Menace fans, here’s a quick guide to help you prepare for the 2009 Heartland Division champion’s run in the Premier Development League playoffs.
Updated July 24, 2009
Game Times and Opponents
As the division champion, the Menace has earned the right to host the divisional playoff games at Valley Stadium on July 24-25. The game on Friday, the 24th will be played by the Thunder Bay Chill and the Real Colorado Foxes at 7:30 p.m. The winner of the Friday match plays the Menace at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
If the Menace wins Saturday's divisional-playoff match, the team will be hosting the next round of the playoffs, as well. The United Soccer Leagues has rewarded the Menace with the chance to host the PDL's quarterfinal and semifinal rounds on Friday, July 31 and Saturday, August 1, if the Menace wins Saturday (July 24) to advance to the Elite Eight.
If the Menace hosts on July 31 and August 1, we will welcome the playoff champs from the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast divisions. The teams will be seeded, matching the top seed with the fourth, and the second with the third for Friday's action. The winners go on to play Saturday for the chance to advance to the August 8 PDL championship game.
Game times for Friday, July 31 at Valley Stadium would be 5:30 and 7:30, with the Menace playing the night cap. Saturday's semifinal match would kick off at 7:30.
Click here for the bracket of the 24-team tournament that determines the PDL champ.
Tickets are on sale and can be ordered online or bought at each match.
Tickets for both games Ticket for one game
Adults: $15 Adults: $9
Kids (ages 4-12): $12 Kids (ages 4-12): $7
You can click here to reserve your tickets online!
2009 Heartland Division Champion t-shirts and PDL Playoffs t-shirts are available during all postseason matches at Valley Stadium. Fine Designs is on site to take care of your custom-printed apparel.
DES MOINES MENACE
The 2009 Heartland Division champions closed the regular season by winning eight of their last nine matches. The Menace has outscored the opposition 19-4 at home, where it holds a 6-1-1 record.
Record: 11-1-4 (37 points), first in the Heartland Division
Goals Allowed:13 (six shutouts)
Leading Scorers: Ben Taylor (13 points, four goals, five assists); Armin Mujdzic (12 points, five goals, two assists); Sterling Copeland (nine points, three goals, three assists)
Goalkeeper:Sean Molony (0.87 Goals Against Average, 49 saves and 125 shots faced in 15 matches, including five shutouts)
Playoff History: This is the 10th playoff appearance and the second division title in the Menace’s 16-year history. Des Moines made it to the divisional semifinals in 1995 and 1997, the conference semifinals in 2002 and 2003 and the PDL semifinals in 1998 and 2001 before being crowned the 2005 PDL champions. The last time the Menace made it to the playoffs was in 2006.
Head Coach:Casey Mann (48-19-13, fifth season)
General Manager:Todd Meiners
THUNDER BAY CHILL
With a late start, the 2008 PDL champions entered the season behind the other division teams but quickly found their way to playoff contention by playing two consecutive games four weekends in a row. The Chill has a 5-2-1 record on the road, including a 1-0 win against the Menace at Valley Stadium on July 4. Thunder Bay brings a seven-match unbeaten streak into the postseason.
Record: 8-3-5 (29 points), second in the Heartland Division
Goals Allowed: 16 (six shutouts)
Leading Scorers: Christian Fernandes (28 points, 13 goals, two assists); Nolan Intermoia (12 points, six goals); Marcos Da Silva (7 points, one goal, five assists)
Goalkeeper:Stephen Paterson (0.93 GAA, 45 saves and 86 shots faced in 15 matches, including six shutouts)
Playoff History: The Chill is making its third-straight playoff appearance, after winning the division’s regular-season title the two previous years. Thunder Bay’s 2008 title run culminated with a shootout win (4-1) at Laredo. The Chill became the first PDL champ from Canada, one year after exiting in the first round of the team’s playoff debut.
Head Coach:Tony Colistro (10th season)
General Manager:John Marrello
REAL COLORADO FOXES
One of two expansion teams in the Heartland Division (along with the Rochester Thunder), the Foxes were particularly strong on their home field. Real Colorado picked up six of its eight wins at Shea Stadium in Littleton, a Denver suburb. All five of Real Colorado’s losses came on the road, including a 1-0 setback against the Menace on May 16.
