Menace interns Tyler Peeler and Jeremy Reinert bring you a player spotlight each week of the 2012 season.
Engraving his name as a hat-trick hero, Husref Jupic, the Premier Development League’s Player of the Week, made history last Saturday against the St. Louis Lions.
In just 12 minutes of a 4-1 home win, Jupic bagged three goals. Jupic’s trick came exactly five years after Menace legend Tomas Boltnar – one of Jupic’s former Menace Academy coaches – produced the club’s most recent three-goal performance.
“We needed that. We needed someone to boost us up since we weren’t getting W’s or even goals,” said Jupic, whose three second-half goals helped bust a 310-minute scoreless streak for the Menace. “It’s just great to get put up with Tomas.”
Jupic scored again just three nights later. He notched the equalizer in Tuesday night’s 3-1 overtime victory over the host Milwaukee Bavarians in the first round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
The 2009 Iowa High School Player of the Year, Jupic is a graduate of Des Moines Hoover High School. He doesn’t take the home crowd advantage for granted.
“It’s great to have the fan base,” said Jupic. “Family and relatives, coaches I played for and players I’ve played with in the past – it’s just nice to have.”
A student-athlete at Western Illinois University, Jupic, unlike many of his teammates, has the opportunity to go home for the summer while continuing to play competitively during the collegiate offseason.
“It’s always a great feeling coming back and playing in your hometown,” said Jupic.
Returning to Des Moines for the summer, Jupic has been a part of the PDL Menace team for three straight years. Jupic’s off-the-ball creativity and “playmaking” ability make him a dangerous attacker and a fun player to watch.
Jupic is the first Menace player to earn PDL Player of the Week status since Armin Mujdzic earned the honor in June 2009.
The Menace looks to Jupic to make another game changing impact in front of a home crowd at Valley Stadium this Saturday against the visiting Kansas City Brass, starting 7:30 p.m. Des Moines is back at home on Tuesday (May 22), hosting Minnesota Stars FC in the Open Cup’s second round.
Name: Husref Jupic
Hometown: Des Moines
College Experience: Senior at Western Illinois, selected to the All-Summit League Second team (2011) and the All-Summit League Tournament team twice (‘09, ‘11)
Pre-Game Ritual: Listen to music
Favorite Team: FC Barcelona
Favorite Player: Lionel Messi
Favorite Food: Cheeseburgers
Graduation Year and Degree: Class of 2013; Majoring in Communication minoring in computer science