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Menace, Foxes tie third straight

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – June 12, 2010 – For the third time in eight days, the Des Moines Menace and the Real Colorado Foxes played a match that neither team won. The teams battled to a 1-1 draw tonight at Valley Stadium to stay in the top two spots in the Premier Development League’s Heartland Division.

The point from the tie gives Des Moines (4-1-3, 15 points) sole possession of first place. After its fifth tie, Real Colorado (3-2-5, 14 points) shares second place with Rochester (4-2-2).

The Menace found itself in a familiar spot in the early going tonight. Kris Banghart spotted the Foxes the lead in the second minute. With the exception of a scoreless draw at Real Colorado a week ago, Des Moines has trailed in the first half of each match this season. This includes a 2-0 hole against the Foxes on June 4.

The defending division champions bounced back once again tonight, when Stephen Okai scored off a corner kick from Logan McDaniel in the 49th minute.

Correction (June 14): Jubril Lawal -- not Okai -- scored the goal.

Des Moines dominated the second half, despite playing a man down for the final 27 minutes. Jubril Lawal received a red card for an elbow to a Fox’s face in the 63rd minute. Still, the shorthanded Menace out-shot its foe 18-2 after halftime.

“I think the stats have shown we’re the better team,” said Menace head coach Laurie Calloway. “We had time and time and time again to get at them. (Menace goalkeeper) Jason (Williams) wasn’t busy at all; their goalkeeper was for most of the second half.”

In the final 45 minutes, Williams made two saves, compared to nine by Miguel Rozales. These stats reflect a season-long trend for the Menace, which has outscored opponents by a staggering 11-0 margin in the second half.

It looked like the Menace had a golden opportunity to pull out the win in the final minute of stoppage time. Jacob Schmoker blasted a shot that appeared to be blocked by the hand of a defender. No call was made, and no penalty kick was awarded to the Menace.

The match ended in the same score as the much-anticipated World Cup opener for USA and England, played this afternoon. Calloway, a native of Birmingham, England, who has been coaching in America since 1978, drew comparisons between these two matches.

“It was a great result for soccer in America,” said Calloway. “Yeah, I wanted England to win – it’s in my blood – but it was good for the American team and for this country. England was the better team, but you got to put it on the scoreboard, just like us tonight.”

Tonight opened a busy stretch for the Menace – five matches in eight days, including two more in the next three.

Des Moines faces the St. Louis Lions tomorrow at 5 p.m. in St. Peters, Mo., and turns around to host professional side AC St. Louis on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the first round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

The team closes the week with a pair of matches in Canada, against the rival Thunder Bay Chill.

St. Louis and Thunder Bay are just points behind the division’s first- and second-place teams. The Lions (4-2-1, 13 points) are on a five-match unbeaten streak. The Chill (4-1-0) has scored 16 goals in five matches.

At the midpoint of the Menace’s season, the Heartland Division race is boiling down to five teams fighting for two spots in the PDL playoffs.

The Menace takes a six-game unbeaten streak into this busy week.

“The main thing is to get as much rest as possible,” said Menace midfielder-turned-forward Husref Jupic. “We have to go on the road and come back with a tie or a win, like we’ve tried to do all year.”

OPEN CUP TUESDAY:  Des Moines hosts AC St. Louis of the USSF-Division 2 Pro League in the first round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. This is the fifth cup appearance in franchise history (2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006). Fans can save by purchasing tickets before game day. Before Tuesday, single tickets are available for $7 and four-packs are $25. Tickets return to the normal $9 rate on the day of the game.

: Menace vs. Real Colorado Foxes
Date: June 12, 2010
Competition: Premier Development League regular-season match
Venue: Valley Stadium, West Des Moines, Iowa
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CDT
Attendance: 3,358
Weather: 80s, overcast

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

MENACE – Stephen Okai (Logan McDaniel) 49:00
RC – Kris Banghart 2:00

Stats Summary: MENACE / RC
Shots: 23 / 8
Saves: 6 / 11
Corner Kicks: 6 / 0
Fouls: 10 / 4
Offside: 5 / 1

Misconduct Summary: RC Yellow Cards: Drew Beckie 10:00: Josh Fallin 6:00; MENACE Yellow Cards: Clark Bradford 9:00;  MENACE Red Cards: Jubril Lawal 63:00

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