Head coach Mike Jeffries (right) watches his players warm up during a May 9 practice at Valley Stadium.
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Friday, May 10, 2013 – New head coach Mike Jeffries leads the Des Moines Menace into the franchise’s 20th season of Premier Development League soccer, opening tomorrow on the road.
The Menace faces the Springfield (Mo.) Demize in the season opener for these PDL Heartland Division teams.
“I’m excited to start,” said Jeffries, who has more than 10 years of Major League Soccer coaching experience. “It feels like we haven’t had much time to work with the group. The attitude has been excellent among the group. The guys feel confident. They’re itching to play.
“The first game’s always difficult. There’s always the uncertainty, and the nerves, that come with not knowing what to expect.”
Premier Development League soccer match: Des Moines Menace at Springfield Demize
Date and Time: Saturday, May 11 at 7 p.m. CDT
Venue: Harrison Stadium in Springfield, Mo. (turf field)
Jeffries expressed lofty expectations for his first PDL side.
“We aim to be a team that control the game, push the tempo and create chances off our possessions,” the veteran coach said. “We’ve got a lot of guys who are creative with the ball, who are capable of leading the attack.”
ABOUT THE MENACE
- Finished 8-5-3 in 2012, missing the Heartland Division’s second and final playoff spot by a single point to Real Colorado (8-4-4).
- Enters 2013 under the direction of a new general manager (Matt Homonoff) and head coach (Mike Jeffries). The last time Des Moines did this, in 2005, the team ended the season as PDL champion (GM Alan Oatsvall and coach Casey Mann).
- Welcomes back eight returners, including three Iowans who have spent multiple years with the team: Charlie Bales (hometown: Cedar Rapids; 2011-2013 with Menace), Brandon Fricke (Grimes; 2010-13) and Husref Jupic (Johnston; 2010-13).
- Prepares for its fourth straight appearance in the Open Cup, hosting the Madison 56ers next Wednesday (May 15) in the first round.
ABOUT THE DEMIZE
- Is coming off a franchise-best season (5-7-4, fifth place in PDL Heartland Division) that included the team’s first win against the Menace.
- Enters 2013 under new head coach Sean Fraser, who is the head coach at Midland University (Freemont, Neb.).
- Carries some familiar faces on its roster, including Eric Martin, whose goal defeated the Menace during the first week of the 2012 season.
- Des Moines is 12-1-0 all-time against Springfield in a series that began in 2007.
- The Menace has outscored the Demize by a staggering 45-5 margin.
- The Demize’s lone win in the series came May 9, 2012 in Springfield, 1-0. The Menace returned to claim a 1-0 win on June 14, and took the season series with a 4-1 home win on June 30.
- In the teams’ last meeting, Charlie Bales, a member of the Menace since 2011, scored his first PDL goal and celebrated it with a crowd-pleasing backflip.
MENACE VS. DEMIZE IN 2013
- This is the team’s only trip to Springfield this season.
- The Menace hosts the Demize on June 8.
COMING UP: TWO HOME DATES NEXT WEEK
- On Wednesday, May 15 at 7:30 p.m., the Menace hosts the Madison 56ers in the first round of the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
- On Saturday, May 18, the Menace welcomes WSA Winnipeg for a men’s-women’s doubleheader. The women kick off at 4:30 p.m., followed by the men at 7:30. The first 300 fans will receive magnet schedules.
CELEBRATING 20 SEASONS
- The Menace has 11 playoff berths and eight Open Cup appearances in the organization’s storied history, with a 181-106-29 from 1994-2012.
- More than 60 Menace alumni have played professionally, with more than 20 suiting up for Major League Soccer teams
- To commemorate this anniversary season, the Menace will announce its all-time team, chosen by staff members, with input from the fans.
- The team invites all former players and coaches to return for a Menace Alumni Night on June 15. During halftime of that night’s match with Thunder Bay, the organization will recognize those who have contributed to the team’s success.
MENACE HEAD COACH MIKE JEFFRIES
- Announced by Menace owner Kyle Krause as the team’s new head coach on Jan. 8, 2013.
- Has more than 20 years’ experience as a professional player and coach.
- Is assisted by Menace goalkeeping coach Matt Kennedy.
- His 10-plus years in Major League Soccer include three seasons (2001-03) as head coach of the Dallas Burn and three stints with the Chicago Fire.
- Was an assistant coach in Chicago from 1998-2000 and from 2008-10; served as the Fire’s director of player personnel from Oct. 2010 until Sept. 2012.
- Led Dallas to the MLS playoffs in 2001 and 2002 and was nominated for MLS Coach of the Year in 2002.
- Part of Chicago’s inaugural 1998 team that won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the MLS Cup; The Fire repeated as Open Cup champ in 2000.
- Served as a scout for the U.S. Men’s National Team during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
- A former member of the United States Men’s National Team (1984-85) and the 1983 NCAA Player of the Year (Duke).
- Played in North America’s top pro ranks from 1984-88. The first pick of the 1983 Major Indoor Soccer League Draft, he played in MISL for the Minnesota Strikers (1984-87) and the Dallas Sidekicks (1988). In the final season of the original North America Soccer League, he scored two goals in 10 matches for the 1984 Minnesota Strikers.
Des Moines Menace 2013 PDL Schedule
Saturday, May 11 at Springfield Demize 7 p.m. at Cooper Soccer Complex
Wednesday, May 15 Madison 56ers (OC) 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
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 Twin Cities BK (E) 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
OC = Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
E = Exhibition
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 enters the Women’s Premier Soccer League in 2013, after debuting as the Women’s League Soccer 2012 champions. 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.