WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Wednesday, April 18, 2012 – The defending North America Soccer League champions will visit the Des Moines Menace in 2012.
Professional team Minnesota Stars FC comes to Valley Stadium on Saturday, July 14 for the Menace’s 2012 regular-season home finale, and a fireworks display will cap off the night. This is one of two exhibitions – along with a matchup with Colorado Select on Saturday, June 16 – that round out the 10-match home schedule for the Menace’s Premier Development League team. All of the team’s home matches start at 7:30 p.m.
The Stars lifted the Soccer Bowl trophy after beating the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the home-and-home NASL Championship series last October. Re-launched in 2011, the NASL is the continent’s only first-division soccer league – one rung below Major League Soccer and one rung above United Soccer Leagues-PRO.
“I think it’s an exciting game to host a team like Minnesota,” said Menace head coach Laurie Calloway. “They have good, solid players. It’s a real test for us – a level of soccer a cut above what are fans are used to seeing."
Justin Davis, one of nearly 60 former Menace players who have played professionally, is in his second season as a defender for Minnesota. Davis played for the 2007-08 Menace and was chosen by Real Salt Lake in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.
“For our players, it’s a good experience to play against them (Minnesota Stars FC),” Calloway said. “There’s an opportunity to get noticed and climb up the ladder to success.”
Calloway reached out to Minnesota head coach Manny Lagos to set up the July date. Calloway and Lagos (and Manny’s father, Buzz) coached against each other in Callloway’s time with Syracuse and Rochester in the now defunct USL First Division.
The Menace’s skipper called on Rafa Amaya, one of his former players, to secure the Menace’s June opponent. Amaya, the head coach for Colorado Select, played under Calloway as a member of the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks (1991-92, including the American Pro Soccer League championship team in 1991) and the San Jose Clash (1996, in the first year of Major League Soccer).
“They’re PDL-level players,” Calloway said of Amaya’s team. “They’re strong, and they’ve got a good coach.”
Fans wearing black to the June 16 “Blackout Game” receive $5 tickets.
The Menace’s season starts with a May 4-5 Opening Weekend doubleheader against Real Colorado at Valley Stadium.
Des Moines Menace 2012 PDL Schedule
Friday, May 4 Real Colorado Foxes 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Saturday, May 5 Real Colorado Foxes 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Wednesday, May 9 at Springfield Demize 7 p.m. at Cooper Complex
Saturday, May 12 St. Louis Lions 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Tuesday, May 15 First round of Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – Opponent TBD
Friday, May 19 Kansas City Brass 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Saturday, May 26 at St. Louis Lions 5 p.m. at Tony Glavin Complex
Friday, June 1 at WSA Winnipeg 7 p.m. at Winnipeg Soccer Complex
Saturday, June 2 at WSA Winnipeg 7 p.m. at Winnipeg Soccer Complex
Saturday, June 9 Kansas City Brass 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Thursday, June 14 at Springfield Demize 7 p.m. at Cooper Complex
Saturday, June 16 Colorado Select # 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Friday, June 22 at Thunder Bay Chill 6:30 p.m. at Chapples Park
Saturday, June 23 at Thunder Bay Chill 6:30 p.m. at Chapples Park
Saturday, June 30 Springfield Demize 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Friday, July 6 Thunder Bay Chill 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Saturday, July 7 Thunder Bay Chill 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Saturday, July 14 Minnesota Stars FC # 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Sunday, July 15 at St. Louis Lions 5 p.m. at Tony Glavin Complex
# = exhibition
All times are Central
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) 457-6163.
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