The Dallas Sidekicks put together three of their best quarters thus far in the season, holding off the dominant Monterrey Flash, before choking away a lead in the dying moments.
Entering Saturday’s game, Monterrey sat atop the Western Conference with a perfect 4-0 record. The Sidekicks, meanwhile, were stuck in the basement on 0-3, the worst start of the reincarnated era. In their previous encounter this season, Monterrey demolished the Kicks 14-1.
Fortunately for Dallas, this rematch took place in their home in Allen, for the Sidekicks’ home opener. Yet, before a ball was even kicked, things weren’t quite going to plan. Despite announcing the singing of both the American and Mexican national anthems, the team skipped over the Mexican anthem, much to the confusion and frustration of the Mexican players and fans alike.
The high point of the evening came before the game had even kicked off, with former Texas Rangers left hander, Derek Holland, on hand for the first kick. Holland launched the 60 Feet 6 Foundation to raise funds for research into leukemia, particularly pediatric forms, in addition to helping families with children battling the disease. Tickets purchased for any remaining Sidekicks home game through this link with the promo code 60FT6 will see $2 donated to the 60 Feet 6 Foundation.
The first quarter was marked by aggressive officiating, with the referees calling anything and everything they saw. The constant interruptions in play saw just two goals scored in the opening frame, with the quarter ending tied 1-1. Dallas, despite the frequent stoppages, came out looking better than at any point during their disastrous road trip.
As the referees lightened up in the second quarter, Monterrey took charge, netting two more even strength goals against Dallas to enter halftime with a 3-1 lead. Dallas’s ongoing defensive issues left goalkeeper Juan Gamboa out to dry, but all things considered, still looked decent. Monterrey head coach Luis Jaime Borrego repeatedly exploded at the officials, earning a yellow card to the bench and the threat of expulsion from the referee.
In the second half, the Sidekicks came out swinging, with Luiz Felipe Xavier de Andrade leading the charge, netting two goals and assisting a third to give the Sidekicks the lead. Dallas dominated the third quarter as the referees actually let the teams play, restricting the Flash to just five shots and no goals. Unfortunately, though, a blue card for pushing to Dallas’ Ray Aguayo after the 3rd quarter siren meant Dallas would be entering the 4th shorthanded.
Monterrey made quick work of their power play advantage, drawing level less than 90 seconds into the final frame. Dallas looked shaken and unable to handle a renewed energy from the Flash, conceding again early in the 4th as Monterrey retook the lead.
Dallas and Monterrey traded goals as the referees reverted to calling everything, and with less than 6 minutes remaining, Monterrey led 6-5 as Dallas moved to a 6th attacker. Pulling Gamboa proved disastrous, as the Kicks quickly conceded twice without a keeper, yet head coach Simon Bozas seemed reluctant to put Gamboa back on. A single 6-on-5 goal from Gustavo Piedra proved to be the only benefit to the 6th attacker the Kicks would see, inching back to trailing by 2, but Monterrey added two more without Gamboa on the field to win 10-6.
The loss leaves Dallas even further in the hole on an 0-4 record, their worst start since the 2015-16 season, coinciding with the beginning of Simon Bozas’s record as head coach. Dallas joins Rochester and Orlando in the 0-4 club, and is the only team in the West without a win after two or more games.
As it stands, the Sidekicks don’t look equipped to move out of last place, let alone contend for the postseason, although at least they’ll play the next three games at home.
The Sidekicks return next Sunday, December 22, where they’ll host the Kansas City Comets in their first cross-conference game of the season.