The Menace is headed back to the Premier Development League Playoffs!
To have the chance to play at home in the postseason, the team needs to win in Michigan on Friday and Saturday.
Updated July 31: The Menace's season ended with a 3-2 overtime loss on Friday. Thunder Bay defeated Michigan, 2-1, on Saturday, to advance as the Central Conference's champion.
Thank you, fans, for your continued support of the Menace!
The Michigan Bucks host the Central Conference semifinals and finals at Ultimate Soccer Arena in Pontiac, Mich. The Bucks’ home is the largest indoor soccer facility in the world.
Game Times and Matchups
Friday, July 29 at 4:30 p.m. CDT (5:30 p.m. local): Central Conference semifinal 1 – Thunder Bay Chill (Heartland Division champion) vs. the winner of Chicago Fire PDL (The Great Lakes Division’s second-place team)
Friday, July 29 at 7 p.m. CDT: Central Conference semifinal 2 – Michigan Bucks (Great Lakes Division champion) vs. Des Moines Menace (Heartland Division’s second-place team)
The league’s four conference winners advance to the PDL’s championship weekend. The semifinals on Friday, Aug. 5 pit the No. 1 seed against the No. 4 seed, and the No. 2 seed against the No. 3 seed. The semifinal winners square off the next night at 6:30 CDT, in a title match televised live by Fox Soccer.
The Menace has submitted a bid to host the league’s semifinals and final at Valley Stadium, if the team advances this far in the tournament.
Follow the Action
You can watch this weekend's games live, by visiting USLlive.com. Thank you to the Michigan Bucks for broadcasting the games.
Fans can also follow the Menace’s Twitter feed for all home and away action.
Des Moines Menace
The Menace’s 18-year history is highlighted by 11 playoff runs, six Open Cup berths and more than 50 alumni in the pros (including 22 in MLS). The star in the Menace’s logo comes from the team’s 2005 PDL title.
Goals Scored: 41
Goals Allowed: 20
Key Stat: Heading into the postseason, the Menace is on the team’s fourth three-match winning streak of the season.
Coaches: Head coach Laurie Calloway, assistant coach Neathan Gibson, goalkeeping coach Kevin Schalk
Points Leaders: John Sosa (22 points on six goals and 10 assists; second in the PDL in assists), Deshorn Brown (21 points on nine goals and three assists), Lebogang Moloto (13 points on six goals and one assist) and Bryan Perez (13 points on five goals and three assists)
Goalkeepers: Johan Obando (1.00 GAA, 3-1-0, 10 saves); Miles Herbert (no appearances)
How They Qualified: On the playoff bubble entering the final weekend of the regular-season, the Menace got two necessary wins, and a little help from the division’s other contenders. Des Moines defeated Kansas City (5-1) and St. Louis (1-0), to edge Real Colorado – a team that closed the season with a 5-2 loss at Thunder Bay. The Menace wins the tie-breaker for the Heartland Division’s second and final spot, having one more win than the Foxes (11-2-3).
Established in 1996, Michigan is the only PDL team to have more appearances than the Menace in the playoffs (14) and the Open Cup (eight).The Bucks were the 2006 PDL champs, and finished second in 2000 and 2007.
Goals Scored: 38
Goals Allowed: 9
Key Stat: The Bucks have outscored foes 24-0 in eight home matches – all wins.
Coaches: Head coach Gary Parsons
Points Leaders: Thomas Catalano (22 points on 10 goals and two assists), Kenny Uzoigwe (18 points on seven goals and four assists) and Luke Holmes (15 points on five goals and five assists)
Goalkeepers: Mitch Hildebrandt (0.620 GAA, 11-2-2, 63 saves), Daniel Withrow (0.00 GAA, 1-0-0, no saves)
How They Qualified: The Bucks took the Great Lakes Division by winning their last four matches, including a 1-0 result against Chicago Fire PDL (11-3-2), in a July 20 match with the division on the line.
Series History against the Menace: Michigan holds a 3-1 edge in four meetings, all in the postseason. Des Moines’ lone win was part of the team’s 2005 title run. The Bucks knocked the Menace out of the playoffs in 1997, 2002 and 2003.
Thunder Bay Chill
The defending league finalists make their fourth-straight playoff appearance. Thunder Bay won the PDL championship in 2008.
Goals Scored: 31
Goals Allowed: 9
Key Stat: Thunder Bay tied Michigan and Kitsap for least goals allowed. The Chill posted seven straight shutouts.
