Sidekicks Face Rockford on Saturday as Tatu’s Number to be Retired
The Dallas Sidekicks (11-3) face the Rockford Rampage (7-7) on Saturday evening, February 9th at the Allen Events Center with first place in their division on the line. During halftime the team will officially retire head coach Tatu’s number nine. Tatu is the all-time leading scorer for the Sidekicks with 736 goals, 672 assists and 1408 points in his 18-season playing career, which spanned from 1984-2003.
This is the first visit to the Dallas area for the Rampage and the second game of the season between the two teams. Dallas beat Rockford in Loves Park, Illinois on January 5th by a score of 11-4. The Sidekicks can clinch the Central Division title with a win in this game or their final game on February 23. Rockford is in 4th place in the division and out of the playoff hunt. Rockford is led by Semir Mesanovic, who has scored 19 goals and has 5 assists. Goalie Ante Cop has been the mainstay in net and has a save percentage of .730 and goals against of 5.58 per game.
Dallas is led by Jamie Lovegrove with 20 goals and 25 points on the season. Franck Mbemba also has 25 points on 18 goals and 7 assists, and Ricardinho leads the team in assists with 13 and has 21 points total. Dallas has the stingiest defense in the league with a 3.71 goals against average (GAA). Sagu has been an ageless wonder for the team in goal, leading the league with a GAA of 3.45 in his 13 games. He is also second in save percentage with .802, just behind Zeke Sanchez of Las Vegas at .848.
Dallas head coach Tatu, whose full name is Antonio Pecorari, is an indoor soccer legend – and not just in Dallas. His goal and assist totals, including his time in Tampa and Wichita, put him as the all-time leader for indoor soccer in the US. In addition to his phenomenal scoring, Tatu led the Sidekicks to four indoor championships (1987, 1993, 1998, and 2001). Former Sidekicks head coach Gordon Jago will speak during the halftime celebration on Saturday, and other former teammates will be present to honor his amazing legacy. The game starts at 7 PM at the Allen Events Center in Allen, Texas.
The Sidekicks have clinched a spot in the playoffs in their first season in the PASL. Dallas is coming off a road trip to Las Vegas and San Diego where they split the results, winning in Nevada but losing in California after giving up two goals in the last minute of play.
Previously, the Sidekicks had beaten the Sockers to end their US professional sports record winning streak of 48 games.
Earlier this year, the Sidekicks retired David Doyle’s jersey in a very emotional ceremony.