Photo credit: Gary Rohman
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Tuesday, May 28, 2013 – They’ve long dreamed about playing in front of thousands of Major League Soccer fans.
Tonight, the Des Moines Menace’s players will get that opportunity. For the first time in the Menace’s 20 Premier Development League seasons, the team takes center stage in an MLS stadium. And not just any stadium: The incomparable Sporting Park – a state-of-the-art, $200 million spectacle that will host the 2013 MLS All-Star Game in July.
The opponent: Sporting Kansas City. The competition: the third round of the 100th annual Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – a storied national tournament that affords amateur teams like the Menace the chance to go toe to toe with professional teams like Sporting KC.
2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup: Des Moines Menace at Sporting Kansas City
Date and Time: Tuesday, May 28 at 7:30 p.m. CDT
Venue: Sporting Park (grass field) in Kansas City, Kan.
Sporting KC is the reigning U.S. Open Cup champion. Peter Vermes’ side is 6-4-4 in MLS play, after rallying for a 1-1 draw with Eastern Conference foe Houston on Sunday. Just two days before they get to step on this same field, Menace players watched this nationally televised game played in front of more than 20,000 fans at Sporting Park.
Tonight’s winner advances to a June 12 date with the winner of Colorado Rapids (MLS) and Orlando City (USL-PRO) – teams that face off tonight at 6:30 CDT in Florida. If the Menace can pull off an upset, its fairytale continues on the road. If Sporting KC wins, its title defense continues at home.
Since knocking off second-division Minnesota a week ago, the Menace has received national recognition in unexpected places. The team received mentions from ESPN announcers on broadcasts of a couple high-exposure soccer matches: Manchester City-Chelsea on Thursday and Los Angeles Galaxy-Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday.
“It’s been pretty exciting,” said Menace defender Taylor Diem. “It’s nice to get noticed, but we know we need to stay humble and work hard. I think we’re all nervous and excited. We’re all ready to show up and play, and we all want to show what we got, on such a big stage.
“Putting up a bunch of college kids against an MLS team – this is a dream.”
ABOUT THE MENACE
- Earned tonight’s match with 1-0 defeats of Minnesota United FC (pro North American Soccer League, one rung below MLS) and the Madison 56ers (amateur National Premier Soccer League).
- Suffered its first loss on Saturday – 1-0 at St. Louis.
- Is 2-0 in the U.S. Open Cup and 1-1-1 in the PDL. All three wins have come by 1-0 counts.
- Has yet to play in a match in which either side scores more than once.
- Has received a goal from four different players: David Santamaria, Jimmy Tulloch, Taylor Diem and Brandon Fricke.
- 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).
- Began 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 advanced to the fourth round of the Open Cup and ended the season as PDL champion (GM Alan Oatsvall and coach Casey Mann).
ABOUT SPORTING KC
- Begins its defense of the 2012 U.S. Open Cup championship.
- In a dramatic 2012 Open Cup final that came down to a shootout (Aug. 8 at Sporting Park), prevailed over three-time defending Cup champ Seattle, on a 3-2 PK advantage, following a match knotted at 1-apiece after 120 minutes of play.
- Outscored five Open Cup foes 11-3, en route to the 2012 title.
- Carries a 17-12-5 all-time mark in the Open Cup.
- Also won the Open Cup in 2004 and the MLS Cup in 2000.
- Is 6-4-4 in 2013, with identical marks of 3-2-2 at home and on the road.
- Has finished atop the Eastern Conference standings each of the last two seasons, including an 18-7-9 finish in 2012 that included a 12-match unbeaten streak.
- Jimmy Nielsen, the 2012 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, has made 24 saves.
- Claudio Bieler leads the team with six goals and 13 points.
- Is without the services of Matt Besler and Graham Zusi, who yesterday joined the U.S. Men’s National Team for a five-match tour. Besler is the 2012 MLS Defender of the Year; Like Besler, Zusi (who currently leads MLS with five assists) was named to the 2012 MLS Best XI. Sporting KC’s Jimmy Nielsen and Aurelien Collin also made this exclusive group.
- Is also without forward Sonny Saad, who recently joined the Lebanon national team for the first time.
- Fan favorite Kei Kamara scored his first goal of the season on Sunday, rallying SKC to a 1-1 draw against his former team, the Houston Dynamo.
- C.J. Sapong has five career Open Cup goals (in eight matches) – tied for the most in franchise history.
- Sporting KC eliminated the Menace from the Open Cup’s in 2005 (fourth round) and 2006 (third round).
- On July 12, 2006, Kansas City (then called the Wizards) needed a stoppage-time goal from Scott Sealy (92rd minute) to win 2-1 over Des Moines at Blue Valley District Activity Center (Overland Park, Kan.). The Menace’s Brad Whitsitt tied the match in the 72nd minute; Edwin Disang assisted.
- On Aug. 3, 2005, the Wizards began their title (2004) defense with a 6-1 triumph over a Menace team that won the PDL title 10 days later. Playing at Julian Field in Parkville, Mo., the Wizards got all-star performances from Josh Wolff and Davy Arnaud. Wolff converted two penalty kicks and assisted two scores; Arnaud scored twice and added an assist.
