Nico Clasen (6) leads the Menace with five assists, including three in a 5-0 road romp against Chicago. Photo credit: Jayde Vogeler
CHICAGO, Ill. – Wednesday, June 20, 2018 – Kino Ryosuke, Nico Clasen and company keep building steam as they chug along in their undefeated season.
The Des Moines Menace is 9-0-0 in the Premier Development League after closing its seven-match road schedule with a dominant 5-0 victory over Chicago FC United.
Ryosuke, the PDL’s Golden Boot leader, and Clasen, the Menace’s assists leader, once again engineered the offense. Just 24 hours after they scored the goals in a 2-1 win here on the Loyola University campus, they led a late onslaught tonight.
All five goals came in the second half of the second half.
The match was scoreless until the 68th minute, when Clasen set up Ryosuke’s 10th goal of the season. This brought the Menace to life, and five minutes later, Peter Pearson added some breathing room with a goal assisted by Omar Mohamed.
The Menace didn’t let up in the closing moments.
Clasen assisted back-to-back goals, first by Johnny Fenwick then by Ryosuke again, in the 80th and 82nd minutes. And in the final minute of regulation, a curling, Upper-90 goal by Mohamed punctuated this one in style.
“It feels great – 9-oh-and oh. We all love playing together,” Clasen said. “We fight 90 minutes, we keep working hard, and we know we can score anytime. We created some big chances, and it worked out pretty well.”
This ninth straight victory sets a franchise record for a single-season winning streak.
All five of the Menace’s remaining PDL matches will be played at the friendly confines of Valley Stadium. And, if the stars align, the team could clinch one of the Heartland Division’s two playoff berths with a win over Kaw Valley FC on Saturday.
“I think we’re a better team when we’re playing in front of our fans, and hopefully we can keep staying undefeated,” Clasen said. “The home crowd’s amazing, and we’re looking forward to these next games.”
UP NEXT: This coming Saturday kicks off a seven-game home stand: the Menace hosts Kaw Valley at 7:30 p.m., following the girls’ Iowa High School All-Star Game, which starts at 5 p.m.
MAN of the MATCH: Nico Clasen for his three-assist performance. Clasen is a UNLV Running Rebel and a native of Monchengladbach, Germany.
- Des Moines’ 9-0-0 start is the best in franchise history; the 2003 and 2014 Menace were 8-1-0 through nine matches.
- This nine-game winning streak eclipses the eight-game winning streak by the 2015 Menace.
- Chicago won its first five matches but is 5-3-0 after its third loss in five days. Entering this doubleheader, Des Moines and Chicago held the top two spots in the PDL Central Conference Power Rankings.
- The Menace has outscored opponents 25-3 – 7-0 in the first half and 18-3 in the second half; Chicago has a 16-10 scoring advantage – Before tonight, the Windy City team had outscored foes 6-3 in the second half.
- Menace goalie Carlos Mercado improves to 3-0-0 this season with two shutouts.
- With a PDL-best 11 goals, Kino Ryosuke is the Menace’s first double-digit scorer since franchise player Tomas Boltnar (10 goals in the 2005 championship season, 14 goals in 2003 and 24 goals in 2002).
Match: Des Moines Menace at Chicago FC United
Date: Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Competition: Premier Development League regular season
Venue: Hoyne Field (artificial turf) in Chicago, Ill.
Kickoff: 7 p.m CDT
Weather: 60s, sunny
Scoreline 1 2 F
MENACE 0 5 5
CHI 0 0 0
MENACE – Kino Ryosuke (Nico Clasen) 68
MENACE – Peter Pearson (Omar Mohamed) 73
MENACE – Johnny Fenwick (Clasen) 80
MENACE – Ryosuke (Clasen) 82
MENACE – Mohamed 90
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. In its 25th season, the Menace men’s team competes in the Premier Development League (PDL). In its seventh season, the Menace women’s team is part of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL). With loyal support, the Menace men’s and women’s teams play their home games at the Valley Stadium in West Des Moines to provide family-fun entertainment. The Menace organization promotes the growth of soccer through these youth programs: Junior Menace (ages 3-9), Menace Academy (ages six and older), and tournaments, camps and clinics.