Coaches: Head coach Tony Colistro
Points Leaders: Brandon Swartzendruber (28 points on 13 goals and two assists; fifth in the league in points and tied for third in goals) and Gustavo Oliveira (13 points on three goals and seven assists)
Goalkeepers: Stephen Paterson (0.50 GAA, 9-1-2, 53 saves) and Cristiano Costa (0.75 GAA, 3-1-0, 15 saves)
How They Qualified: By winning its final match, 5-2 over Real Colorado on July 23. The three points secured the Heartland Division crown; a loss would have ended the Chill’s season.
Series History against the Menace: Thunder Bay went 3-1 against the Menace and trails 17-21-3 in the all-time series, going back to 2000. Des Moines won the most recent clash between these arch-rivals, 2-0 on July 9.
Chicago Fire Premier
After a one-year absence, the Fire is back in the postseason. The team made the PDL playoffs each of its first nine seasons (2001-2009), finishing second in 2001 and 2009. The Menace hosted the Fire on June 14, in the first round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Chicago scored late to beat the Menace, 1-0, and eventually advanced to a third-round Open Cup match at MLS side Sporting KC.
Goals Scored: 28
Goals Allowed: 10
Key Stat: The Fire’s stingy defense has allowed the same number of goals at home (five) as it has on the road.
Coaches: Head coach Mark Spooner
Points Leaders: Chris Estridge (14 points on seven goals) and Josey Portilla and Paulo Vaz (each with 11 points on five goals and one assist)
Goalkeepers: David Meves (0.43 GAA, 6-1-0, 35 saves); Jordan Godsey (0.50 GAA, 5-2-1, 32 saves)
How They Qualified: The Fire took second place in the nine-team Great Lakes Division. Chicago advanced to the Central Conference semifinals with a 3-0 win over third-place Forest City London on Tuesday (July 26).
Series History against the Menace: The Fire’s Open Cup win gave Chicago a 4-3-2 edge against Des Moines. These teams split in the 2005 and 2006 seasons. In their last postseason meeting, the Fire won a first-round shootout (following a 3-3 draw) to end the Menace’s repeat bid.
Menace’s History in the PDL Playoffs
This is the Menace’s 11th trip to the Premier Development League Playoffs.
All-Time Record in the Playoffs: 13-11
Home Matches: 6-6
Away Matches: 1-3
Neutral Sites: 6-2
Record: 1-1 Place: – Elite Eight
Heartland Division Finals – Des Moines 2, Real Colorado 1
PDL Quarterfinals – Cary 1, Des Moines 0
Record: 0-1 Place: –
Central Conference Semifinals – Chicago 3 (5), Des Moines 3 (3)
Record: 4-0 Place: PDL Champions
Central Conference Semifinals – Des Moines 3, Chicago 0
Central Conference Finals – Des Moines 4, Michigan 1
PDL Semifinals – Des Moines 2, Orange County 1
PDL Finals – Des Moines 0 (6), El Paso 0 (5)
Record: 0-1 Place: –
Central Conference Semifinals – Mid Michigan 1, Des Moines 0
Record: 0-1 Place: –
Central Conference Semifinals – Mid Michigan 3, Des Moines 1
Record: 0-2 Place: 4th
PDL Semifinals – Calgary 2, Des Moines 1
PDL Consolation – Sioux Falls 1, Des Moines 0
Record: 4-1 Place: 3rd
Central Division Semifinals – Des Moines 2, Twin Cities 1 (OT)
Central Division Finals – Des Moines 3, Kansas City 2 (OT)
PDL Quarterfinals – Des Moines 3, Cocoa 1
PDL Semifinals – San Gabriel 3, Des Moines 1
PDL Consolation – Des Moines 4, Kalamazoo 1
Record: 2-1 Place: --
Central Division Semifinals – Des Moines 4, Lincoln 0
Central Division Finals – Des Moines 6, Omaha 0
Central Conference Finals – Mid Michigan 3, Des Moines 0
Record: 0-1 Place: –
Southern Division Semifinals – Austin 1, Des Moines 0 (OT)
Record: 2-2 Place: 4th
Central Division Semifinals – Des Moines 3, Austin 2 (OT)
Central Division Finals – Des Moines 1, Sioux Falls 0
Premier League Semifinals – Cocoa 3, Des Moines 1
Premier League Consolation – San Francisco 4, Des Moines 1
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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