Bryan Perez looks for an opening in the Menace's May 14 season opener against St. Louis.
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Wednesday, June 1, 2011 – The payback-minded Des Moines Menace faces Kansas City one week after the Brass crushed Des Moines’ hopes of sending two teams to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Tonight’s 7:30 start at Overland Park (Kan.) Soccer Complex is a rematch of Kansas City’s 2-1 victory over Des Moines, which needed a win to secure the Premier Development League Heartland Division’s berth in the Open Cup.
The Menace has received its Open Cup pairing for first-round action – a June 14 home date with Chicago Fire PDL. Fans and Media can expect details this afternoon. The organization’s entry in the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) clinched a spot with a 7-1 win over Kansas on April 30.
Unable to overcome the the Brass’ physicality a week ago, the Menace (3-1-0) suffered its first loss of the season and its first in 10 outings against Kansas City. Menace head coach Laurie Calloway chalks the result up to carelessness and missed opportunities. He hopes to see a better showing in the second round against the Brass (2-2-0).
“I think we have to play with more conviction. For some reason the guys just didn’t have the edge playing that game,” Calloway said.
After hitting the practice schedule hard the first couple of weeks of the 2011 season, the Menace took some time off Memorial Day weekend.
“We had a nice and low-key week in preparation these last two days,” commented Calloway, whose squad hopes to restart the unbeaten streak over Kansas City.
The ante is upped for three Menace players who have completed their eligibility with the University of Missouri-Kansas City – Coady Andrews, Bryan Perez and John Sosa. For midfielder Perez, a 2011 graduate, the matches against Kansas City stand out from the other 12 regular-season contests.
“It’s a huge game for me. A couple of the guys I know really well from school,” said Perez. “I feel like playing against teammates and losing defines hunger. It makes me hungry for more and want to win.
Perez closed out his career as the UMKC school record holder in goals (29) and points (70). Also became the first three-time first-team all-league honoree, the first four-time all-league selection and the first three-time all-region honoree in school history.
“(After the loss) I couldn’t sleep, I was really upset. It was just unfortunate because we dominated but we couldn’t find the back of the net. It makes us work hard and want to come back and win.”
The Menace is at home on Saturday, with a 7:30 p.m. exhibition match against Des Moines International at Valley Stadium. The team travels across the Canadian border for a week-long trip next week, facing WSA Winnipeg on June 7 and 8 and the Thunder Bay Chill on June 10 and 11.
RECAPPING WEDNESDAY: Des Moines was unable to keep-up with the aggressive play of Kansas City last week.
Playing long-balls and missing shots wide in the first-half kept the Menace from clenching scoring early scoring opportunities. Des Moines’s only goal of the night came in the 29th minute from a penalty kick by defender Luis Piffer after midfielder Lebogang Moloto was taken down in the box.
“It was frustrating with the domination we had in the game. Our keeper only touched the ball four times in 80 minutes with two goals. If only we could have turned that into something,” said Calloway.
Menace captain, Coady Andrews, will not play in tomorrow night’s match after receiving a red card, last week, in the 68th minute. Andrews will not be in uniform through June 7.
SCOUTING KANSAS CITY: The Brass sits behind the Menace in the Heartland Division standings with a record of 2-2 after last week’s defeat over the Menace.
After receiving two yellow cards in the first half of last week’s match, Brass midfielder J.D. Warman will sit- out during tonight’s match.
Ricardo Yeverino leads the division with five goals. Troy Green has four assists—all coming in the Brass’s 5-2 win over Springfield on May 22.
These two Premier Development League teams will play two more times during the season, both at Valley Stadium on June 18 and July 23.
MENACE PLAYERS AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS: John Sosa leads the 64-team PDL with six assists; Deshorn Brown is tied for eighth in goals (four) and shots (14).
UPCOMING HOME ACTION: Des Moines is back in action at Valley Stadium on Saturday 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 and coaches 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.
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