Husref Jupic (left) and Bryan Perez (right) connected for three of the Menace's goals in a 5-1 win to keep the Menace's postseason hopes alive.
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Saturday, July 23, 2011 – A win on Sunday sends the Des Moines Menace to the Premier Development League Playoffs.
The Menace’s 5-1 triumph over the Kansas City Brass tonight at Valley Stadium keeps the team in the postseason hunt. It’s also a momentum boost heading into tomorrow’s 5 p.m. regular-season finale at St. Louis.
Des Moines’ playoff hopes continue for one more day, thanks to the necessary victory – and some help from the Thunder Bay Chill. In a battle tonight for the Heartland Division crown, the Chill (12-2-2, 38 points) beat the visiting Real Colorado Foxes, 5-2. These teams tied, 1-1, on Friday, and another draw would have ended the Menace’s chances of reaching the postseason.
Instead, the Menace (11-4-0, 33 points) has a shot at edging Real Colorado (11-2-3, 36 points) for one of the seven-team division’s two playoff spots. A victory at St. Louis would give the Menace three more points and a tie-breaker, by virtue of having more wins than the Foxes – a team Des Moines did not face this season.
Bryan Perez and Husref Jupic teamed up for three goals tonight, helping the Menace overcome a slow start and give an announced crowd of 3,776 plenty to cheer about on Fan Appreciation Night.
“Some beautiful stuff,” said Menace head coach Laurie Calloway. “Once the team settled down and got into a rhythm, I thought they played some of the best football we’ve seen from them all season.”
Perez assisted Jupic’s eventual game-winner in the 45th minute, lifting the home side to a 2-1 halftime lead.
Jupic returned the favor, setting up Perez for back-to-back strikes in the 73rd and 74th minutes, to put the match out of Kansas City’s reach.
“Great teamwork,” said Perez, who has scored five goals. “I wouldn’t be able to do it without my team. Scoring those two goals kept the momentum going.”
Captain John Sosa’s sixth goal of the season – second on the team behind only the departed Deshorn Brown’s nine – had padded the lead in the 59th minute. Sosa and Brown share the team lead with 21 points apiece.
The Brass took a 1-0 lead when Brian Harris scored in the 19th minute. The Brass also tied the match, on an own goal credited to Frank Washington and created by the Menace’s Ben Taylor.
Kansas City ends the season at 4-8-4, one spot ahead of fifth-place St. Louis (4-6-5 heading into tomorrow’s match).
Des Moines finishes the home portion of its schedule 7-1-0 at the friendly confines of Valley Stadium. Hoping for the chance to host postseason action, the Menace is seeking the organization’s 11th playoff appearance in 18 seasons.
“It’s going to take a lot of us, everything we have,” said Perez. “It’s going to take a lot of heart and teamwork. Everything’s working our way.”
MR. B MAN of the MATCH goes to: Bryan Perez, who scored in consecutive minutes. His fourth and fifth goals tie him with Lebogang Moloto for third-best on the team. His five-point performance (when you add in the point from his assist tonight) lifts him past Moloto (11 points), to third place, with 13 points.
UP NEXT: The team hits the road tomorrow, taking on the St. Louis Lions at 5 p.m. at Tony Glavin Soccer Complex in St. Peters, Mo. You can follow all Menace action, home and away, at www.Twitter.com/MenaceSoccer.
Match: Des Moines Menace vs. Kansas City Brass
Date: Saturday, July 23, 2011
Competition: Premier Development League regular-season match
Venue: Valley Stadium in West Des Moines, Iowa
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CDT
Weather: 90s, Sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 2 3 5
KC 1 0 1
MENACE: Frank Washington (Own goal) 43:00; Husref Jupic (Bryan Perez) 45:00; John Sosa 59:00; Perez (Jupic) 73:00; Perez (Jupic) 74:00.
KC: Brian Harris (Mohammed Ramahi) 19:00
Stats Summary: MENACE / KC
Shots: 27 / 9
Saves: 3 / 10
Corner Kicks: 7 / 5
Fouls: 6 / 8
Offside: 1 / 0
Misconduct Summary: MENACE Yellow Cards: Andrew Duran 42:00; John Sosa 59:00; David Parato 90:00 KC Yellow Cards: Zane Christenson 58:00 KC Red Cards: Matt McDevitt 88:00.
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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