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Menace hunting Lions for first win

West Des Moines, Iowa. – Friday, May 11, 2012 – Starving for goals, the Des Moines Menace gets another opportunity tomorrow night at 7:30. The 0-2-1 Menace hosts the rival St. Louis Lions in a Premier Development League match at Valley Stadium.

It has been 264 minutes since Maksym Kowal, scored for the Menace in a season-opening 1-1 draw with Real Colorado on May 4. Since then, the goal-hungry Menace has dropped a pair of 1-0 decisions, despite controlling much of the action.

“Obviously we are desperate to score goals,” said Menace head coach Laurie Calloway. “We unfortunately haven’t been able to find the scoring touch.”

Help is on the way, with Lebogang Moloto joining the team today. Entering his third year with the Menace, the native of Polokwane, South Africa was Des Moines’ leading scorer in 2010 (tied, five) and tied for second last year (six). Calloway is confident Moloto’s presence will help turn a dangerous Menace team into one of production.

“Moloto will be a big help,” said Calloway. “(Moloto) and (Logan) McDaniel (who scored five goals with the 2010 Menace) understand the style of play and that will help.”

On top of an all-time series of 6-3-8, the Menace is unbeaten in the last 11 rivalry matches with the Lions. A first-half goal from Moloto in a 1-0 victory over Lions on the final day of the 2011 regular season clinched a Menace berth in the Premier Development League playoffs.

As familiar players continue to trickle on to the Menace roster Calloway hopes the attacking style of play the Menace is known for will come, as well.

“The style of play we were finishing up (with) last year attracted people,” said Calloway. “We got a lot of compliments on our style of soccer.”

Moloto has guided Lindsey Wilson to two NAIA titles in three years. He is the reigning NAIA National Tournament Most Valuable Player, after delivering the golden goal in the 2011 title match.

Having scored in five of the six times he has met the Lions, Moloto could be the key to success for the Menace. Adding a finishing component may be just the trick for the Menace, as Calloway says “a good offense is the best defense.”

RECAPPING THE WEEK: After notching just one goal in the Opening Weekend double header with the Real Colorado Foxes, the Menace was looking forward to the trip to Springfield, Mo., to try and get its offense going on Wednesday.

A quick transition left Springfield’s Eric Martin open for a one-on-one opportunity, and he beat Menace goalkeeper Jhojan Obando, scoring the only goal of the match in the 76th minute. Des Moines came into the night with an 11-0-0 mark in the all-time series, outscoring Springfield 40-3 in the previous meetings.

SCOUTING ST. LOUIS: May 12, is a shot at redemption for the Lions, one year after dropping three matches to the Menace. St. Louis, the Heartland Division’s fifth-place team a year ago (4-7-5), has yet to play a match this season.

Tony Glavin’s team is filled with 10 St. Louis natives, with a few international players sprinkled into the mix. Returning 23 players, Glavin’s squad is sure not to forget last year’s results, making for a determined Lions squad.

SATURDAY’S PROMOTIONS: Saturday’s match is presented by CBRE/Hubbell. For every ticket sold, 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.

UP NEXT: In a quick turnaround the Menace on Tuesday faces the Milwaukee Bavarians at Bavarian Soccer Park in the first round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, starting at 7 p.m.
Playing at home for the third straight weekend, the Menace hosts the Kansas City Brass on Saturday, May 19 at 7:30 p.m. Prior to the game the Menace welcome the Women Soccer League to Des Moines in their home opener against the visiting FC Indiana kicking off at 4:30 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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