WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Friday, May 20, 2011 – It’s rematch time for the Des Moines Menace and the St. Louis Lions.
These Heartland Division rivals meet again at Valley Stadium tomorrow night, one week after they opened the Premier Development League season here. This time, Des Moines has an upper hand after defeating St. Louis 2-1 on May 14. The Menace will be suiting up in all-black kits for a 7:30 p.m. start on "Blackout Night."
The win over the Lions gave Des Moines a one-game edge in the all-time series (4-3-8) and ignited the Menace on a 2-0 season-opening run in qualifiers for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, which continued on Tuesday with a 3-0 shutout at Springfield (Mo.).
“We want to continue our unbeaten run and build up the goal difference between (Real) Colorado for the Cup,” said head coach Laurie Calloway, whose team made its fifth Open Cup appearance in 2010.
One team from each of the PDL’s nine divisions advances to the storied tournament. Real Colorado has the edge, after outscoring Kansas City 7-3 in its first two qualifiers. The Foxes play at Springfield and St. Louis this weekend to cap off qualifying play.
Midfielder Lebogang Moloto, who opened the Menace’s scoring last week against St. Louis, said the team is ready for another battle this time around.
“I think it’s going to be a tough game,” said Moloto. “We’ll have to do things differently to get the game going. The problem is that they now know what we got, and I’m assuming they're preparing. So we have to do the same.”
Calloway’s team has used goal-setting as a way to prepare for the match.
“We put up three goals on the board – to remain unbeaten, have a shutout and win by three or more goals – and we were able to do that (against Springfield),” said Calloway. “Goal setting is part of what we do and the boys are on the mark to achieve their goals.”
“The team played extremely well at Springfield, overall a tremendous performance. We’ve got a lot of good players with potential,” said Calloway.
Calloway’s crew plays its final Open Cup qualifier at Kansas City on May 25 and returns to Valley Stadium, Saturday, June 4 to face Des Moines International in an exhibition.
RECAPPING LAST WEEK: 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 on May 14 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.
In its first road match of the season, the Des Moines Menace dealt the Springfield Demize a 3-0 loss at Cooper Complex on Tuesday.
Coady Andrews headed in a pair of first-half goals, and Deshorn Brown notched his second goal.
SCOUTING ST. LOUIS: The Lions (0-1) took a halftime lead on May 14, thanks to a goal from Ernad Cavka, assisted by David
Flores. Midfielder Dean Lovegrove will be sitting out this rematch, after being sent off in the 84th minute, following two cautions.
In 2010, Des Moines took the season series for the second straight year, winning 2-1 at Valley Stadium on May 22, before the teams tied 1-1 at St. Louis on June 13 and 2-2 in West Des Moines on July 24. The Lions (5-7-4) finished fifth in last season’s Heartland Division standings, one spot behind Des Moines (6-3-7).
The two teams will not meet again until July 24 at St. Louis, the last regular season Premier Development League game for both teams.
Tony Glavin, the Lions’ head coach since their inaugural 2006 season, holds a record of 35-28-20.
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: This week on MenaceSoccer.com, we feature South Africa native Lebogang Moloto, who tied Clark Bradford and Logan McDaniel for the team’s lead in goals (five) a year ago. Click here for a story and video.
LEAGUE HONORS: Congratulations to Menace forward Deshorn Brown, who has earned honorable mention on the PDL Team of the Week. Brown, a Jamaican, has two goals, including the game-winner on opening night.
SATURDAY’S PROMOTIONS: Blackout Night returns, and all fans wearing black receive $5 admission. The Valley Stadium gates open at 6:30 p.m., and the first 300 fans receive a free vuvuzela. This 7:30 p.m. match is sponsored by CBRE/Hubbell.
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.
Des Moines returns to Valley Stadium in two weeks, Saturday, June 4 for a 7:30 p.m. exhibition game against Des Moines International, presented by Powerade/Vitamin Water. On Saturday, we’re also featuring “Youth Soccer Night”, to celebrate youth players within the area – one of the many highlights on the Menace’s 2011 promotional schedule.
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.