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Menace seeks goals, first win

Logan McDaniel, center (11), returns to the Menace lineup. Here, he eyes the ball n a June 2010 match against Springfield.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo.  – Wednesday, May 9, 2012 – In pursuit of its first win of the Premier Development League season, the Des Moines Menace faces the Springfield Demize in a 7 o’clock match tonight at Cooper Complex.

After opening with a draw and a loss against the visiting Real Colorado Foxes last weekend, the Menace hopes to rack up six points with wins tonight on the road and on Saturday, when the team returns to Valley Stadium for a 7:30 p.m. tilt with the rival St. Louis Lions.

It’s important to start getting points on the board, as we need to pick up points and get up there with Colorado,” said Menace head coach Laurie Calloway.

Traditionally an attacking team, the Menace produced just one goal in Opening Weekend. Calloway hopes that a focus on finishing in this week’s training will translate into successful scoring opportunities in the matches.

“We’ve been working on our shape and our set pieces this week,” said Calloway. “I’m happy with what we’ve seen defensively. Offensively, we have a lot to be desired.”

Des Moines looks to get its offense going against Springfield – a team the Menace has outscored 40-3 while winning all 11 of the teams’ meetings since the Demize joined the league in 2007.

As experienced players continue to arrive for the Menace, the competition for playing time is becoming even more cut-throat.

“We’re going with a new lineup – players who are joining us,” said Calloway. “We welcome back guys like (Logan) McDaniel and (Brandon) Fricke, who’ve been with us before and understand our expectations. We’ll be taking a look at a couple others for the first time, and we’ll see if we get a little more threat in front of the goal.”

McDaniel, a midfielder from Palmdale, Calif., was a PDL all-conference selection in 2010, when he led the Menace in goals (tied, five) and minutes (1,344). The recent Loyola Marymount grad returns for his second season with the Menace, with aspirations of breaking into the pro ranks after being selected by the Portland Timbers in the 2012 Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft.

Fricke, a Grimes native, returns for his third straight year with the Menace. The Butler Bulldog to take on a more influential role in the Menace backfield this summer.

RECAPPING LAST WEEKEND: The Menace finished Opening Weekend at 0-1-1.

Maksym Kowal’s goal in the sixth minute of Friday’s match was an exciting start to the season, but the Menace was unable to hold off the Foxes, who capitalized on a free kick from Julian Donaldson in the second half. The game finished 1-1 as both teams collected one point in the first game of the PDL Heartland Division’s regular season.

The Menace found themselves with a one-goal deficit on Saturday, due to another Donaldson free kick in the second half. The home team collected four posts and no goals, leaving empty-handed in a 1-0 setback.

SCOUTING SPRINGFIELD: After finishing in last place of the PDL Heartland division with a 1-12-3 record in 2011, the Demize is optimistic after a 5-2-1 Premier Arena Soccer League season.

The Demize returns 10 players from the 2011 team including captain Jacob Rutledge and former professional player Alfredo Quesada. Filled with NCAA Division-I athletes, the Demize is hoping to build on a successful PASL winter.

Armen Tonianse is back as the Demize’s head coach, three years after he last held this role.

UP NEXT: The Menace hosts the St. Louis Lions on Saturday (May 12) at Valley Stadium, where all of the team’s home matches start at 7:30 p.m. For every purchased ticket at Saturday’s match, which is presented by CBRE/Hubbell, the Menace will donate $2 to Blessman Ministries – a non-profit Christian ministry group striving to meet the physical needs of children in South Africa by providing nutritional support, housing and medical care, and to meet their spiritual needs.

Next week brings a quick turnaround for the Menace, which plays the Milwaukee Bavarians at Bavarian Soccer Park on Tuesday (May 15) in the first round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, starting at 7 p.m.

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 five-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.

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