The starting lineup for the Menace's first-ever match in an MLS venue -- Photo credit: Jamila St. Ann
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Tuesday, May 28, 2013 – For the Des Moines Menace, the chance to play in a Major League Soccer venue was a dream come true. It was also a wake-up call.
From start to finish, Sporting Kansas City gave the Menace a clinic tonight on all the little things that separate the professionals from the amateurs. In front of 15,621 fans at Sporting Park, the home team earned a 2-0 win in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Des Moines did not back down from the challenge of facing the reigning Open Cup champions, whose lineup tonight has combined for nearly 600 MLS appearances.
“I’m very proud of the team,” Menace head coach Mike Jeffries said. “They put their hearts into the game. It meant a lot to get to come here. It’s a tremendous accomplishment just to get this opportunity."
Sporting KC outshot Des Moines 21-3. The pros relied on their star power to score a goal in each half. After he nearly scored in the third minute, fan favorite Kei Kamara connected on a one-timer goal in the 12th minute.
The score was still 1-0 after 70 minutes, when leading scorer Claudio Bieler (six MLS goals this season) came on for Kamara; three minutes later, Bieler slotted in an insurance goal that looked eerily similar to Kamara’s – each goal was set up by a cross.
Making a homecoming appearance, Menace goalkeeper Scott Angevine had his work cut out for him. Angevine, a Kansas City native who last season played for Sporting KC, rose to the occasion against his former teammates. He sprung to action, making six saves; His counterpart, Eric Kronberg, did not need to make a single save in his fifth career Open Cup shutout.
“It was probably the biggest game I’ve ever played in,” Angevine said. “I thought the game was a little out of hand for us. I’m happy with the way our guys fought.”
Des Moines found its footing in the second half and nearly got on the board in the final minute of regulation. A would-be goal by captain Brandon Fricke – the Cup’s reigning “Player of the Round” – was nullified by an offside call.
Sporting KC skipper Peter Vermes had kind words for Angevine, Fricke and company.
“You gotta applaud Des Moines. They played a very solid game,” Vermes said. “On the other hand, I thought we had good control of the game…I thought we should have had more goals.”
Vermes’ side continues its title defense in a June 12 home match against its USL-PRO affiliate, Orlando City, which defeated the Colorado Rapids (MLS), 3-1, tonight in Florida.
With the conclusion of its fourth straight Open Cup, the Menace turns its full attention back to the Premier Development League schedule. Des Moines heads to Canada tomorrow, for matches in Winnipeg (Thursday) and Thunder Bay (Saturday). The team is halfway through a six-match road stretch that started with a 1-0 upset at Minnesota United FC a week ago in the Cup’s second round.
Des Moines is 10-8 in eight berths in the Open Cup – a storied national tournament celebrating its 100th straight running. This was the Menace’s third meeting with Kansas City in the Open Cup, though it was the first one in an MLS venue.
The last time these teams met, in 2006, Kansas City needed a stoppage-time goal to escape with a 2-1 win.
The teams’ first meeting, in 2005, marked the start of Kansas City’s defense of the 2004 Open Cup title. That match ended in a 6-1 loss in a busy stretch that closed a memorable season for the Menace. Ten days later, Des Moines clinched the 2005 PDL championship, with a shootout win in El Paso.
In the only match between the team’s first Open Cup loss to Kansas City and the PDL championship, the Menace got past Orange County in the PDL semifinals. That team from California featured a promising young star who would go on to score 50 MLS goals, spend some time in the English Premier League and earn several caps with the Sierra Leone national team. That player’s name? Kei Kamara.
MAN of the MATCH, presented by Seneca Companies, goes to: Scott Angevine, for his gutsy play against his former team.
“Scott was superb,” Menace head coach Mike Jeffries said. “He was everything we could have hoped for in goal. When it all breaks down in front of his, he steps up.”
UP NEXT: On a quick turnaround, the Menace heads to Canada tomorrow. Des Moines plays at WSA Winnipeg on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Winnipeg Outdoor Soccer Complex. The Menace takes on arch-rival Thunder Bay on Saturday. The team’s third match in five days will kick off at Chapples Park at 6:30 p.m. central time (7:30 local).
Match: Des Moines Menace at Sporting KC
Date: Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Competition: 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, third round
Venue: Sporting Park (grass field) in Kansas City, Kan.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CDT
Weather: 70s and cloudy, with showers in the second half
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 0 0 0
SKC 1 1 2
SKC – Kei Kamara (Chance Myers) 12:00; Claudio Bieler (Jacob Peterson) 73:00
Stats Summary: MENACE / SKC
Shots: 3 / 21
Saves: 6 / 0
Corner Kicks: 1 / 6
Fouls: 5 / 7
Offside: 4 / 1
Misconduct Summary: MENACE cautions: Michael Thaden 40:00; Chris Harmon 54:00; SKC caution: Michael Thomas 33:00
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. In 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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