New Oakland Roots SC signing Tarek Morad has made 136 appearances in the Championship, most recently with San Diego Loyal SC in the 2020 season. | Photo courtesy San Diego Loyal SC
OAKLAND, Calif. – Oakland Roots SC announced on Monday it had signed veteran defender Tarek Morad as it continued to build its roster for the club’s first season in the USL Championship in 2021. The signing is pending league and federation approval.
A native of Los Angeles, Morad brings the experience of 136 regular-season appearances in the Championship – and 10 more in the Championship Playoffs – to his new club. The 28-year-old claimed the USL Championship Final in 2017 with Louisville City FC and has also competed for OKC Energy FC, the Tampa Bay Rowdies and San Diego Loyal SC during his career.
Following his title season with Louisville – where he was one of the club’s signings for its inaugural season in 2015 – Morad looked overseas for his next challenge. His attempts to find a path forward in Egypt – the homeland of his parents – didn’t produce the results he had hoped for, but also provided lessons he could carry forward before joining the Rowdies during the 2018 season.
“After months of difficulties and ultimately unsuccessful trials, I left Egypt with something more valuable than a footballing experience,” Morad wrote in an open letter on Roots’ website. “I found something unintentionally when I set foot on my ancestral homeland. I realized my unconscious desire to reconnect with my identity; my ethnicity, my culture, and my heritage. My footballing journey to Cairo culminated with a journey of self-discovery.
“Football has given me my first steps as a baby. Football has taken me to see parts of the world that exist in people’s dreams. Football has taught me countless invaluable life lessons and has given me so much… but, it doesn’t define who I am.”
Morad has recorded more than 11,000 minutes of action in the Championship’s regular season for his career, while recording four goals and four assists.