WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – May 17, 2011 – The Des Moines Menace sees its first road action tonight, continuing its search for a berth in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
After opening the season with a win on Saturday, the Menace visits the Springfield (Mo.) Demize for the home team’s season-opener, set to begin at 7:30 p.m. at Cooper Complex.
Tonight’s match is the only opportunity for Des Moines to face this Heartland Division opponent in 2011, and the Menace coaching staff plans to carry on the tradition of beating the Demize.
“Our mindset is to win and with good margin so we can close the gap between Colorado for the (Lamar Hunt U.S. Open) Cup,” said head coach Laurie Calloway, whose team gained confidence on Saturday night with a season-opening win over St. Louis.
For the past four seasons, Des Moines has dominated the head-to-head competition against Springfield, winning all ten matches against the Demize, by a combined score of 37-3.
With the Real Colorado’s two wins over Kansas City last weekend (winning 4-1 and 3-2), the Menace is striving for a substantial win against the Demize, boosting the team’s bid for a repeat trip to in the Open Cup. One team from each of the PDL’s nine divisions advances to the storied tournament.
Calloway’s crew returns to Valley Stadium on Saturday for a rematch with St. Louis. The team’s fourth and final Open Cup qualifier comes May 25 with a trip to Kansas City.
RECAPPING SATURDAY: Second-half goals by Deshorn Brown and Lebogang Moloto propelled Des Moines to a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Lions in the Premier Development League season opener at Valley Stadium.
The Menace overcame a halftime deficit to extend its unbeaten streak against the Lions to nine (3-0-6). Brown scored the game-winner in the 84th minute, after Moloto tied the match 11 minutes into the second half.
ROSTER MOVES: Hoping to finalize the roster, Calloway gives additional players the nod.
“I’ve got to look at other players that I have not seen yet. I’m taking players who did not suit Saturday night,” said Calloway.
The team adds four midfielders to the roster for tonight’s match. Grand View star Jonny Macadam, from Glasgow, Scotland, is ready to make his PDL debut. John Sosa, a former Missouri-Kansas City standout from St. Cloud, Fla., is available after sitting out the opener due to a red-card suspension that carried over from his final game with the 2010 Central Florida Craze.
Western Illinois teammates Husref Jupic and Alexis Dominguez are in the mix, as well. Jupic, the 2009 Iowa High School Player of the Year at Des Moines Hoover, is back for his second season with the PDL side. Dominguez was born in Argentina and comes from Miami.
Two starting defenders suffered injuries in Saturday night’s match. Chris Van Leur is on the injured list for tonight’s match after suffering a contusion, and Anthony Colaizzi is listed as questionable, with a turned ankle and a strained ligament.
SCOUTING SPRINGFIELD: The Demize (1-12-3) tied for last place along with the Kansas City Brass in last season’s Heartland Division standings.
In 2010, Des Moines continued its four-year series winning streak, by a margin of 3-1 at Springfield on May 12, and 3-0 at Valley Stadium on June 26.
The Demize recently added head coach Julio Reyes to the staff.
SATURDAY’S PROMOTIONS: Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. game against the St. Louis Lions is presented by CBRE/Hubbell, and the first 300 fans can relive the 2010 World Cup and make a lot of noise, with their free vuvuzelas. All fans wearing black for “Blackout Night” will get in for $5 – one of the many highlights on the Menace’s 2011 promotional schedule.
Saturday is also the first of three Cleat Crew games. Kids age 13 and younger are invited to sign up for the Cleat Crew. For only $5, children receive a ticket to three select games, plus food and drink for each game. Fans can sign up online or at the game.
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace competes in the 64-team United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL), the highest amateur level of soccer in North America. The Menace plays its home matches in a fun, family-friendly environment at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines. The organization promotes a healthy lifestyle through its popular youth programs, including the Menace Academy (select soccer for ages 9-19), camps, clinics and tournaments.
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