Des Moines, Iowa – Friday, June 14, 2013 – “State Cup champion” is a title for only the best. After the Des Moines Menace Academy U13 boys went on their tournament tear, no one could call them anything else.
The Menace boys captured the 2013 Iowa Soccer Association State Cup title on Sunday with a 5-1 defeat of Cedar River Soccer Association (CRSA) at Cownie Soccer Park. Forward Eddie Fernandes led the charge with a pair of goals, and Jordy Triana-VasQuez, Alex Meza and Adnan Husic each scored as the team built a 5-0 halftime lead.
“We played pretty well. We had good communication and moved the ball,” said captain Meza. “We knew what was at stake and what we had to do.”
The U13 team certainly did what it had to do, defeating opponents by an average of 3.8 goals and stifling opposing offenses.
On their road to their championship, the Menace blew past Iowa Soccer Club (6-0) and FC United (6-1), before beating FC America (2-0) to finish group play without a blemish.
Once in the tournament, they didn’t slow down, beating West Des Moines Soccer Club (4-2) and moving into the Championship.
The Menace Academy’s balanced attack was led by Fernades (six goals), Ivan Barrios (four), Cristian Tavera (four), Triana-VasQuez (two), Husic (two) Meza (two), and Jack Caligiuri and Luke Whitman (one each).
“The team played really well. We finished well and had lots of passing,” said goalkeeper Javier Santiago-Martinez. “We played up to our potential.”
Santiago-Martinez split time in net with teammate Jacob Vilez. The pair of keepers combined to hold opposing teams to just four goals total in five tournament games.
According to Vilez, the team’s best feat may not have been its potent offense.
“Our defense played really, really well,” said Vilez. “(The goalkeepers) barely had to touch the ball at all.”
For head coach Tomas Boltnar, this is the second state title in less than a year. His Menace Academy U18 Boys won the state championship in the fall before his U13 Boys returned him to the brought him another title.
Boltnar believes this reflects positively on the Menace Academy as an organization.
“It shows we have coaches that really care about what they do. Players that love to come here and play for us. Everyone involved, especially the players, are very passionate about soccer.”
Boltnar’s U13 and U18 State Cup champions will move on to the United States Youth Soccer Association’s regional tournament, starting next Saturday (June 22) in Des Moines.
Team Manager: Jim Caligiuri
Coach: Tomas Boltnar
Assistant Coach: Sasa Borcic
ABOUT THE MENACE ACADEMY: The Des Moines Menace Youth Soccer Academy provides a fun and challenging soccer environment that allows players to grow as people and reach the best of their soccer abilities. The academy includes boys and girls teams ranging in age from U9 to U18. Players are from all over the Des Moines metro area, coming from diverse backgrounds. Academy members develop by learning skills and strategies at age-appropriate levels. Youth are exposed to the very best coaching and training on a consistent basis as they grow and mature.
The non-profit Menace Academy is part of the Des Moines Menace – Iowa’s premier men’s and women’s teams. The Menace promotes healthy lifestyles through popular youth programs that also include Junior Menace, camps, clinics and tournaments.