It’s cold outside, the MLS season has come to a close, and with that, it’s time to take our collective ball and go inside. Yes, that’s right, once again, it’s Sidekicks Soccer Season in America!
The Dallas Sidekicks enter the 2022-23 season with a significant degree of optimism. Last season, Dallas kicked off on a high note, with the departure of Simon Bozas and the hiring of Pablo Da Silva as Head Coach.
Things didn’t quite go as expected, with Da Silva losing three games to start the season and then losing his job, but interim skipper Ricardinho Cavalcante stepped up and went 12-9 to finish the season. Dallas finished 6th overall and made the playoffs on merit for the first time since the 14-15 season, and Ricardinho secured a permanent position.
Dallas may have gotten eliminated in the playoff quarterfinals by Kansas City, but the Sidekicks made things far more interesting than expected, forcing a fifteen-minute overtime in which they lost 3-1.
Ahead of the upcoming season, Dallas is looking well-equipped to pick up right where they left off, with a sense of momentum the team hasn’t seen in years.
Carrying that momentum is a slew of returning stars and starters, with 16 Sidekicks re-signing for the upcoming season.
Leading the returning core is Batman himself, Jamie Lovegrove, who led the Sidekicks in points last season with 18 goals and 19 assists. Joining him up front are former FC Dallas Homeegrown forward Bradlee Baladez who scored 14 goals with 2 assists, Gustavo Piedra who had 4 goals and 8 assists, and both Felipes De Sousa and Silva who both had 10 points on the season.
Defensively, Dallas has brought back their long-standing core of Cameron Brown, Cody Ellis, and Mike Jones, the trio that’s anchored the back line since the Tatu era. They’ll line up alongside veteran defender Kristian Quintana and last year’s debutante defenders Rio Ramirez and Christian Vazquez.
Rounding off the returning field players, super sub Anthony Powell and North Texas SC alumnus Oscar Romero are both back to add even more depth to the roster.
In goal, all three keepers from last season’s squad are back for more. Juan Gamboa, last season’s league leader in saves with 264, returns for his 7th season with the Sidekicks. Gamboa has ranked among the league’s best for nearly a decade and shows no sign of slowing down. Backing him up is the same tandem, former FC Dallas Academy prospect Estevan Vazquez and Solar SC alumnus Chase Coy.
Dallas has signed two new players to their first professional indoor contracts. Renato Torquato, originally from Brazil comes to Dallas from Latvia’s SK Super Nova. Before that, he previously played for the Laredo Heat in the NPSL and for Bodens BK in Sweden.
The big signing, the biggest in years for the Sidekicks, is the return of the Super Ratón, Blas Perez.
Perez played 103 games for FC Dallas from 2012 through 2015, scoring 43 goals, making him the team’s all-time 3rd best goalscorer. Across an illustrious 21-year career, he also scored 42 goals in 122 appearances for Panama, won two club titles in Colombia, and played for some of the top teams from Mexico down to Uruguay, to Spain, Dubai, and a stint in Canada with the Whitecaps.
The Dallas Sidekicks kick off their season at home on Saturday, December 10, hosting the Chihuahua Savage, and continues across 24 games through April.