With players from 13 different countries, including Scotland and Brazil, the Des Moines Menace proves soccer is a universal sport.
Menace and Grand View University teammates Jonny MacAdam and Luis Piffer give an in-depth, intercultural look into the game they love to play.
MacAdam, a forward, originates from Glasgow, Scotland – a place where the soccer is physical. At 5-foot-8, he knew he would have to travel in order to play at a more competitive level. Entering his third year of playing in the United States, MacAdam has noticed the differences in the game.
“You’ve got a lot less time coming to the ball. Coming to America, I realized you can get a ball, you can turn quicker, which I think is better,” said MacAdam. “I think they’re (Scotland and United States) both equally as competitive. I think there’s a misconception that U.S. soccer is not as good, but I came here and realized that’s not true.”
MacAdam plans to add his own Scottish flair to the Menace offense and is determined to be a force to be reckoned with.
“My soccer style is not your typical, usual Scottish style,” MacAdam said. “I like to get the ball into the feet rather than doing flicks into the air. I like to run with the ball, which in Scotland you don’t really get the chance to do. Coming to America and in college especially I’ve had the chance to be able to do that.”
Piffer, a midfielder from Amparo, Brazil, has brought his South American style of soccer to the heartland. For him, soccer has always been in his blood.
“Soccer in Brazil represents everything. Since you were born, like it’s all about soccer,” noted Piffer. “Soccer is a cheap sport; you can go to the streets and play. Soccer is like faith in Brazil. It’s a real passionate thing.”
“I like to attack from players,” said Piffer. “You touch the ball and always attacking, attacking, attacking.”
Like many of their Menace teammates, MacAdam and Piffer were drawn to the United States by the chance to earn college degrees while continuing their soccer careers. In their native countries, soccer players have to choose between pursuing higher education or a career in soccer.
The friends led Blair Reid’s Vikings (21-1) to the Elite Eight of the 2010 NAIA National Tournament, earning all-America honors and first-team Midwest Collegiate Conference selections. MacAdam led the Vikings in scoring with 16 goals and seven assists, and Piffer – the conference’s player of the year – posted 13 goals and three assists.
Menace fans can witness Piffer’s Brazilian flair and MacAdam’s speed Saturday night, 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium, as Des Moines takes on Des Moines International.
Menace teammates Jonny MacAdam (left) and Luis Piffer (right).
Hometown: Glasgow, Scotland Pre-game rituals: Lots of water and rest. Favorite soccer player: Messi Favorite soccer move: step-over Favorite song: anything by Snow Patrol
Hometown: Amparo, Brazil Pre-game ritual: Pray before games for protection. Favorite soccer player: Neymar Favorite Coach Calloway quote: "No diving because the field is not a water pool." Favorite song: samba
Menace interns Jenae Jenison and BJ Stokesbary provide fans with a player spotlight video and story each week.