In the first meeting between the Dallas Sidekicks and the expansion Mesquite Outlaws, it was the newcomers who had the experience and depth, outpacing the Sidekicks in multiple phases of the game. Between early set-piece success, quality and quantity of players and key performances from indoor veterans to players like Anthony Powell, the Outlaws took the victory with a 7-5 win.
Dallas actually scored first, through one of its most veteran players as Cameron Brown scored 1:25 into the game. Billy O’Dwyer forced the action deep in Mesquite’s end and his effort resulted in an easy chip for the former Solar Soccer Club player.
But Mesquite scored just under four minutes later on a set piece to tie the game and then took the lead for good at the 13:30 minute mark. The first goal was from Jorge DeLeon after a nifty feed from former FC Dallas and Honduran national team midfielder, Ramon Nunez, on the right side of the goal that DeLeon blasted into the top of the net.
DeLeon also scored the second goal off of a set-piece, this time from Jamie Lovegrove. The second Outlaw’s goal was from a central set piece that Lovegrove played wide right for DeLeon to hit. This time the shot was not as clean as it hit a Sidekicks defender, but the ball then bounced over Juan Gamboa and into the goal.
The Outlaws would score twice more through the efforts of Anthony Powell, Jamie Lovegrove, and Shaun David before Cameron Brown would tally again for Dallas to give the game a 4-2 score going into halftime. The teams traded goals the rest of the way for the final result, with Mitchell Cardenas, Clark Binning, and VcMore Eligwe scoring for Mesquite and Arthur Ivo, Ray Aguauo and Luiz Felipe Xavier de Andrade scoring for Dallas.
While the Sidekicks had some success in the second half, it never put the Outlaws into many difficulties. In fact, Mesquite scored the first goal of the third period through Binning from a quality Nunez pass, and the Eligwe goal essentially sealed the game with less than five minutes left. Credit to the Sidekicks for never giving up, but Lovegrove’s goal 3:30 into the second quarter that gave the Outlaws a 3-1 lead essentially ended the match.
It should be noted on Lovegrove’s goal that Powell did the vast majority of the work. Between aggressive dribbling and defensive pressure, Powell put the Dallas defense into a lot of difficulties until he won the ball near the goal and played a pass to an onrushing and unmarked Lovegrove for the tally.
David’s goal was similar to Brown’s in that the goal was the result of forward pressure by another player. In this case, it was Powell who again did the heavy lifting for David’s tally at 10:15 of the second period. If the game wasn’t necessarily over with the Lovegrove goal, the challenge became insurmountable with David’s score.
Mesquite next plays on Wednesday, again at home, and will quickly find out how they compare to some of the better teams in the league as last year’s finalists, the Monterrey Flash, come to face the Outlaws. The Flash are also the next opponent for Dallas, but they play in Mexico on December 2.