Kino Ryosuke's dozen goals are the most for a Menace player since Tomas Boltnar scored 14 times in 2003. Photo credit: Jayde Vogeler
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Friday, June 29, 2018 – The Des Moines Menace is heading back to the Premier Development League Playoffs as the Heartland Division champs.
Tonight’s 1-0 victory over Kaw Valley FC sealed the Menace’s fifth straight postseason berth, and at least a share of the division title.
The good times keep rolling for the 10-0-1 Menace, off to the best start in the franchise’s 25-year history. Three weeks from the playoffs, the team still has five more home matches back here at Valley Stadium.
Still on the schedule are a pair of exhibitions, including tomorrow night’s friendly with Union Dubuque FC, and three league matches, including a Friday-Saturday doubleheader next weekend against Chicago FC United (6-3-1), which is the only team that has a chance of tying the Menace’s 31 standings points. Des Moines outscored Chicago 7-1 in a June 19-20 doubleheader, gaining the edge in the head-to-head tie-breaker.
Des Moines got back on the winning track tonight, six days after Kaw Valley left here with a 1-1 draw that disrupted the Menace’s season-opening nine-game winning streak.
In the 16th minute, Kino Ryosuke scored his 12th goal of the season – on a rebound after goalkeeper Santiago Restrepo parried Audi Jepson’s close-range attempt – and the Menace held on to scrape together a scrappy result.
“Very happy to be champion,” Ryosuke said. “I hope we can keep it going – nine more points, then on to the playoffs. Having fun so far.”
The action turned physical and the battle raged on through 10 minutes of second-half stoppage time.
This is the Menace’s sixth Heartland Division title, and the franchise’s fourth in five years. The team returns to the PDL Playoffs for the 16th time.
UP NEXT: The Menace hosts Union Dubuque FC in an exhibition tomorrow on “Celebrate Iowa Night.”
MAN of the MATCH: Goalkeeper Carlos Mercado for his pivotal, diving save in the 52nd minute, and for his outstanding effort in the Menace’s seventh shutout of the season.
- Kaw Valley, a first-year team from Kansas, is 5-5-2.
- Des Moines was also division champ in 2002 and 2009 before three-peating from 2014 to 2016.
- This season, the Menace has outscored foes 27-4 – 8-0 in the first half and 19-4 in the second half.
- Entering tonight, the Menace was scoreless before halftime in five of its six previous outings. This was the first time in seven matches that the team didn’t score in the second half.
- In more than 1,000 minutes, Des Moines has not trailed in PDL play this season.
- Kino Ryosuke has scored in seven of the 11 games he’s played in this season; his 12 goals tie him with the FC Golden State Force’s Samuel Villava for the lead in the PDL Golden Boot race.
Match: Kaw Valley FC at Des Moines Menace
Date: Friday, June 29, 2018
Competition: Premier Development League regular season
Venue: Valley Stadium (artificial turf) in West Des Moines, Iowa
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m CDT
Weather: 90s, sunny and windy
Scoreline 1 2 F
MENACE 1 0 1
KVFC 0 0 0
MENACE – Kino Ryosuke (Audi Jepson) 16
MENACE – Chris Hellmann (yellow card) 47
KVFC – Santiago Sierra (yellow card) 55
KVFC – Daniel Kozma (yellow card) 60
MENACE – Anthony Manning (yellow card) 75
Corner Kicks: 1-3
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.