MENACE’S TIES TO SPORTING KC
- Menace goalkeeper Scott Angevine, a native of Kansas City, Kan., played for Sporting KC in 2012 and also played for the Sporting KC Academy.
- Menace defender Brandon Fricke, whose header goal late against Minnesota set up tonight’s matchup, played for the Sporting KC Academy U18s.
- More than 25 Menace players have gone on to play in the MLS, and five have played for Kansas City:
o Kevin Souter (2007 Menace; 2008-09 Wizards)
o Michael Kraus (2005 Menace; 2007-09 Wizards)
o Corey Farabi (2005 Menace; 2006 Wizards)
o Stephen Shirley (2003 Menace; 2006 Wizards)
o Chris Brunt (2002 Menace; 2002-04 Wizards)
- Menace Academy product Tyler Peeler, who interned with the Menace the last two seasons, is interning with Sporting KC.
FRICKE NAMED “PLAYER OF THE ROUND”
- Menace defender Brandon Fricke is the “Player of the Round” for the second set of matches in the 2013 Open Cup, announced this morning by Josh Hakala with TheCup.us.
- Fricke, the Menace’s captain in a 1-0 win over Minnesota Unite FC, scored the lone goal in the team’s 1-0 upset win. His game-winning header came in the 86th minute, set up by a corner kick from Jimmy Tulloch.
- The Grimes native, in his fourth season with the Menace, prepares for his senior year at Butler University.
- Fricke edged out Reading United goalkeeper John McCarthy (second) and Menace goalie Scott Angevine (third) for the award, voted on by the staff at TheCup.us and a select panel from the North American Soccer Reporters.
LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP
- Celebrating its 100th year, is the oldest and most storied running soccer tournament in American soccer.
- Is a single-loss elimination style tournament with 68 teams – the most in the event’s history.
- Welcomes the country’s 16 Major League Soccer teams in the third round (May 28-29).
- The winner receives $250,000 and a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League; runner-up gets $60,000; last amateur team left standing receives $15,000.
IN SELECT COMPANY
- The Menace is one of four PDL teams (out of 16 to start the tournament) that have advanced to face MLS teams.
- This ties a record (2004) for the most PDL teams to reach this stage.
- In addition to the Menace, these three teams get MLS showdowns:
o Ocean City Nor’easters at Philadelphia Union (7:35 EDT tonight)
- Faces winner of D.C. United and Richmond Kickers (USL-PRO)
o Reading United at New York Red Bulls (7:30 EDT tomorrow)
- Faces winner of New England Revolution and Rochester Rhinos (USL-PRO)
o FC Tucson at Houston Dynamo (7:30 EDT tomorrow)
- Faces winner of FC Dallas and Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL)
MENACE IN THE OPEN CUP
- Making its fourth straight appearance in the U.S. Open Cup and eighth overall.
- The franchise’s first four cup berths came in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006.
- Is 10-7 all-time in the national tournament, including a 6-5 mark against pro teams (4-2 versus amateur teams) and a 4-3 road record (6-4 at home).
- The team has a coach, a front-office member and a player who have each been part of Open Cup championship teams:
o Head coach Mike Jefferies won the Open Cup as an assistant coach with the Chicago Fire in 1998 and 2000.
o Menace general manager Matt Homonoff was in the front office of 2008 Open Cup champ D.C. United.
o Goalkeeper Scott Angevine got a medal as part of Sporting KC, the 2012 champion.
RECAP FROM THE CUP’S FIRST TWO ROUNDS
- Second round: The Menace pulled the upset over the heavily favored pro side Minnesota United FC, 1-0, on May 21 under rainy skies at Elizabeth Lyle Robb Stadium in St. Paul.
o Brandon Fricke headed in the lone goal in the 86th minute off a corner by Jimmy Tulloch. Scott Angevine collected five saves in the shutout.
- First round: The Menace got past the Madison 56ers, 1-0, at Valley Stadium on May 15.
o Jimmy Tulloch headed in the match’s only goal, in the 50th minute, enough for the Menace’s first home Cup win since 2006.
UP NEXT: O CANADA
- The team continues its six-match road stretch, with matches north of the border:
o Des Moines faces WSA Winnipeg on Thursday at Waverley Soccer Complex (7 p.m. CDT).
o The Menace clashes with the rival Thunder Bay Chill on Saturday at Chapples Soccer Park (6:30 p.m. CDT).
- After a June 5 match at the Kansas City Brass, the Menace’s opens a June-heavy home schedule on Saturday, June 8 against the Springfield Demize on Youth Soccer Night.
RECAP FROM SATURDAY
- The shorthanded St. Louis Lions (1-2-0) held on for a 1-0 win over Des Moines (1-1-1) on May 25 at Tony Glavin Soccer Complex in St. Peters, Mo.
- Johan Sundberg scored in the 29th minute; St. Louis finished the match with nine players on the field.
- Menace head coach Mike Jeffries made eight changes from the starting lineup in the team’s May 21 win at Minnesota.
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 record from 1994-2012.
- More than 60 Menace alumni have played professionally, with more than 25 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.
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.
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