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Menace hosts Colorado Select on Blackout Night

Taylor Diem, controlling the ball in this photo, assisted Javi Lopez (left) for an equalizing goal in a 2-1 win over Kansas City on June 9.
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa. – Friday, June 15, 2012 – After squeezing 10 regular-season matches into the first seven weeks of the Premier Development League season, the Des Moines Menace hosts Colorado Select for a 7:30 exhibition tomorrow on Blackout Night at Valley Stadium.

In first place of the PDL Heartland Division, the Menace (5-3-2) prepares for the final six regular-season matches. Des Moines, which won 1-0 at Springfield (Mo.) last night, will use Saturday’s match as a chance to solidify some team roles.

“I’ll probably play a lot more of the guys,” said Menace head coach Laurie Calloway, who last night became the franchise’s all-time wins leader. “We’ll probably get everyone at least a half a game.”

Welcoming the nature of an exhibition and the opportunity to move some players into the mix, Calloway knows there is depth in his bench.

“It will allow the fans to see some the guys that are good players, but don’t get on the field on a regular basis,” said Calloway.

This is also a chance for the veteran coach to reunite with a former player. Colorado Select head coach Rafa Amaya played professionally 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).

“We became close friends and have kept in touch ever since,” Calloway said. “Rafa does a nice job with PDL-level players that can’t play because of a time commitment. A lot of those players will have come through the (Colorado Storm) youth club and go to the pros when they’re finished.”

RECAPPING LAST NIGHT: The Menace edged the Springfield Demize,1-0, at Cooper Complex, breaking a tie between teams that entered the night sharing second place in the Heartland Division. Riding a four-match unbeaten streak, Des Moines (5-3-2, 17 points) sits atop the standings – right above Thunder Bay (5-1-0, 15 points) and Springfield (4-3-2, 14 points).

Lebogang Moloto’s first goal of the regular season was enough to get the win. In the 13th minute, Moloto connected with Logan McDaniel on a back-and-forth exchange. Touching the ball skillfully around the goalkeeper, Moloto created a wide-open shot that he drilled into the net.

The victory – the Menace’s first shutout of 2012 – makes Calloway the franchise’s winningest coach. He is 49-17-12 in five seasons (2001-02 and 2010-present) as the Menace’s head coach, and 229-158-47 in a coaching career that started in 1978. Calloway has surpassed Casey Mann, who was 48-19-13 as the Menace’s leader, from 2005 to 2009.

SATURDAY’S PROMOTIONS: Blackout Night is presented by Chase Suite Hotel in Clive. Fans wearing black get $5 tickets.

UP NEXT: Des Moines’ next regular-season action comes June 22-23, with a Friday-Saturday doubleheader at arch-rival Thunder Bay.

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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