2009 Record: 8-5-3 (27 points), third in the Heartland Division
Goals Scored: 28
Goals Allowed: 19 (three shutouts)
Leading Scorers: Chris Salvaggione (15 points, seven goals, one assist); Brad Stisser (14 points, six goals, two assists); Byron Cephers (10 points, three goals, four assists)
Goalkeepers:Dominique Griffith (0.75 GAA, 19 saves, 48 shots faced in four matches, including two shutouts);Tyler Picard (1.50 GAA, 20 saves, 38 shots faced in four matches); Joe Willis (1.60 GAA, 20 saves, 39 shots faced in five matches).
Head Coach:Lorne Donaldson
General Manager:Harold Thurman
Thunder Bay vs. Real Colorado: These teams, separated by 1,000 miles of pavement, split their season series, 1-1-2. Each club notched a home victory, with Real Colorado winning 4-2 on May 30 and Thunder Bay grabbing a 2-1 win on June 19. The season series started and ended with 1-1 ties on May 29 and June 20. The Chill outshot the Foxes, 46-29, and the teams combining for 93 fouls in these four physical matches.
Menace vs. Thunder Bay: The Menace holds leads the all-time series, 20-13-2. The two teams met three times this year for a 1-1-1 outcome. Thunder Bay gave Des Moines its sole loss of the season, ending the team’s 15-game unbeaten streak on July 4 at Valley Stadium – exactly one year after handing the Menace its most recent loss. The Menace beat the Chill, 3-1, at Chapples Park on June 13, a day after the teams tied the series opener, 1-1. In 2008, the Menace was the only team to defeat or tie the Chill (17-2-1) during its PDL title run.
Menace vs. Real Colorado: Des Moines and Real Colorado met just once in the Foxes’ inaugural season. Thomas Ostrander’s header was the only goal in the Menace’s 1-0 win on May 16. These teams played a pair of exhibitions in 2008, when Real Colorado’s provisional club won 2-0 at home (May 25) and earned a 2-2 draw at Valley Stadium (July 12).
Menace Playoff History
This is the 10th time that the Des Moines Menace has qualified for the Premier Development League playoffs. The last time that the team advanced to the playoffs was in 2006, one year after winning the PDL Championship. The Menace’s only other division title came in 2002, when the team finished the regular season undefeated (15-0-3).
All-Time Record in the Playoffs: 12-10
Home Matches: 5-5
Away Matches: 1-3
Neutral Sites: 6-2
Record: 0-1 Place: –
Central Conference Semifinals – Chicago 3 (5), Des Moines 3 (3)
Record: 4-0 Place: PDL Champions
Central Conference Semifinals – Des Moines 3, Chicago 0
Central Conference Finals – Des Moines 4, Michigan 1
PDL Semifinals – Des Moines 2, Orange County 1
PDL Finals – Des Moines 0 (6), El Paso 0 (5)
Record: 0-1 Place: –
Central Conference Semifinals – Mid Michigan 1, Des Moines 0
Record: 0-1 Place: –
Central Conference Semifinals – Mid Michigan 3, Des Moines 1
Record: 0-2 Place: 4th
PDL Semifinals – Calgary 2, Des Moines 1
PDL Consolation – Sioux Falls 1, Des Moines 0
Record: 4-1 Place: 3rd
Central Division Semifinals – Des Moines 2, Twin Cities 1 (OT)
Central Division Finals – Des Moines 3, Kansas City 2 (OT)
PDL Quarterfinals – Des Moines 3, Cocoa 1
PDL Semifinals – San Gabriel 3, Des Moines 1
PDL Consolation – Des Moines 4, Kalamazoo 1
Record: 2-1 Place: --
Central Division Semifinals – Des Moines 4, Lincoln 0
Central Division Finals – Des Moines 6, Omaha 0
Central Conference Finals – Mid Michigan 3, Des Moines 0
Record: 0-1 Place: –
Southern Division Semifinals – Austin 1, Des Moines 0 (OT)
Record: 2-2 Place: 4th
Central Division Semifinals – Des Moines 3, Austin 2 (OT)
Central Division Finals – Des Moines 1, Sioux Falls 0
Premier League Semifinals – Cocoa 3, Des Moines 1
Premier League Consolation – San Francisco 4, Des Moines 1