USL president Tim Holt (left) presented Menace owner Kyle Krause (right) with the Hall of Fame award on Dec. 16 in Clearwater Beach, Fla. Photo courtesy United Soccer Leagues
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011 – Kyle Krause is one of the newest members of the United Soccer Leagues Hall of Fame.
The Des Moines Menace’s owner was inducted during Friday night’s USL Hall of Fame and Awards Dinner at the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach (Fla.) Resort & Spa.
Krause is one of nine 2011 honorees, chosen through a vote of current Hall of Fame members and USL teams. He joins the hall’s list of Builders – those leaders who have successfully elevated the sport in the USL’s 25-year history.
“Personally, I have to admit I was surprised when I heard the news that I was part of this Hall of Fame class,” said Krause, who spoke briefly during the ceremony after being introduced by Menace general manager Todd Meiners. “I’m honored to be selected, but this is really an honor for the Menace organization to be recognized.”
Krause purchased majority ownership of the Menace in 1998. He is the President and CEO of Kum & Go, the fifth-largest privately held, company-operated convenience-store chain in the United States.
The Menace has flourished under Krause’s leadership, building a reputation as one of the country’s most respected amateur soccer organizations. The team has consistently led the USL Premier Development League in attendance, while competing at high level and developing a long list of future professional soccer players.
In Krause’s time as owner, the franchise has qualified for the PDL playoffs on eight occasions (winning the league title in 2005) and made six appearances in the Lamer Hunt U.S. Open Cup. More than 50 former Menace players have gone on to professional careers, including more than 20 alumni who have played for Major League Soccer teams.
“It’s a passion for the game, providing fans in central Iowa with high-level soccer,” Krause said. “We provide positive family-friendly entertainment for our community. Having a great fan base, their support has allowed the Menace to be so successful. The quality of play we have is something our young soccer players can see first-hand, and something they can aspire to reach.”
The Menace organization had only one full-time employee in 1998. Today, a full-time staff of six works year-round to grow soccer at many levels, including the organization’s popular youth programs.
“It’s been a steady progress of continual improvement,” Krause said.
Similarly, the Premier Development League has experienced continued growth and change. Preparing for the 2012 season, the top amateur soccer league in North America has 73 teams, an all-time high that is more than double the 34 PDL clubs in Krause’s first season as owner.
Through the years, the Menace has been one of the league’s few constants. Only three other PDL teams from 1998 are current league members who have played continuously in the league: the Michigan Bucks (founded in 1996), the Indiana Invaders (1998) and the Kansas City Brass (1998). Michigan is the only PDL franchise that has won more games and made more playoff appearances than Des Moines, which is 173-101-26 since the franchise’s inaugural 1994 season.
Entering the 19th year of Menace soccer, Krause and the organization keep aiming high.
“We want to continue to grow our fan base, succeed on the field and raise the talent of all the players we have,” Krause said. “To also grow our camps, our tournaments, our academy, and now the women’s team (announced last week).
“The challenge is, ‘How do we make sure we’re the best at everything we do? How do we keep getting better on all fronts?’”
The 2011 United Soccer Leagues Hall of Fame class
Men’s Hall of Fame Inductees
Builder – Kyle Krause, Des Moines Menace
Coach – David Irving, Wilmington (N.C.) Hammerheads
Major Indoor Soccer League Inductees
Builder – Ed Hale. Baltimore Blast
Coach – Keith Tozer, Milwaukee Wave
Player – Tatu, Dallas Sidekicks and Wichita Wings
Women’s Hall of Fame Inductees
Builder – Tim Schweitzer, Northern Virginia Majestics
Coach – Lee Horton, Charlotte Lady Eagles
Player – Florence Omagbemi, Hampton Roads (Va.) Piranhas
Player – Christine Sinclair, Vancouver Breakers and Vancouver Whitecaps Women
MENACE RECOGNIZED BY USL: The Menace organization was a finalist for three PDL honors on Friday night: Marketing Excellence, Executive of the Year (general manager Todd Meiners) and Betsy McAdams Key Grip Award (director of operations Adam Small). Small received the Key Grip Award, recognizing behind-the-scenes contributors and named after the late Chief Operating Officer of the professional Charleston (S.C.) Battery.
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. The Menace men’s side competes in the 64-team United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL). The Menace’s women’s team prepares for its inaugural season, as part of the six-team Women’s League Soccer. The Menace teams play their 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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