
The league maintains strict rules of amateurism, allowing for the opportunity for college
players to participate. Project 51O’s home venue will be announced at a later date.
“We are thrilled to have Project 51O and Oakland Roots as part of the NPSL,” said
NPSL Managing Director Cindy Spera. “Their community-driven model and exceptional
branding are the perfect fit for our league. We share the same passion for growing the
beautiful game and will work together to inspire our communities on and off the pitch.”
About Oakland Roots Sports Club:
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.
Photo Credit: Oakland Roots SC