Veteran goaltender Sagu helps lead Dallas Sidekicks to perfect 4-0 record early in season
The Dallas Sidekicks have soared to 4-0 in their comeback season, recently defeating the Rio Grande Valley Flash and Texas Strikers by margins of five and seven goals. This marks the team’s best start since 1994.
The team’s third game of the season on Nov. 30 was an action-packed, 7-3 home win against Rio Grande Valley. The Allen Event Center hosted 5,606 fans, an anomaly in the PASL.
Franck Mbemba and Shaun David scored in the first quarter, with David’s goal the Sidekicks' first shorthanded goal of the season. Rio Grande Valley put themselves on the board at the end of the quarter, but when play resumed, Jamie Lovegrove struck back. Shortly after, Robert Luevano scored from a distance, followed by Ricardinho, who intercepted a pass in Rio Grande Valley’s territory and went 1-2 with Patrick Shamu to score. A breakaway from Luevano put the Sidekicks up 6-2. The win was cemented in the fourth period when Michael Uremovich scored on the power play. Goaltender Sagu was credited with nine saves.
On Dec. 1, the team traveled to Beaumont and defeated the Texas Strikers, 10-3. Franck Mbemba scored the team’s first hat trick of the season.
Lovegrove opened up scoring in the first quarter, followed shortly by Mbemba. Texas answered back just 22 seconds later. The Sidekicks took a season-high 11 shots on goal in the second quarter, and managed to capitalize on five of them. Uremovich struck first just 2:35 in, followed by goals from Mbemba, Renato Pereira, Lovegrove and David. Later in the game, Mbemba secured his hat trick. Both Uremovich and David scored in the fourth quarter, cementing the win for the Sidekicks.
Mbemba has scored six goals in four games, moving him to the top of the team in both points and goals scored. Sagu was credited with three saves for the night. He has amassed 59 saves so far this season.
Veteran goaltender Sagu has been a major driving force behind the team’s success so far this season. He was eager to return to the team where he broke into the U.S. pro game 13 years ago.
“My career began in Dallas. I have fond memories of my days there, and that’s where I always wanted to end my career,” Sagu said.
After playing his first two U.S. professional indoor seasons with the Sidekicks, Sagu — a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil — spent the last eight seasons with the Baltimore Blast of the MISL. In Baltimore, he was named All-League seven times, was Goalkeeper of the Year five times and helped the Blast win three championships.
“Every good team starts with a great goalkeeper, so we are thrilled to welcome Sagu back to the Dallas Sidekicks organization, said head coach Tatu. “He brings experience and leadership to our team.”
Sagu expects to spend several more seasons with the Sidekicks, as both player and coach.
“Goalkeepers are like fine wine—they get better with age,” he said. “Now that I am in the later stages of my playing career, I want to give back to the younger generation. I look forward to teaching younger goalkeepers and I want to coach after my playing days are over.”
Individual and season tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster or the team website. For more information, visit www.dallassidekicks.net or call 214-550-6130.
The Pitch is a publication of North Texas Soccer