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Introducing "Menace West"

The Des Moines Menace is partnering with the city of Grimes to form a new branch of the Menace Academy, to be called Menace West.

Tryouts will start June 1 for the Menace West select soccer teams, for U11-U18 boys and girls. The tryouts will be in Grimes, 10 miles northwest of Aliber Soccer Complex in Des Moines, where Menace Academy teams will continue to hold tryouts and practices.

The Menace Academy will continue to operate under its current model, and Aliber Soccer Complex will remain a central location for the academy.

“From a strategic standpoint, this is a great opportunity for us, bringing select soccer to the Grimes area,” said Menace general manager Todd Meiners. “It allows us to reach more kids in the community. We look forward to working with the city of Grimes to provide more opportunities, while maintaining our current operations at Aliber Soccer Complex.”

Kevin Schalk has been named the Director of Coaching for Menace West, serving as a link between the Menace and the new branch, and overseeing its coaching staff and facilities. Schalk, a native New Yorker, brings a decade’s experience of developing talent at the club, high school, Olympic Development Program (ODP) and college levels. He currently holds a USSF B license, UEFA B license and NSCAA Premiere (A license).

Schalk reunites with Menace Director of Soccer Laurie Calloway. The two worked together in 2003 and 2004 to grow the Syracuse (N.Y.) Football Club. Calloway returned to the Menace in November, and he is also joined by Neathan Gibson, who earlier this month came back to the organization to serve as the academy’s Director of Coaching and Calloway’s assistant coach for the Menace’s Premier Development League team.

“I’m excited to work with Laurie Calloway again,” Schalk said. “I look forward to working with two great coaches in Laurie and Neathan.

“I think this is huge for the development of the Menace Academy, expanding to our outlying communities. What we’re trying to do in the near future is bring the Des Moines soccer community together to provide superior training, so that our teams can compete at the regional and national levels.”

Menace West teams will train in Grimes. Their game locations are subject to the Iowa Premier Soccer League’s schedule.

Calloway called the new partnership “the first step toward the re-growth of the academy.”

“This is one of the many steps we’re intending to make in the near future,” Calloway said. “It gives us growth on the girls’ side and a feeder program on the recreational side, and we get some very qualified coaches, too.”

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