Sockers Start Fast In 8-3 Win Over Dallas

Landon Donovan scored a goal with an assist and the San Diego Sockers erupted for three goals in the opening five minutes en route to an 8-3 win over the Dallas Sidekicks at Pechanga Arena San Diego. Kraig Chiles, Leonardo de Oliveira, and Juan Gonzalez each scored a pair, with Chiles adding two assists for a four-point night. 

“The first half of the first quarter was a talking point in our locker room,” said Chiles of the lightning start, “Our mentality was correct, we jumped all over them, and it was a great start to the game, that’s for sure.”

The Sockers’ fifteenth consecutive win raised their mark to 17-1, best in the Major Arena Soccer League and two games ahead of Milwaukee and Monterrey for the best record in the league. San Diego peppered the net for 37 shots on goal. VcMor Eligwe scored a hat trick in the loss for the Sidekicks (8-11).

A Kraig Chiles one-two pass to Brian Farber led to a streaking one-touch goal just forty-eight seconds into the match, quickly followed by Leo cleaning up a Christian Gutierrez wall pass at 3:49 for a 2-0 San Diego lead. 

Just seconds later, the Sockers won a corner kick and Chiles found Donovan pushing to the net for a one-touch finish just feet away from the goal line, good for a 3-0 advantage.

Eligwe’s first of the night came on a perfectly timed rush into the penalty area, one-touching the through-ball of Fernando Garza to narrow the lead to 3-1. Leo answered back quickly, with a left-footed rolling finish inside the right post after winning Cesar Cerda’s wide shot.

Chiles netted from distance on a Hiram “Pollo” Ruiz assist for the lone goal of the second quarter, giving the Sockers a 5-1 advantage at halftime.

Donovan added a power play assist in the third quarter on Chiles’ second goal of the night, bracketed by Juan Gonzalez’s third and fourth goals of the season. Chiles regained the team lead with 23 goals, one more than Brandon Escoto, who saw a nine-game points streak come to an end. 

Eligwe netted twice at point blank range in the fourth quarter that otherwise saw San Diego dominate possession time to leach out the clock.

The Sockers hit the road for a four-match road trip, starting next Friday in Turlock. At halftime, the team announced they will be retiring the number of legendary veteran midfielder Paul Wright at their next home match, April 7.