WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Saturday, May 21, 2011 – For a while, it looked like only lightning could stop the Des Moines Menace from scoring tonight at Valley Stadium.
With thunderstorms threatening, the Menace bolted to a 5-0 lead over Premier Development League rival St. Louis, en route to a 5-2 weather-shortened victory.
This win puts the Menace in first place for the Heartland Division’s berth in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Des Moines has the slightest edge over Real Colorado, which shares a 3-0-0 mark in qualifying action after defeating Springfield 3-1 tonight.
Center-midfielder John Sosa set a Des Moines franchise record tonight, collecting four assists – including three in a span of about 10 minutes.
“I feel blessed to be a part of this squad,” Sosa said. “It makes my job easier when I have such quality players around me. It makes me look good.”
Diego Marroquin started the scoring in the 15th minute, heading in a corner kick from Sosa. The Menace kept on the attack, as Sosa set up Deshorn Brown for his third (23rd minute) and fourth (25th minute) goals of the season.
Uriah Polley scored unassisted in the final minute of the first half, and the Menace made it a five-goal lead in the 51st minute, when Lebogang Moloto went “upper 90” after receiving a one-touch give-and-go from Sosa.
St. Louis cut into the lead with goals in the 68th and 71st minutes. When lightning moved in, the officials cleared the field in the 79th minute. The game was called after a 40-minute lightning delay.
The Lions, who have lost back-to-back Saturday matches here at Valley Stadium to open the season, turn around to host Real Colorado tomorrow at 5 p.m. This is the fourth and final Open Cup qualifier for the Foxes, who will be looking to make up ground on the goal-differential tie-breaker.
The Menace has outscored foes 10-3, while Real Colorado holds a 10-4 advantage. These teams won’t face each other during the regular-season, one year after tying three times in an eight-day span.
Laurie Calloway’s team will be keeping tabs on tomorrow’s result in St. Louis, while preparing for its final Open Cup qualifier – Wednesday at Kansas City.
“It feels good to be in the first spot,” said Sosa. “We know Real Colorado and St. Louis are both good teams. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. We need to make sure we do our thing. That way, we don’t have to worry as much about what the other guys are doing.
“We have to stay humble, work hard. A lot of room for improvement and some time to improve. We move on and think about our next game.”
The Menace’s scoring outburst marks the first time in the history of the Des Moines-St. Louis rivalry that either side scored more than three goals. Des Moines is undefeated in its last 10 battles with St. Louis, and leads the highly contested series, 5-3-8.
MR. B MAN of the MATCH goes to: John Sosa, who distributed a club-record four assists. As a senior at Missouri-Kansas City last fall, Sosa was named the Summit League Offensive Player of the Year. He was born in Colombia and calls St. Cloud, Fla., his home.
UP NEXT: Des Moines travels to face the Kansas City Brass each of the next two Wednesdays, before playing a home exhibition in two weeks. The Menace and Brass play at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., on May 25 and compete on the other side of the Missouri River the following week – at Overland Park Soccer Complex on June 1.
The Menace is back at Valley Stadium on Saturday, June 4, hosting Des Moines International on Youth Soccer Night, presented by Powerade and Vitamin Water. All youth-soccer players and coaches receive free admission (when they wear their team jerseys or show their coaches’ passes); teams are invited to be part of a pre-game parade.
Match: St. Louis Lions at Des Moines Menace
Date: Saturday, May 21, 2011
Competition: Premier Development League regular-season match
Venue: Valley Stadium in West Des Moines, Iowa
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CDT
Weather: Sunny and 70s to start the game – Thunderstorms in the second half – Game called after 40-minute lightning delay.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 4 1 5
StL 0 2 2
MENACE – Diego Marroquin (John Sosa) 15:00; Deshorn Brown (Sosa) 23:00; Brown (Sosa) 25:00; Uriah Polley 45:00; Lebogang Moloto (Sosa) 51:00
StL – Dan Meagher (Troy McKerrel) 68:00; Pat Kelly 71:00
Stats Summary: MENACE / StL
Shots: 19 / 6
Saves: 3 / 10
Corner Kicks: 8 / 1
Fouls: 2 / 7
Offside: 2 / 1
Misconduct Summary: Menace Yellow Cards: Deshorn Brown 34:00; Lebogang Moloto 52:00
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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