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Menace looks to get back on track

The Father's Day celebration, sponsored by Sheraton West Des Moines, marks the start of six straight weekends at home.
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Friday, June 17, 2011 – The Des Moines Menace has not scored a goal in its last 307 minutes of soccer. This is a drought the team hopes to end tomorrow night against the Kansas City Brass.

The 7:30 match at Valley Stadium is the teams’ third meeting, after splitting in Kansas City on May 25 and June 1. The Menace’s 5-2 win in round two started a four-match, 25-goal scoring spree that included a 14-0 exhibition win on June 4.

The goal-hungry Menace hopes to break a three-game losing streak after back-to-back Premier Development League setbacks at Thunder Bay (2-0 and 3-0) and Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to the Chicago Fire in the first round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

“After three tough opponents, our message to the players is – don’t assume,” said head coach Laurie Calloway, whose team has not won since June 8. “We are the Menace and people will come after us because we are the Menace.”

Calloway’s squad (6-3-0) has learned not to become complacent against Kansas City, a physical team that overcame a halftime deficit to win 2-1 and crush the Menace’s hopes of sending a second team to the Open Cup. One week later, the Menace sought revenge with a decisive win, scoring four goals in the first half.

“They’ll come after us because they always do,” Calloway said of the Brass (2-4-2). “We’ve got to get a lively start and get goals on the board to finally put a team away. I’m looking for a true killer instinct from our guys.

“It’s important that we get back on track against Kansas City. We need to focus solely on the league and doing well in the league.”

A win tomorrow would bring the Menace within one point of PDL Heartland Division leader Real Colorado, which is idle this weekend. The Foxes (7-0-1) travel to Bremerton, Wash., to challenge the Kitsap Pumas in Tuesday’s second round of the Open Cup. The United States Soccer Federation announced on Wednesday that the winner of this match faces Seattle Sounders FC (Major League Soccer) on June 28.

A victory would be a nice present for Calloway, who turns 66 today. It would also be a good way for the Menace to start a stretch of six straight weekends at home to close the regular season.

RECAPPING TUESDAY: The first-round Open Cup tilt between the Menace and Chicago Fire PDL was scoreless until the visitors’ Chris Estridge found the back of the net on a solo attack in the 87th minute.

The Menace saw an open net on multiple occasions but was unable to capitalize on opportunities. With six saves, Menace goalkeeper Phil Boerger was able to keep Des Moines in the match.

“I was very pleased with the way we were defensively against Chicago,” said Calloway.
This is the second straight year that a 1-0 loss forces the Menace to make an early exit from the Cup. Pro side AC St. Louis edged Des Moines in the first round last year.

Chicago advances in the 98-year-old tournament to face the Madison 56ers on June 21 in Madison, Wis.
The winner of the second-round match goes head-to-head with MLS side Sporting KC (formerly the Kansas City Wizards) at the new Livestrong Stadium in Overland Park, Kan.
 
SCOUTING KANSAS CITY:  After tying St. Louis 1-1 on June 11, the Brass holds fourth place in the Heartland Division.
 
With 15 points, forward Ricardo Yeverino leads Kansas City in scoring and is tied for seventh in the PDL. Brian Harris is listed second on the team in scoring with eight points (two goals and four assists), and Troy Green holds seven points after one goal and five assists. Green is tied for fourth among league assist leaders. Goalkeeper Andy Fitzpatrick holds 50 saves for the season, listing him second in the league.
 
The 2011 series is tied, 1-1, but the Menace lead the all-time series – 22-11-1.
 
Kansas City will return to Des Moines for the final match-up on July 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium.

MENACE PLAYERS AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS: John Sosa shares the PDL lead with nine assists; Deshorn Brown is tied for seventh in goals (six) and 11th in points (13).
 
SATURDAY’S PROMOTIONS: Join us for our Father’s Day celebration presented by Sheraton West Des Moines. The first 300 fans receive free koozies, sponsored by the Menace’s official hotel. One lucky dad will win a grill, sponsored by the Chicken Coop Bar and Grill.
 
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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