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Menace battles to stay on track

WINNIPEG, Canada – Friday, June 1, 2012 – Fighting to keep a foothold among the top Heartland Division teams, the Des Moines Menace faces WSA Winnipeg in a Friday-Saturday doubleheader. Both Premier Development League matches start at 7 p.m. at the Winnipeg Soccer Complex.

The Menace (2-3-1, seven points) shares third place with St. Louis, which has bounced back with 2-1 wins over the Menace (May 26) and Springfield (last night). Real Colorado (2-1-3) and Springfield (3-2-0) share first place with nine points apiece, and Thunder Bay is in a good spot after sweeping its season-opening doubleheader against WSA Winnipeg (1-2-3) last weekend.

With an understanding of how important the remainder of the season is, Menace head coach Laurie Calloway reiterates the goals he’s set for the team from the beginning.

“Get points on the board and stop leaking goals,” said Calloway. “Two shutouts would be nice, give ourselves a chance at some points.”

Leading the division with six games played (tied with Winnipeg and Colorado) and approaching the midpoint in a 16-match regular season, the Menace is in no position to be giving up games. Still, the trip to Canada this weekend carries its own obstacles.

Road matches are never easy, but combining passport paperwork and a 12-hour drive makes for an especially taxing trip.

“It’ll be more difficult getting the guys’ legs ready,” said Calloway. “(The distance) really doesn’t make much difference, but it does take its toll. It’s not good preparation to win games.”

The Menace is still in pursuit of its first road win, having dropped games at Springfield (1-0 on May 9) and St. Louis. Nevertheless, Calloway has faith in his team.

“We can max at 37 (points) so 34, 35 that’s where teams make playoffs,” said Calloway. “We’re going to have to win all our games, no doubt. Two games against Winnipeg and Thunder Bay (June 22-23), we get maximum points in those games and we have a chance.”

RECAPPING LAST SATURDAY: Unable to keep an early lead, the Menace lost for the first time in 13 meetings with the St. Louis Lions. The 2-1 setback at Tony Glavin Complex in St. Peters, Mo., kept the Menace from securing sole possession of first place in the Heartland Division.

Logan McDaniel put the Menace up 1-0, finishing a Brent Kallman throw-in in the fifth minute. Despite its attacking style of play, Des Moines was unable to net another goal, leaving the door open for the Lions in the second half.

Connecting on two of its four shots in the match, the Lion’s found the equalizer in the 61st minute and the go-ahead in the 78th.

SCOUTING WSA WINNIPEG: WSA (World Soccer Academy) Winnipeg looks to build upon a 3-12-1 inaugural season that included four losses to the Menace.

The Manitobans opened 2012 with three straight scoreless draws, before earning a 2-1 home win over St. Louis on May 20. They try to rebound from 5-0 and 1-0 losses at Thunder Bay last weekend.

In tonight’s match, the home team will be without two players serving suspensions from being ejected on May 26. Moses Danto, who has scored his team’s only two goals, was ejected in the 90th minute; Omar Amada was shown a straight-red card less than two minutes into the match.

Eduardo Badescu is 4-14-4 as the team’s head coach.

UP NEXT: After three matches on the road, the Menace returns to Valley Stadium next Saturday (June 9) to host the Kansas City Brass at 7:30 on Youth Soccer Night, presented by the YMCA. All youth-soccer players in jersey and youth-soccer coaches with coaches pass get in free.

Home again the following weekend, the Menace hosts the Colorado Select on June 16 on Black Out Night, presented by Chase Suite Hotel. Fans wearing black receive $5 tickets.

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). In its inaugural season, the Menace’s women’s team is 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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