Photo courtesy Oakland Roots SC
OAKLAND, Calif. – Oakland Roots SC announced this weekend the club had signed veteran defender Emrah Klimenta for the 2021 USL Championship season as the club prepares for its visit to face Orange County SC on Saturday night at Championship Soccer Stadium.
Klimenta has deep roots in Oakland and the East Bay, having first moved to the city of Oakland with his family upon emigrating from Montenegro. His family currently resides in the East Bay. The 30-year-old joined the professional ranks in the Championship in 2014 when he signed with Sacramento Republic FC for its inaugural season, and helped the side claim the 2014 Championship Final in a victory against the Harrisburg City Islanders.
Klimenta made 91 appeararances for Republic FC through the 2017 season, and then after signing with Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy ahead of the 2018 season made two appearances in the top flight as well as a pair of appearances for the LA Galaxy II on loan in the Championship. He returned to Sacramento midway through that campaign and surpassed 100 appearances for Republic FC, recording nine goals and seven assists for the club.
While at Sacramento, Klimenta also earned his first call-up to the Montenegro Men’s National Team and made a total of seven appearances for his native country, including a pair of appearances in 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying.
Two years ago, Klimenta joined Reno 1868 FC and made 18 appearances while helping the side reach the 2019 USL Championship Playoffs before last year linking up with San Diego Loyal SC, where he made 12 appearances in the club’s inaugural season. Overall, Klimenta has made 134 appearances in the Championship, experience he will now be looking to bring to Roots as it navigates its first season in the league this year.