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Kiarash's heroics keep Menace in race

Kasy Kiarash's game-winning goal (pictured) gave the Menace a 2-1 win, and kept the team in the playoff hunt. Photo by Jodi Jurik
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Friday, July 6, 2012 – The Des Moines Menace’s playoff dreams are alive for at least one more day.

With goals coming 90 minutes apart, the Menace earned a dramatic, 2-1 Premier Development League triumph over the Thunder Bay Chill tonight at Valley Stadium. Logan McDaniel scored just 15 seconds into the match, and Kasy Kiarash put away the game-winner in stoppage time.

Paired with Kansas City’s 5-0 thumping of Real Colorado tonight, the win means the Menace suddenly controls its fate heading into tomorrow’s rematch – one of two regular-season matches remaining for Des Moines.

The Chill (11-2-0, 33 points) and the Menace (7-5-2, 23 points) meet for another 7:30 p.m. start. Meanwhile, Kansas City (5-6-1, 16 points) hosts Real Colorado (7-4-4, 25 points heading into its final regular-season match). Thunder Bay has clinched the Heartland Division title, leaving one playoff spot for the taking.

“It puts us in a good position. We’re peaking at the right time,” said Kiarash, who has emerged as an unlikely hero, scoring stoppage-time goals – both assisted by Dakota Collins – in his first two matches with the Menace.

“It just feels amazing,” continued Kiarash. “The spirits are high. Right now, our confidence is high, and we’re excited.”

Collins, also playing his second match of the season, slotted Kiarash behind the Chill’s back line. Composed, Kiarash chipped the ball past an oncoming Stephen Patterson, who had entered the match with a league-best 0.500 goals against average.

“It was a great performance by Kasy,” Menace head coach Laurie Calloway said. “He’s worked hard to make these chances. He really gave us a spark off the bench.”

Des Moines has won five straight home matches, after opening the season with a 1-1 tie and a 0-1 loss against Real Colorado.

This was the Menace’s second-straight home win over the arch-rival Chill. On July 9, 2011, the Menace earned a 2-0 win that revived the team’s playoff hopes and set the scene for an eventual postseason berth.

Tonight started on the right foot for Des Moines, which caught the visitors off guard immediately after the opening whistle. McDaniel scored what might just be the earliest goal in the franchise’s 19-year history.

Soon after the kick off, Charlie Bales received a long pass and dribbled past defenders, rolling the ball across the six-yard box for McDaniel. This was the second-straight match in which Bales assisted McDaniel, who now leads the team in goals (four) and assists (five).

“It was a big relief,” McDaniel said of the goal. “I knew if we scored early, it would take a lot of pressure off our back. We grinded them out and put it away in the end. A job well done, but a job half-done.”

The Chill fired back in the 64th minute, when Sullivan Silva finished a combination build-up with Juan Velez. Silva leads the Chill with nine goals; Velez, who has score seven goals, is tied with Jose Altimarano with a team-high five assists.

“It was a deserved result. Maybe not the prettiest,” Calloway said. “But maybe we found a weakness in their defense.”

MR. B MAN of the MATCH goes to: Kiarash, a halftime substitution tonight, who has scored two goals in 77 minutes – all in seven days. His first goal came late in a 4-1 win over Springfield on June 30.

An assistant coach of his alma mater, Graceland, Kiarash is a native of Toronto who was born in Iran.

UP NEXT: The Menace and the Chill rematch at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow. The team will donate $2 of each ticket to Blank Children’s Hospital. The match is presented by Mars.
 
The team closes the home schedule with an exhibition on July 14 against pro side Minnesota Stars FC, with fireworks on Fan Appreciation Night. Des Moines wraps up the season the next day at St. Louis.
 
Match: Des Moines Menace vs. Thunder Bay Chill
Date: Friday, July 6, 2012
Competition: Premier Development League Heartland Division regular-season match
Venue: Valley Stadium in West Des Moines, Iowa
Attendance: 2,929
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CDT
Weather: 90s, hot and humid


Scoring Summary:     1   2     F
MENACE                      1   1    2
TB                                0   1    1         
MENACE – Logan McDaniel (Charlie Bales) 1:00; Kasy Kiarash (Dakota Collins) 90:00
TB – Sullivan Silva (Juan Velez) 64:00

Stats Summary: MENACE / TB
Shots: 20 / 4
Saves: 1 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 14 / 16
Offside: 4 / 0


Misconduct Summary: MENACE Cautions: Luis Piffer 40:00; Jhojan Obando 49:00; TB Cautions: Abraham Villon 49:00; Jose Altimarano 49:00

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, in its inaugural season, 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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