Dallas Sidekicks 3 Game Recap

by McKayla MAlloy

January 21, 2022. The Sidekicks travel to Lakeland, Florida to kick off their road trip with a double header against the Florida Tropics. 

Sidekicks' starting goalie, Juan Gamboa, did not travel with the team, leaving backup goaltender Chase Coy between the posts. The twenty-two year old rookie from McKinney, Texas, debuted with nine saves on twenty-four shots on goal, earning him a .375 save percentage.

Down six to nothing in the final minute of the second quarter, the Sidekicks gain possession at midfield on a header out of bounds off a throw-in from Chase Coy. Midfielder, David Ortiz on the ball, passes across to defender Mike Jones, who dribbles into the neutral zone, passes up the far touchline to midfielder Oscar Romero, back to Jones, across to Morales, intercepted, recovered by Romero, he shoots...saved by Silva, but the play continues. Rookie forward, Luiz Morales, plays the rebound, sprints across the box, and shoots it in from the near post. Scoring the first point of the night for the Kicks, and giving the team a boost of momentum. 6-1 Tropics.

Two minutes into the third quarter, Mike Jones gathers the ball around midfield, passes across to David Ortiz on the near side, who dumps it off to Bradlee Baladez at the arc. Baladez tips a give-and-go to Romero, back to Baladez. Goal! 6-2 Tropics.

The Tropics tack on two more points before the Sidekicks respond again. With 2:08 remaining in the third quarter, Kristian Quintana receives the ball on the near touchline and is pressured immediately. Fighting off three Tropics players, Quintana dribbles to the top of the arc, passes off to Lovegrove in the far corner, pitch shot, goal! 8-3 Tropics.

The Tropics answer with another point before a blocked shot out of bounds results in a corner kick restart for the Sidekicks. Lovegrove on the ball, taps to midfielder Sebastian Mendez, who finds the net on a one-timer. 9-4 Tropics. 14:46 left in regulation.

Florida's dominant offensive performance throughout the fourth quarter abates any opportunity for a comeback. The Tropics score six more unanswered goals to end the game 15-4.

#27, Sebastian Mendez, who attended Paul Quinn College and played for Añoranzas FC and Sporting United before signing with the Sidekicks, is awarded Man of the Match honors for his fourth quarter goal. The twenty year old Dallas native now has four goals and an assist on the season.

In game two, the Florida Tropics kick off the scoring six minutes into regulation on a shot from defender Drew Ruggles. Three minutes later, the Sidekicks respond with a goal of their own. Veteran midfielder, Jamie Lovegrove on the restart, passes to Luiz Morales on the far side, he shoots, the ball deflects off Sidekicks' defender Cody Ellis, and it finds the back of the net for Ellis' second goal of the season. Game tied, 1-1.

The Tropics answer with two additional goals. Then, with only six seconds left in the first quarter, Juan Gamboa makes an excellent save from the seat of his pants and clears the ball downfield. Luiz Morales takes possession, dribbles, and boots a long distance left-footer past the diving Tropics netminder, Brett Petricek. 3-2 Tropics.

Petricek and Lovegrove collide on a play late in the first quarter. Clearly shaken up, Petricek continues in goal, but limps off the field as time expires. Hugo Silva is brought in at the start the second quarter to finish out the game in goal. 

The Tropics add two more goals in the second period, and enter the half with a 5-2 lead.

The Sidekicks adjust at halftime and come out in the third quarter refreshed and refocused. With 10:33 remaining the third quarter, Kicks' forward Luiz Morales receives a pass from defender Stephen Gonzales. The Tropics double team Morales, and he tries to force his way between the defenders. Unsuccessful, he spins, shoots, and sends it into the far bottom right corner. 5-3 Tropics.

Morales dribbles up the far touchline to the corner with 05:28 remaining in the third, passes to Felipe Silva at the top of the arc, shoots, scores! 5-4 Tropics.

