The Dallas Sidekicks have already begun their 2020-2021 Major Arena Soccer League campaign, an abbreviated season featuring a smaller slate of teams. 11 teams will contest a campaign of between 12 and 24 games -pending restrictions and availability – in a single table.
This year’s Kicks side comprises a mix of returning names, a few faces from the Outlaws (who are on hiatus this season), a handful of new names, and even a few rookies. So in many ways, it’s much in line with previous Sidekicks rosters.
Returning from last season, we find Freddy Moojen, Lipe Andrade, Felipe de Sousa, Arthur Ivo, Gustavo Piedra, TJ Nelson, Josh Hernandez, Diego Burato, Ricardinho, Anthony Powell, Dario Joya, Jonathan Segura, Victor Almendariz, Kristian Quintana, Raul De La Gala, Fernando Garza, and goalkeeper Juan Gamboa.
Joining the sidekicks, we have Oscar Romero (formerly of North Texas SC), Brian Rodriguez (rookie), Julio Varela (from Turlock), Scott Doney (from USL2 Grand Rapids), David Ortiz (from the FCD Academy), Mike Jones (from Mesquite, former Sidekicks player), and Sanaldo Carvalho (from Turlock).
Keeping the primary core intact has been a struggle in recent years for the Sidekicks, so seeing this many players coming back is actually a good sign of change. The additions from elsewhere are either guys with local experience, other MASL experience, or are just solid soccer players.
The Sidekicks kicked off with the Central Cup, a 4-team tournament featuring the MASL’s St. Louis Ambush and Kansas City Comets, and MASL2’s Wichita Wings. The Kicks ultimately finished 2nd with a 2-1 record after wins over St. Louis and Wichita and a loss to Kansas City.
The regular season began on January 2, with Dallas hosting Kansas City. Despite taking a 3-0 lead in the first quarter – thanks to a Felipe de Sousa hat trick – the Sidekicks conceded five unanswered goals before halftime and spent the rest of the game trailing. Goals from Moojen and Andrade helped but weren’t ultimately enough as Dallas lost 5-8.
A week later, in another Central Cup rematch, the Sidekicks led nearly the entire first half after an early goal from Andrade. St. Louis scored twice early in the 3rd quarter to take a 3-2 lead, and despite Dallas clawing level twice, the Ambush held on to their narrow lead to win 6-5.
Everything promising about the first two games was absent in their first road game of the year against the Florida Tropics. From the beginning, Florida’s defense choked the Sidekicks attack, with goalkeeper Hugo Silva taking care of the rest. This gave Florida’s Victor Parreiras and Guilherme dos Santos all the space they needed to dominate.
Taking a 1-0 lead to halftime, Florida came out swinging in the 3rd quarter, stretching their lead to 4-0. Another 4 goals in the 4th, 3 against an empty Sidekicks goal, extended the lead to a clean 8-0.
The Sidekicks now sit in last place in the single table standings, although 7 of the 11 teams have yet to play their first game.
Dallas has also confirmed their schedule through the end of February.
- Sunday, January 31 vs San Diego
- Saturday, February 6 vs Tacoma
- Friday, February 12 vs Florida
- Friday, February 19 @ Kansas City
- Sunday, February 21 @ Kansas City
All Sidekicks home games this season are broadcast on TXA21, with all road games part of the MASL pay-per-view streaming via Facebook.