Dallas Sidekicks Dominant in Win Over Brownsville Barracudas
What a difference three weeks can make. The Dallas Sidekicks opened their 2014-15 season with a 13-4 loss against the defending MISL champion Missouri Comets back on October 25th. But, the Sidekicks team that played Saturday night looked like a completely different group as they dominated the Brownsville Barracudas 14-2 at home. The win was made even more special as the Sidekicks honored the United States Armed Services and wore camouflage uniforms to celebrate Veteran’s Day at the Allen Event Center.
Newly acquired forward Freddy Moojen made his Dallas Sidekicks Major Arena Soccer League debut having suffered an injury in preseason. He started off the scoring barrage with an early goal in the first quarter set up by forward Jamie Lovegrove who fed Freddy the ball from the left side. Moojen’s impact on the Sidekicks was felt as he led all players with three goals and eleven shots. I asked the seven year indoor soccer veteran and former 2007 MISL Rookie of the Year about his season opener and he said,
“I felt good after going through all the treatment. It felt great to come back and help the team get the win, which is the most important thing.” Moojen continued, “I pride myself on scoring goals, but I also know I have a responsibility to come back and help the team with defense.”
While Moojen’s hat trick was impressive, the Sidekicks displayed a balanced attack as nine different players scored and notched assists. Dallas scored 9 of their 14 goals in the first half. With head coach Tatu out of town on personal business, former Sidekick four time champion Mike Powers returned as an Assistant Coach. Powers said of Moojen’s early goal and the team’s high scoring first half,
“Moojen’s a goal scorer and we’re excited about having him here in Dallas. It was a great start to the game,” said Powers. “We had some really good chances early, which we didn’t capitalize on and let them get two scores. But, then we found our groove and we got a couple of really nice goals which set the tone for the rest of the game.”
One notable difference in the win against the Barracudas versus previous contest was that the Sidekicks maintained possession of the ball for long stretches throughout the game. Powers said of his team’s possession strategy, “We wanted to try to keep possession as much as we could. It’s a new team, so the more games they play they’ll develop better chemistry. They created a lot of good openings in the beginning by holding the ball, so definitely possession was important.”
On the possession side of the ball, one player who really stood out was forward Carlos Videla. The third year Sidekick has a mauling post-up move where he turns his back to the goal at the top of the goalie box, fights off defenders, then distributes the ball to his
teammates. Carlos said of his ability to keep defenders at bay,
“I’ve really practiced that a lot in our training sessions. We have a drill where we hold the ball and the players run at us with speed and
we have to distribute. The coaches have encouraged me recently saying that I do a good job posting up.”
Videla also executed the most beautiful assist at 12:16 in the second quarter of the game when he streaked down the right side of the
field while midfielder Angel Rivillo carried the ball straight up the middle. Videla used his size to create space, accepted Rivillo’s pass, and fed it back to him in perfect position for the one-timer goal. Videla said of his assist,
“It’s funny because previously in the game Angel was on me saying I needed to hold on to the ball a little longer to let him make his run.” Carlos laughed, “He (Videla) told me after that goal that I made up for my previous mistake. I actually enjoy assisting more than scoring, so I was happy with the play.”
The Sidekicks had no problem scoring goals Saturday night, and they may be getting even more scoring power back in the near future as forward Nestor Hernandez who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in the offseason told me he is hoping for his December return to play. Hernandez warmed up with the team before they faced Brownsville and he seemed to be moving well.
Dallas travels next weekend to Tulsa first on Saturday November 22nd then to Wichita on Sunday November 23rd for a back-to-back pair of games against the Revolution and B-52s respectively. The Sidekicks come back home to the Allen Event Center on Saturday, Dec 6 when they host the Hidalgo La Fiera at 7 p.m.
Follow Matt Thornton on Twitter: @MattsCowboys