A Florida power play goal widens their lead to two, before a pushing penalty puts Dallas on the power play. Working with a man advantage, midfielder Gustavo Piedra passes across to Lovegrove on the near side. He dribbles to the yellow line and passes to Varela in the corner. A quick pass sets up Romero in the box, who delivers a roundhouse kick off the boards. Morales gathers the rebound and punches it in from the far side. 6-5 Tropics with 1:39 left in the third.

The Tropics score four goals in the fourth quarter to take a commanding 10-5 lead. Then, with 3:50 remaining in regulation, Mike Jones intercepts a pass from Tropics goaltender Hugo Silva, enters into the attacking zone, shoots, rebounds, shoots, rebounds, and is tripped. The blue card penalty sets up a penalty kick for Lovegrove, who shoots through the final point of the night. 10-6 Tropics.

Penalties proved costly for Dallas. The Sidekicks spent a total of sixteen minutes in the penalty box and went 0-4 on the penalty kill. A solid performance in goal by Juan Gamboa was overshadowed by a sluggish defensive effort. Gamboa saved .655 of the shots against him, but open shots and easy opportunities lead to twenty-nine shots on goal.

Man of the Match honors were presented to #15, Luiz Morales. Morales' three goals and one assist lead the team and earned the 5' 11" Irving native his second hat trick of the season. The twenty-two year old now has fourteen goals and six assists in his young career. He is averaging 1.8 points per game with a .333 scoring percentage. 

The Sidekicks return to Dallas for a week of preparations for their upcoming bout against the division leading Kansas City Comets. On Saturday, January 29, the team travels to the Cable Dahmer Arena in Independence, Missouri. 

Two minutes into the first quarter, the Sidekicks' defense pressures Kansas City in the neutral zone. Stephen Gonzales pokes the ball away from Comets' forward Leo Gibson, who retreats across midfield and manages an errant pass across to Adam James. James plays it off the boards, intending to reset the play with a pass to goalie Lou Misner. But sophomore forward Bradlee Baladez outruns James to the ball and pokes a shot past Misner from beyond the yellow line. Sidekicks lead 1-0.

Leo Gibson, leading goal scorer and head coach of the Kansas City Comets, ties the game with 4:56 remaining in the first quarter. Within a minute, the Sidekicks reclaim their lead. #96, Julio Varela takes the ball away at midfield, passes across to Sebastian Mendez coming off the bench. Mendez plays the ball off the boards, tapping a delicate left footer up the far touchline to Bradlee Baladez. Baladez crosses the yellow line, sets, and delivers a deliberate left-foot strike past the diving Comets' goalkeeper. 2-1 Sidekicks.

The Comets even the score with a late first quarter goal, and take the lead midway through the second. With five minutes remaining in the half, Mike Jones dumps the ball down to Jamie Lovegove in the corner. Lovegrove turns and fires, wide left, off the boards, rebounds, one-timer, off a defender, goal! Dallas and Kansas City enter the half tied at three.

Halftime adjustments definitively favor Kansas City, and the home team secures six consecutive goals throughout the third and fourth quarters. As time winds down, the Comets command a 9-3 lead. Mike Jones gathers the ball at the referee's crease, sprints down the near touchline into the attacking zone and pokes a pass to Felipe Silva in the corner, then up to Lovegrove at the yellow line, back to Silva, to Lovegrove again. Lovegrove shoots, wide left, off the boards for Julio Varela. One-timer from beyond the arc. Goal! 9-4 the final from Missouri.

Baladez's two first quarter goals earned the thirty year old Mesquite native Man of the Match honors, and helped keep the Sidekicks competitive throughout the first half. #88 now has five goals and an assist on the season and boasts a .417 scoring percentage.

The Sidekicks look to rebound this Saturday, as they host the Harrisburg Heat at the Credit Union of Texas Arena in Allen, Texas, for Youth Soccer Night on February 5, 2022.