WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Jan. 28, 2009 – The Des Moines Menace has released its Premier Development League (PDL) schedule for 2009 – its 16th season as Iowa’s Premier Soccer Team.
The team returns to Valley Stadium in West Des Moines, opening the season with a May 2 exhibition against Des Moines Latinos United. All scheduled 2009 home matches will be played on Saturdays, with all home action starting at 7:30 p.m.
The Menace opens up its eight-game regular-season home schedule by hosting the Heartland Division’s two expansion clubs on consecutive weekends. On May 9, the Menace welcomes the Rochester Thunder – a team affiliated with the USL-1 Minnesota Thunder. The Real Colorado Foxes come to town the following Saturday. This is the teams’ only matchup in 2009, as the Menace does not play Real Colorado on the road this year. In 2008, the Menace played two exhibitions against the Foxes, a Denver-based team that officially joins the PDL in 2009.
While the Heartland Division adds two new members, the Menace also loses a familiar foe. Arch-rival Colorado Rapids U-23 is not playing this year, following an off-season sale of the franchise.
The Menace welcomes its top rival, the 2008 PDL Champion Thunder Bay Chill, for a Fourth of July showdown that will be capped off by fireworks. Last season, the 7-4-5 Menace went 2-1-1 against the eventual league champs. Des Moines was the only team to put a blemish on the Chill’s otherwise perfect season.
All of the Menace’s other regular-season home matches come against familiar division foes from Missouri. Des Moines hosts two games each against the St. Louis Lions (May 30 and a July 18 season finale) and Springfield Demize (June 27 and July 11). The Kansas City Brass visits on June 20.
Des Moines will host the Winnipeg Lions on June 6, marking the teams’ first meeting.
The PDL will consist of 68 teams in 2009, playing in eight divisions that comprise the four conferences. The seven-team Heartland Division and the nine-team Great Lakes Division form the Central Conference.
The playoffs will begin with the return of the Divisional Championship playoffs (July 24-26) for the first time since 1998, with each division seeing three teams advance to the postseason. The second seed will face the third seed in the First Round with the winner advancing to face the top seed from the regular season in the championship.
The eight division champions will advance to the PDL Elite Eight Weekend (July 31-August 2), where PDL Quarterfinals and Semifinals will be held. The divisional winners from Eastern and Central Conference will be grouped in one half of the bracket in one location while the Southern and Western winners comprise the other half at another locale.
The PDL Quarterfinals will pit the top seed versus the fourth seed in the bracket, and two versus three. The winners of the PDL Semifinals will square off in the PDL Championship Saturday, August 8 on Fox Soccer Channel. Divisional playoff hosts are based on overall seeding, pending availability, with all other playoff site locations determined by bid.
All times are Central * = Exhibition ** = Open Cup Qualifier
- Sat, May 2 - Des Moines Latinos United*
- Sat, May 9 - Rochester Thunder**
- Wed, May 13 - at Springfield Demize**
- Sat, May 16 - Real Colorado Foxes**
- Sat, May 23 - at St. Louis Lions**
- Sat, May 30 - St. Louis Lions
- Thurs, June 4 - at Kansas City Brass
- Sat, June 6 - Winnipeg Lions*
- Fri, June 12 - at Thunder Bay Chill
- Sat, June 13 - at Thunder Bay Chill
- Sat, June 20 - Kansas City Brass
- Sat, June 27 - Springfield Demize
- Sun, June 28 - at Rochester Thunder
- Sat, July 4 - Thunder Bay Chill
- Wed, July 8 - at Rochester Thunder
- Sat, July 11 - Springfield Demize
- Thurs, July 16 - at Kansas City Brass
- Sat, July 18 - St. Louis Lions