Menace Intern Jordan Guy will bring you a new player spotlight each week of the 2013 season. This week’s spotlight features defender Taylor Diem. Posted June 20, 2013.
Every team needs leaders; for the Des Moines Menace, Taylor Diem was eager and happy to answer the call.
Diem is known for being a staple on the defensive end, anchoring a stable back line that’s collected three shutouts and held five opponents to a single goal this season.
But on May 18, the native of Middleton, Wis., earned himself a Man of the Match nod with his game-winning header goal in the Menace’s first Premier Development League win of the season.
“I just ran around really fast, screaming and pulling on my jersey,” said Diem with a laugh. “I don’t score often, so it’s special.”
Diem usually roves the backfield alongside fellow leader Brandon Fricke, directing the defensive unit and serving as a verbal general for the team.
“I see myself as a leader on the field,” said Diem. “I’m vocal throughout the game. I like to yell at people a lot.”
The second year veteran’s has seen his role increase since his first stint with the team last season. Playing under Laurie Calloway, Diem saw action in 13 of the season’s 16 PDL matches in 2012.
Diem recognizes many differences between his rookie campaign and his current team; chief among them is a greater ability to understand on-field instructions issued by first-year head coach Mike Jeffries and a closer environment established by the team.
“We’re a really tight group both on and off the field,” said Diem. “We’re all really competitive; none of us like losing, so sometimes we can get in fights on the field. But it’s all in good fun.”
Diem, after graduating this past Spring from Regis (Colo.), plans to attend the Soccer Academy in England and earn his master’s degree. But, prior to traveling overseas, he has goals to achieve before this season is over.
“I want to get back to our winning ways and get us into the playoffs.”
Hometown: Middleton, Wis.
College: Regis (Colo.)
Classification and Degree: Graduated Spring 2013 with a degree in Communication and Psychology
Pre-game Ritual: Stay well-hydrated
Favorite Goal-scoring Celebration: Freak out and run around really fast