WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – May 27, 2009 – The Des Moines Menace heads into round two of the 2009 season’s series against the St. Louis Lions, with the lead for the Premier Development League’s Heartland Division up for grabs.
The Menace (3-0-1) gets a rematch against the Lions (3-0-1) this Saturday (May 30) at 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium, a week after the teams tied on the Lions’ home turf.
Des Moines has a chance to edge St. Louis after the Lions received a spot in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup over the Menace. Although the two teams share the same record, the Lions qualified for the tournament because of goal differential.
“We just saw the news that every team that qualified for Open Cup had the same record as us,” said head coach Casey Mann. “We are frustrated and want to turn that into motivation.”
The motivation from not qualifying for the U.S. Open Cup will hopefully boost the Menace to the top of the Heartland Division leader board. Des Moines is currently in third place behind the Lions and the Real Colorado Foxes (4-2), a team that the Menace defeated 1-0 on May 16.
The Menace is looking to defeat St. Louis for the first time in three years and for the first time at home. Last week’s 2-2 draw brought the total of ties between the two teams to five. This is the teams’ 10th meeting.
“Our guys battled really well down there and I am sure this game will be more of the same,” Mann said. “It doesn’t matter what place either team is in, it’s always a battle.”
RECAPPING LAST SATURDAY: The Menace came back from a 1-0 halftime deficit to take a 2-1 lead in the 69th minute against the Lions at the Tony Glavin Soccer Complex in Saint Peters, Mo.
Des Moines scored twice in six minutes, with goals by Darryl Odom and Jack Pearson. The Lions came back to tie it in the 74th minute with an Olly Dyson goal off of a corner kick. St. Louis’ Stephen Brocks scored the Lions’ first goal off of a rebound in the 17th minute.
SCOUTING ST. LOUIS: The Menace’s all-time record against St. Louis is 1-3-5. Des Moines’ only win came during the two teams’ first meeting, in May 2006.
St. Louis won last year’s season-opener, 2-1, at Valley Stadium. The final two match-ups between the two teams ended in 0-0 and 2-2 draws. Though the Lions (7-5-4) won the 2008 season series, they finished a spot below the third-place Menace (7-4-5) in the divisional standings.
Brocks and teammate Steven Beattie have each tallied 9 points, sharing a tie for fourth in the PDL. The Menace held Beattie, the 2008 NCAA Division II player of the year from Northern Kentucky, without a point last Saturday.
Tony Glavin is 27-14-11 as St. Louis’ head coach.
SATURDAY’S PROMOTIONS: This Saturday’s game will celebrate the career of Tomas Boltnar, the franchise’s all-time leading scorer who retired this off-season. Boltnar, the PDL Rookie of the Year in 2002 and league’s M.V.P. in 2002 and 2003, will be honored with a half-time presentation and will sign autographs after the game. The first 100 fans in attendance will receive a black No. 21 Boltnar t-shirt.
“Tomas has been a staple and face for the Menace and he deserves this night,” Mann said. “He is a good friend of mine and I am happy for him and glad to be a part of it.”
Saturday night is also Black-Out Night presented by Sheraton West Des Moines. The first 500 fans in attendance will receive a pair of sunglasses. Fans wearing black will get in the game for $5 admission.
COMING UP: The Menace plays the Kansas City Brass on Thursday, June 4 at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., before returning home to play the Winnipeg Lions at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 6 at Valley Stadium.