WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Thursday, February 16, 2012 – The Des Moines Menace’s 19th season will open with a bang, beginning with a May 4-5 doubleheader against the Real Colorado Foxes.
United Soccer League (USL) officials today announced the 2012 season schedule for the 73-team Premier Development League (PDL). The Menace, Iowa’s Premier Soccer Team, competes against PDL Heartland Division foes from Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Canada.
West Des Moines’ Valley Stadium is the Menace’s home for the fifth straight year. All 10 home matches, played on Fridays and Saturdays, will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Opening the first weekend of May – 10 days earlier than the team’s first match in 2011 – puts extra stress on Menace head coach Laurie Calloway and his staff, as they work to pull together a cohesive squad while most of the players are in the final weeks of their colleges’ spring semesters.
“I’m liking it, so we can get back to work, but it’s hard because it crimps the preseason,” said Calloway, who returns for his fifth season as Menace skipper. “We’re out to win games, not to lose them. Similar to last year, we will play attacking soccer. The fans have come to expect that.”
Last year, the Menace outscored foes 41-21, finished 12-4-0 and made the franchise’s 11th trip to the PDL playoffs. After placing second to the Thunder Bay Chill in last year’s standings, Des Moines eyes the 2012 season as an opportunity to regain the Heartland Division title.
The Menace faces the reigning division champs and long-time arch-rivals four times in 2012: June 22-23 at Thunder Bay (the sixth and seventh of eight road matches) and July 6-7 at home (the only doubleheader after the opening weekend).
The PDL playoffs, which feature the best teams from each of the nine divisions, will open the week of July 15 and culminate with the PDL Championship on Sunday, August 5. The Menace seeks a second straight trip to the playoffs, after losing a double-overtime thriller at Michigan in the first round in 2011.
Automatic Berth in the Open Cup
New changes to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup automatically ensure the Menace a spot in this year’s cup, based on last year’s regular-season performance. This marks the teams’ third straight year – and seventh overall – qualifying for the national tournament. The 2012 Open Cup starts on Tuesday, May 15.
Coach Close to Wins Mark
If things go as hoped, Menace fans will see an early-season milestone for Calloway, who is only five wins from setting the franchise’s coaching record for most career wins. The Menace is 44-14-12 under Calloway’s guidance (2001-02 and 2010-present). Casey Mann led the team to a 48-19-13 mark from 2005 to 2009.
“Hopefully, we’ll get the first five wins and get that out of the way,” said Calloway.
Introducing the Menace Women
In 2012, the Des Moines Menace launches a Women’s League Soccer (WLS) team, representing the state’s highest level of women’s soccer. The WLS’s 2012 schedule is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Coached by Kevin Schalk, the inaugural team will play 4 p.m. matches, as part of doubleheaders with the Menace PDL squad.
Des Moines Menace 2012 PDL Schedule
Friday, May 4 7:30 p.m. Real Colorado Valley Stadium
Saturday, May 5 7:30 p.m. Real Colorado Valley Stadium
Wednesday, May 9 7 p.m. at Springfield Cooper Complex
Saturday, May 12 7:30 p.m. St. Louis Valley Stadium
Saturday, May 19 7:30 p.m. Kansas City Valley Stadium
Saturday, May 26 5 p.m. at St. Louis Tony Glavin Complex
Friday, June 1 7 p.m. at WSA Winnipeg Winn. Soccer Complex
Saturday, June 2 7 p.m. at WSA Winnipeg Winn. Soccer Complex
Saturday, June 9 7:30 p.m. Kansas City Valley Stadium
Thursday, June 14 7 p.m. at Springfield Cooper Complex
Saturday, June 16 7:30 p.m. Exhibition TBA Valley Stadium
Friday, June 22 6:30 p.m. at Thunder Bay Chapples Park
Saturday, June 23 6:30 p.m. at Thunder Bay Chapples Park
Saturday, June 30 7:30 p.m. Springfield Valley Stadium
Friday, July 6 7:30 p.m. Thunder Bay Valley Stadium
Saturday, July 7 7:30 p.m. Thunder Bay Valley Stadium
Saturday, July 14 7:30 p.m. Exhibition TBA Valley Stadium
Sunday, July 15 5 p.m. at St. Louis Tony Glavin Complex
All times are Central Daylight Time
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. The Menace men’s side competes in the 73-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, Junior Menace and tournaments.
SEASON TICKETS AVAILABLE: Season-ticket holders experience 10 Menace home matches, (plus any Open Cup and playoff matches at home) and receive a VIP parking pass and three pregame catered meals. Get tickets online or call (515) 457-6365.
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