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Menace slips past Brass

LIBERTY, Mo. – The Des Moines Menace is 2-1-0 in qualifying matches for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup to start the Premier Development League season.

After coming from behind for a 2-1 win over the Kansas City Brass (1-1-0) tonight at rainy Norris Patterson Field, the Menace is still in the hunt for the Heartland Division’s spot in the cup.

Lebogang Moloto put the visitors on top in the 50th minute, about five minutes before refs cleared the field, due to lightning. Following a 30-minute delay, the division’s defending champions held on to the lead for the final 35 minutes.

“The guys played well under really difficult conditions,” said Menace head coach Laurie Calloway. “It’s hard to restart your engines, mentally as well as physically, after that kind of break. I was pleased with them tonight. They all played well. Everybody did their job – excellent.”

Des Moines is the division’s second team to notch two wins in the Open Cup qualifiers. Rochester (2-0-1), the team that beat the Menace 1-0 on Saturday, is 2-0 in the qualifying stage. The first-place Thunder closes its qualifying action by hosting St. Louis and Kansas City each of the next two Sundays; Each time, Rochester’s foe plays the Menace the previous night before continuing north to Minnesota.

The Menace’s last chance to earn points in the Open Cup standings comes Saturday, when the team returns to Valley Stadium to battle rival St. Louis (0-1-0), the division’s representative in each of the last two cups.

“(Tonight’s win) puts some pressure on Rochester,” Calloway said. “We hope we can beat St. Louis, and they can get some points off Rochester.”

Calloway’s crew fell behind 1-0 tonight – the third time the Menace has found itself in an early hole in the first half.

Chris Markey connected on a penalty kick in the 23rd minute, set up by a yellow card that was assessed to Des Moines’ Kalen Ryden on an apparent missed offside call.

Clark Bradford answered with a PK eight minutes later. His opportunity came after Stephen Okai was taken down inside the box. Bradford’s second goal of the season came a week after he tied things in the team’s season-opening win at Springfield (Mo.).

Moloto’s score was the first of his PDL career. The South African from Lindsey Wilson College (Ky.) received the ball at the top of the 18, cut through the defense, and put the ball far post, out of the goalkeeper’s reach.

Calloway praised the defense, anchored by Ryden, Jubril Lawal and newcomers Sam Morris and Joe Lyons. They helped Billy Thompson pick up the win in his first action in goal this season. Thompson got the nod after starting goalie Jason Williams was sidelined on Monday with a dislocated shoulder.

The Menace has not lost on the road in two years. Since a 2-0 setback at Colorado Rapids U23 on May 23, 2008, the team is on a 16-match unbeaten streak (10-0-6) away from home. The team’s next road action is back in the Rocky Mountain State, June 4-5 at Real Colorado.

Des Moines is undefeated in its last eight matchups with Kansas City, going 7-0-1 against the Brass since losing to Kansas City’s 2007 Open Cup team in qualifying play.

Match: Menace vs. Kansas City Brass
Date: May 19, 2010
Competition: Premier Development League regular-season match
Venue: Valley Stadium, West Des Moines, Iowa
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CDT
Weather: 60s, rain (heavy at times), with a 30-minute lightning delay

Scoring Summary:     1   2   F
MENACE                       1   1   2
KC                              1   0    1

MENACE – Clark Bradford PK (31), Lebogang Moloto (50)
KC – Chris Markey PK (23)

Stats Summary: MENACE / KC
Shots: 14 / 10
Saves: 4 / 5
Corner Kicks: 5 / 4
Fouls: 14 / 17
Offside: 3 / 4

UP NEXT: The Menace hosts St. Louis this Saturday on “Black Out Night,” sponsored by Hubbell Realty and CB Richard Ellis. Des Moines will don black jerseys and all fans are encouraged to help us paint the stadium black. Fans wearing black t-shirts will receive a ticket for only $5. All 2010 home games are on Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday will also mark the first game for the 2010 Cleat Crew. Members of the kids’ club will get a t-shirt, admission to three select games (May 22, June 26, and July 24), and a hot dog and drink at each of the three games. Cleat Crew membership is just $5 for kids 13 and under.

MENACE PLAYERS AT THE SCIENCE CENTER: Menace players will be at the Science Center of Iowa (401 W. MLK Parkway in downtown Des Moines) from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday, showing children “the Science of Soccer.” SCI members receive $2 off admission for Saturday’s game.



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