Dallas Sidekicks renew rivalry with Monterry in PASL playoffs




The Dallas Sidekicks begin their drive for a fifth indoor soccer championship this Saturday night when they host the Monterrey Flash in the first round of the PASL playoffs. The game kicks off at 7:00 p.m. at the Allen Event Center.

The Sidekicks finished the regular season with a 14-2 overall record, tying the Hidalgo La Fiera with the best record in the Central Division. However, Hidalgo owned the head-to-head tie-breaker over the Sidekicks, giving Hidalgo the first-round playoff bye. The match-up with the Central Division's third-place Flash will be the first of the season between Dallas and Monterrey.

Dallas enters the game having won eight straight games and 11 of their last 12 games, with the one loss during that span coming at Hidalgo. Dallas finished a perfect 8-0 at home this season, marking the second straight year that the Sidekicks have gone undefeated at home in the regular season.

Part of the reason for the Sidekicks' success this season has been the one-two punch of Nestor Hernandez and Jamie Lovegrove. Hernandez finished fifth in the PASL with 33 goals and ninth in the league with 49 points. Lovegrove was one spot back in 10th place with 48 points after finishing the season with 26 goals. The other factor in the Sidekicks success has been the team's goalkeeper play. Despite an injury that kept star goalie Sagu out for nine games, the Sidekicks proved to be one of the toughest teams to score in this season. The two goalkeepers combined to allow just over four goals per game, with Sagu ranking third in the PASL with a 4.21 goals against average while Milo, the Sidekicks No. 2 goalie, ranked even higher with a 4.13 GAA (second in the PASL).

The Monterrey Flash finished with a 13-3 regular season record, with two of those losses coming on the road. Monterrey  averages 8.75 goals for and 4.75 goals against, just trailing Dallas who averages 4.25 goals against. Leading the team in offense are Genoni Martinez (11 goals, 33 assists, and 44 points) and Erick Tovar (27 goals, six assists, and 33 points), while goalkeeper Juventino Morales sits just behind Sidekicks goalkeepers Sagu and Milo in the PASL standings with a 4.77 goals against average and 60% save percentage. Founded in 2011 from the remnants of La Raza de Monterrey and Monterrey Fury, the team made its debut in the PASL this season. In 2011, the team was part of the LMFRPro (Liga Mexicana de Futbol Rapido Profesional) and placed 1st.

Tickets for Saturday's playoff game are on sale now at ticketmaster.com. While they last, discounted tickets are available in select locations in the arena. Sideline tickets are discounted to $20 from $30, while endzone seats are discounted to $15 from $20. Use the discount code GRPHF at ticketmaster.com before selecting your seats to take advantage of the offer.

Saturday night's game will mark the only home playoff game for the Sidekicks this season. Should the Sidekicks beat Monterrey, the team will advance to play at Hidalgo on Saturday, March 1. The winner of that game will then go on to the Ron Newman Cup Final Four tournament in Chicago on the weekend of March 15-16.