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Menace to play 11 home matches in 2011

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Feb. 17, 2011 – Des Moines Menace fans can put nine Saturdays and two Fridays on their 2011 calendars.

United Soccer League (USL) officials this afternoon released the schedule for the 64-team Premier Development League (PDL). This is the Menace PDL squad’s 18th season as Iowa’s Premier Soccer Team.

The Menace returns to West Des Moines’ Valley Stadium for its fourth straight season, opening the 19-game slate with the first of 11 home dates on May 14 against the St. Louis Lions. The start time for all home matches is 7:30 p.m.

“It’s always exciting when you can finally get your schedule confirmed and start planning for the preseason,” said Menace head coach Laurie Calloway. “The team’s coming together. We’ve got nine or 10 players returning from last year. We’re also having a lot of success recruiting top-level talent that will help with our goals of a good run in the (Lamar Hunt U.S.) Open Cup and a PDL championship.”

In Calloway’s first year back after guiding the Menace in 2001-2002, the Menace finished 6-3-7 in a 2010 season highlighted by the organization’s fifth trip to the Open Cup.

The 2011 season brings a new team to the PDL’s Heartland Division. The Menace faces newcomer WSA Winnipeg four times, including a July 1-2 doubleheader at Valley Stadium. The division remains at seven teams after losing a team in the offseason. The Rochester Thunder, an expansion club in 2009, ceased operations after making the 2010 PDL playoffs.

Des Moines plays half of its road schedule in a five-day stint in June, embarking on a weeklong trek through Canada that includes the franchise’s first two matches against Winnipeg (June 7-8) and finishes with two contests at the rival Thunder Bay Chill (June 10-11).

Defending division champion Thunder Bay visits the Menace for a pair of matches on July 8-9. The Chill (12-2-2 in 2010) advanced to the PDL’s 2010 championship match, won by the Portland Timbers U23. After going 0-2-1 against Thunder Bay last season, Menace looks for its first home result against the Chill since a 5-1 win in 2008.

Upon returning from Canada, the Menace plays eight straight matches at Valley Stadium, including two of the team’s exhibitions, which will be announced in the coming weeks.

The regular season concludes with a July 24 match at St. Louis, one day after the team hosts the Kansas City Brass on “Fan Appreciation Night.”

In 2011, the Menace will see the Springfield (Mo.) Demize just once – May 18 on the road, in the second of four Open Cup qualifiers. The team will not face the Real Colorado Foxes, a year after these teams battled to three draws in a span of eight days.

The 64-team PDL has four conferences and nine divisions. The Eastern Conference features three divisions while the Southern, Central and Western Conferences feature two divisions each.  The Heartland and Great Lakes divisions comprise the Central Conference.

The nine division champions will advance to the PDL Playoffs (beginning July 30), with a plan for league quarterfinals and semifinals in the following weeks. USL officials will announce more details in the months leading up to the season.

Des Moines Menace 2011 Schedule

Saturday, May 14                     St. Louis                     7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 19                 at Springfield               7:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 21                     St. Louis                      7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 25                 at Kansas City               7:30 p.m.
 
Wednesday, June 1                 at Kansas City                7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 4                     Exhibition TBA              7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 7                      at Winnipeg                  7:00 p.m.
Wednesday. June 8                 at Winnipeg                  7:00 p.m.
Friday, June 10                        at Thunder Bay             6:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 11                    at Thunder Bay             6:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 18                    Kansas City                   7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 25                    Exhibition TBA              7:30 p.m.
 
Friday, July 1                           Winnipeg                     7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 2                       Winnipeg                      7:30 p.m.
Friday, July 8                           Thunder Bay                 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 9                       Thunder Bay                 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 16                     Exhibition TBA              7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 23                     Kansas City                   7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 24                       at St. Louis                   5:00 p.m.

Home games are in bold
Open cup qualifiers are italicized
All times are CDT

ABOUT THE MENACE: Preparing for its 18th season as Iowa’s Premier Soccer Team, the Des Moines Menace competes in the 64-team Premier Development League (PDL), the highest amateur level of the United Soccer Leagues (USL). The Menace plays its home matches in a fun, family-friendly environment at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines.

SEASON TICKETS AVAILABLE: Season-ticket holders experience 11 Menace home matches, receive a VIP parking pass, and enjoy a monthly catered refreshment room before games. Purchase before March 11 and save 10 percent. Get tickets online or call Steve Fulton at (515) 457-6163.

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