by Pete Richmire

Allen, Texas (February 12, 2021)– The Dallas Sidekicks lost at home against the Florida Tropics 6-5 in their sixth MASL game of the season. It was a great effort for the home team against arguably the best team in the league in a matchup that included the top two scorers in the league, Ian Bennett of the Tropics and Felipe De Sousa of the Sidekicks. Both would get on the scoreboard in the epic showdown. The Sidekicks' next home game is Saturday, March 20th, 2021 at 7:00PM CT against the San Diego Sockers at the Allen Event Center.

Former FC Dallas star winger Michael Barrios would get things kicked off on a unseasonal freezing day in North Texas with the temperature in the low 20's outside but nice and cozy in the comfortable confines of the Allen Event Center.  Stephen Deroux put the visitors in front with a goal at the 6:41 mark of the first quarter. Felipe De Sousa would get a blue card for boarding with four-and-a-half minutes left in the quarter, creating the man advantage for Florida, but Dallas would not surrender a goal. At the ten-second mark De Sousa would get tripped up on a break away and just miss the goal to the right with Dario Joya there to put in the rebound and level the game at 1-1.

The league's leading scorer, Ian Bennett, would put the Tropics back up a goal with an assist from Victor Parrerias with 11 minutes showing on the clock. Bennett's work in the quarter was just beginning as he would finish off a well designed free kick play in which the ball would find the feet of three Florida players before the head of Bennett at the far post to double the Tropics lead. Oscar Romero would get his third goal of the season with just over three minutes remaining on a slick Mike Jones assist to cut the lead to one for the Sidekicks with three minutes left before the halftime horn.  The half would end at 3-2 in an even game with both teams firing off six shots and splitting time of possession.

The strong defensive efforts of both teams would spill over into the second half with both teams struggling to break down each other.  Florida would once again show how well-drilled they are on free kicks as Victor Parrerias beat Juan Gamboa with just under five minutes left after an organized sequence of passing leading up to the shot. The Tropics free kicks were the difference at this point accounting for two of the four goals in their 4-2 lead  at the end of three quarters.

The Tropics would add to their lead early in the fourth quarter with Bennett getting an assist creating an easy tap in for Bruno Henrique and a 5-3 advantage. Raul De La Gala would strike back for the Sidekicks with seven-and-a-half minutes left on a low hard shot that was too quick for the Tropics' goalie. The assist would be credited to Anthony Powell for De La Gala's second goal of the season. Newly signed VcMor Eligwe, the former Sidekick, would get his first goal for Florida with four minutes left with Dallas playing with the sixth attacker. It was a nice start for Eligwe in his first career game with Florida. A former teammate of Eligwe, Anthony Powell, would cut the lead to two on a hard shot to the near post. The league's second leading scorer, Felipe De Sousa, would then cut the lead to just one with two minutes left on an assist from Oscar Romero. A furious final two minutes would ensue with the Tropics goalie pulling off some big saves to preserve the 6-5 win for the best team in the MASL.

Be sure to catch the Sidekicks next home game as they host the San Diego Sockers on Saturday, March 20th at 7:00pm.  Single game and season tickets for the 2020-2021 season are on sale now and can be purchased here. Call the Sidekicks at 469-393-0160 for more information about tickets. You don't have to wait that long to see the Sidekicks back in action, however, as the team travels to face Kansas City for a double header weekend on February 19th and 21st. Both games can be seen on the MASL Facebook Pass page.