WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 – Des Moines Menace fans can start making plans for the organization’s 20th season as Iowa’s Premier Soccer Team.
United Soccer League (USL) officials this morning announced the 2013 season schedule for the 65-team Premier Development League (PDL). The Menace competes against PDL Heartland Division foes from Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Canada.
West Des Moines’ Valley Stadium is the Menace’s home for the sixth straight year. The team’s seven PDL home matches, played on one Friday and six Saturdays, will begin at 7:30 p.m. The schedule for the Menace women’s team, to be set at the end of the month and released in February, will feature 4:30 home matches as the opening act in several doubleheaders.
The Menace’s first scheduled home action comes May 18 against WSA Winnipeg. Opening night could come earlier: the team might host a May 14 or May 15 match in the first round of the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Mike Jeffries, announced last week as the team’s new head coach, will open his Menace career on the road. Des Moines’ 2013 PDL slate begins with a May 11 match at Springfield (Mo.).
After playing five of the season’s first six matches away from Valley Stadium, Jeffries’ side plays a June-heavy home schedule. Springfield (June 8), three-time defend Heartland Division champion Thunder Bay (June14-15 doubleheader) and Kansas City (June 22) visit Des Moines on consecutive weekends. A June 29 exhibition is in the works.
The team closes the regular season by hosting Real Colorado (July 13) and St. Louis (July 20), with fireworks to follow the season finale on Fan Appreciation Night.
“We are proud to once again offer fans a schedule of top-level soccer throughout the spring and summer at Valley Stadium,” Menace general manager Matt Homonoff said. “Our staff has worked hard throughout the offseason to ensure supporters of all ages will enjoy the Menace experience, as our team aims to get back to the playoffs. We look forward to providing continued value to Iowa families in the form of budget-friendly ticket and concession prices – and at the same time putting a winning and entertaining team on the field. From our perspective, May 18can’t come soon enough.”
The PDL features four geographic conferences and nine divisions. The Eastern Conference comprises three divisions; the Central, Southern and Western Conferences have two divisions a piece. Des Moines is part of the Heartland Division, which, alongside the Great Lakes Division, makes up the Central Conference. The PDL’s 2013 postseason spans the last weekend of July and the first weekend of August.
The team’s multi-ticket packages offer even more value in 2013. While adult season tickets stay at $80, the price for youth season tickets has dropped from $45 to $20. Starting this season, youth pricing (previously for ages 4-12) is for ages 5-18. Flex packs offer five tickets for $30, a change from $45 for six tickets during previous seasons.
Automatic Berth in the Open Cup
Based on last year’s regular-season performance (8-5-3 in the Heartland Division, behind only Real Colorado among U.S. teams), the Menace is guaranteed a spot in the 100th annual U.S. Open Cup. This marks the teams’ fourth straight year – and eighth overall – qualifying for the national tournament. In 2012, Des Moines beat Milwaukee (NPSL) in a first-round OT thriller, 3-1, before bowing out in a 2-0 home loss to Minnesota (NASL). Hosting rights for the first (May 14) and second (May 21) rounds are determined by a blind draw in April.
New GM and New Coach
In a year of change, the Menace enters the season with a new general manager (Matt Homonoff) and a new head coach (Mike Jeffries). The last time this happened, the Menace ended the season as 2005 PDL champs, under the guidance of GM Alan Oatsvall and head coach Casey Mann.
Homonoff and Jeffries each carry significant professional-soccer experience. Homonoff spent eight seasons in the front offices for D.C. United (MLS) and FC Edmonton (NASL). Jeffries, a former U.S. Men’s National Team player, has more than 20 seasons’ experience as a pro coach and player. In more than a decade with MLS teams, he was the head coach for Dallas (2001-03) and spent two stints with Chicago (1998-00 and 2008-10).
Celebrating 20 Seasons
The Menace will unveil a logo to commemorate the milestone season, with plans to recognize former players and coaches during a June home match celebrating the team’s history. In 19 seasons, the Menace has compiled 181 wins (181-106-29), 11 playoff berths (13-12) and eight Open Cup appearances (8-7) – totals topped by only one PDL franchise: the Michigan Bucks.
Des Moines Menace 2013 PDL Schedule
Saturday, May 11 at Springfield Demize 7 p.m. at Cooper Soccer Complex
Tuesday, May 14 or Wednesday, May 15 U.S. Open Cup, first round
Saturday, May 18 WSA Winnipeg 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Tuesday, May 21 or Wednesday, May 22 U.S. Open Cup, second round
Saturday, May 25 at St. Louis Lions 5 p.m. at Tony Glavin Soccer Complex
Tuesday, May 28 or Wednesday, May 29 U.S. Open Cup, third round
Thursday, May 30 at WSA Winnipeg 7 p.m. at Winnipeg Indoor Soccer
Saturday, June 1 at Thunder Bay Chill 6:30 p.m. at Chapples Park
Wednesday, June 5 at Kansas City Brass 7 p.m. at Benedictine College
Saturday, June 8 Springfield Demize 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Tuesday, June 11 or Wednesday, June 12 U.S. Open Cup, fourth round
Friday, June 14 Thunder Bay Chill 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Saturday, June 15 Thunder Bay Chill 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Saturday, June 22 Kansas City Brass 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Saturday, June 29 Exhibition TBA 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Saturday, July 6 at St. Louis Lions 5 p.m. at Tony Glavin Soccer Complex
Tuesday, July 9 at Kansas City Brass 7 p.m. at Overland Park Soccer Complex
Saturday, July 13 Real Colorado Foxes 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Saturday, July 20 St. Louis Lions 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
All game times are central
Tentative games are italicized
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. Entering its 20th season, the Menace men’s side competes in the 65-team United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL). The Menace’s women’s team debuted in 2012, winning the Women’s League Soccer championship. 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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