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Menace fights back for 2-2 draw

LITTLETON, Colo. – In a battle for first place in the Premier Development League’s Heartland Division, the Des Moines Menace turned a two-goal halftime deficit into a 2-2 draw against the Real Colorado Foxes tonight at Shea Stadium. The tie keeps the Menace (4-1-1, 13 points) atop the division standings – one point above the Foxes (3-1-3) – going into round two tomorrow night.

The Menace’s come-from-behind result also preserves the team’s two-year-long unbeaten streak away from home. Des Moines has gone 10-0-7 on the road since a 2-0 setback at Colorado Rapids U23 on May 23, 2008.

Header goals from Jack Pearson and Logan McDaniel helped the Menace recover from a sluggish start in tonight’s tale of two halves.

“As much as we did right in the second half, we did wrong in the first half,” said Des Moines head coach Laurie Calloway. “We started flat…They responded in the second half with tremendous energy.”

The Menace has fallen behind in the opening half in all six of its matches, though this was the first time the Menace gave up more than one goal in a contest. The defending Heartland Division champs have been outscored 2-7 in the first 45 minutes, but have yet to allow a second-half score. Des Moines has piled on 10 goals in the last 45 minutes.

“It seems like we have to kick-start at halftime every game,” Calloway said. “I don’t want to have to do that. Hopefully, we can start doing better in the full 90 minutes.”

Captain Clark Bradford assisted fellow Englishman Pearson in the 52nd minute, and Sterling Copeland set up McDaniel’s equalizer in the 73rd frame. Bradford leads the team with seven points; Copeland’s three assists are tops on the club. McDaniel becomes the team’s third player to notch at least two goals, joining Bradford and Lebogang Moloto.

The Menace had golden opportunities to pull out the win in stoppage time. On a couple occasions, the visitors caught former Menace goalie Sean Molony out of position. Both times, they were unable to capitalize, as shots from Stephen Okai and Copeland sailed over the goal.

These teams are back at it tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7 p.m. MDT. The Menace carries a four-match unbeaten streak; the Foxes are undefeated in their last six after a season-opening loss to Rochester. Both teams came into tonight with three-match winning streaks.

COMING UP: These teams will see each other again next weekend, when Des Moines hosts Real Colorado on June 12. The 7:30 p.m. match is celebrated as the team’s World Cup kick-off and the annual Father’s Day Game, presented by Powerade and VitaminWater. Dads get in for $5 with a paid admission, and are encouraged to wear an ugly hat for the chance to win a grill at halftime.

The Menace travels to play the St. Louis Lions on June 13 and is back at Valley Stadium on June 15 to host pro team AC St. Louis (USSF Division II) in the first round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – a 7:30 p.m. start.

Match: Menace at Real Colorado Foxes
Date: June 4, 2010
Competition: Premier Development League regular-season match
Venue: Shea Stadium, Littleton, Colo.
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. MDT
Attendance: 155
Weather: 80s

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

MENACE – Jack Pearson (Clark Bradford) 52:00; Logan McDaniel (Sterling Copeland) 73:00
RC – Drew Beckie (Steve Emory) 9:00; Kellan Christiansen (Kyle Christiansen) 45:00 (stoppage time)

Stats Summary: MENACE / RC
Shots: 17 / 9
Corner Kicks:  2 / 3
Fouls: 7 / 6
Offside: 2 / 3

Misconduct Summary: RC Yellow Cards: Isaac Cowles 51:00; Taylor Lavoy 87:00 MENACE Yellow Cards: Sam Brooks 8:00

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