SOCKERS IN MESQUITE FOR ONLY MASL GAME SATURDAY NIGHT
The San Diego Sockers—presented by Kaiser Permanente San Diego—wrap up their Texas weekend with a showdown against the Mesquite Outlaws at Mesquite Arena, just outside the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. The match is scheduled for a 5:05 pm PST kickoff and will be streamed live on Twitch on channel @masl_soccer.
The Sockers (12-1, 35 points) and Outlaws (9-3-2, 27 points) clash for the third and final time this season, and the first time in Texas. San Diego is 2-0 against Mesquite this season, with wins by 5-4 and 7-2 margins on December 18 and February 3. The all-time series is 3-1 in favor of San Diego, dating back to Mesquite’s inaugural season in 2019-20. The Outlaws took the previous two seasons off due to the COVID epidemic. In the Sockers’ only prior trip to Mesquite Arena in February of 2020, they lost 5-3.
Mesquite has been an excellent home side, posting a 5-1-1 record at Mesquite Arena so far this season. The Sockers, playing their fourth match of a six-match road trip, are 6-1 on the road this season. The club’s 17-match road winning streak was broken by Ontario on February 8, as was the club’s overall 30-match regular season winning streak.
The Sockers are attempting a MASL championship three-peat, something the Baltimore Blast accomplished from 2015-18. San Diego went 23-0-1 in 2021-22 and 6-0-1 in the playoffs to claim their second straight Ron Newman Cup. The Ron Newman Cup was created in 2011-12 as the championship trophy of the PASL and carried over to the MASL when the PASL and MISL merged in 2014. The Sockers have won four Ron Newman Cups and sixteen champion-ships overall in franchise history.
On Thursday, the Sockers faced the Dallas Sidekicks to start their Texas trip, posting a 7-4 vic-tory at the Credit Union of Texas Event Center in Allen. Charlie Gonzalez and Felipe Gonzalez each had two goals to pace the Sockers’ attack, while Tavoy Morgan added a goal and two assists. San Diego netted all seven of their goals in the first half before bunkering in for an 0-1 second half that led to the 7-4 final result. The Sockers won their eleventh straight match against the Sidekicks.
Mesquite (9-3-2, 27 points) is showing surprising life in the MASL standings after taking two seasons away from active participation. Under the tutelage of indoor legend Tatu, the Outlaws have shown opportunistic scoring with a young lineup. The club is led by goalkeeper Eduardo “Pollo” Cortes, who has played all but two minutes in net this season, ranking T-3rd in wins (9), sixth in GAA (5.04), and sixth in SV% (.721). His 181 saves rank second in the league. Offensively, the Outlaws have been missing top goal scorer Luiz Morales (17 goals) for the past three matches. Sebastian Mendez leads the club in scoring with (16-11=27) points on the season, but four double-digit goal scorers, with David Ortiz (11) and Axel Chakounte (11) also contributing. Mesquite has some bite in their lineup: Mendez leads the league with 24 penalty minutes, and David Ortiz is second in the MASL with 31 fouls committed.