Shadow Sebele (9) and the Menace look to finish on a high note. Photo credit: Ally Fillmore
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Friday, July 19, 2013 – The end of the season is near and the Des Moines Menace has only one more opportunity to impress fans at Valley Stadium.
In the season finale for both Premier Development League teams, the Menace (6-6-1) and the St. Louis Lions (4-7-2) battle in a 7:30 tilt tomorrow that guarantees fireworks, on and above the field.
During two physical matches this year in St. Peters, Mo., the rivals have committed 42 fouls, received 15 cautions and had three players and a coach ejected. The undermanned Lions (4-7-2) claimed victory, 1-0, on May 25, but fell to the Menace by an identical scoreline on July 6.
Soon after the match, fireworks will light up the sky over Valley Stadium. Fans are invited onto the field to view the season-ending pyrotechnic display.
Both sides enter the game competing for season achievements. For the Menace, a victory would cement the franchise’s 14th straight winning season. A St. Louis win would push the Lions into sole possession of fourth place in the division. This marks the fifth-straight year these rivals have faced off in their season finales.
Premier Development League regular-season match: St. Louis Lions at Des Moines Menace
Date and Time: Saturday, July 20 at 7:30 p.m. CDT
Venue: Valley Stadium (turf field) in West Des Moines, Iowa
Promotions: Fireworks follow the match on “Fan Appreciation Night”
ABOUT THE MENACE
- Looking to rebound from its 2-1 defeat to Real Colorado last Saturday.
- Has a 3-1 record over its previous four matches.
- Is led in scoring by Nico Wright (three goals), Fatai Alabi, Chris Harmon and Jimmy Tulloch (two each).
- Has secured a third-place finish in Heartland Division.
- Has scored in the second half in four straight games.
- Has outscored foes 16-13, including a 13-6 scoring edge on the road, where the team finished 4-2-1.
- Is 6-1-1 when scoring a goal in PDL play; has been shut out in five PDL losses.
- Opponents are 5-0-0 when leading at the half, and 6-0-0 when scoring first.
- Has not allowed more than one goal in a half this season, including all 2013 matches.
- Advanced to the third round of the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, falling to Sporting Kansas City (Major League Soccer), 2-0, on May 28.
- Began 2013 under the direction of a new general manager (Matt Homonoff) and a new head coach (Mike Jeffries).
ABOUT THE LIONS
- Coming off a 1-1 draw with the Springfield Demize at Tony Glavin Soccer Complex last Saturday.
- Are 3-1-1 in their last five matches, with the loss coming at home against Des Moines on July 6.
- Fighting with the Kansas City Brass (4-7-1) for a fourth-place finish.
- Have 14 goals from nine different players; Vadin Cojovoc leads the team with three.
- Tony Glavin finishes his eighth season as the Lions’ head coach, carrying a 46-52-29 record.
- Both teams claimed a 1-0 victory in St. Louis this season.
- On July 6, after nearly 90 minutes of lightning delays, Des Moines’ Chris Harmon scored the match’s lone goal in the 82nd minute.
- On May 25, the Lions’ Johan Sundberg netted the winning goal in the 29th minute.
- In the two games combined, 43 fouls have been called, 15 cautions have been awarded (seven for the Menace, eight for the Lions), and three players and a coach have been ejected (all for St. Louis).
- The Menace leads the all-time series 9-5-4.
- Des Moines holds a 4-1-3 record against the Lions at home.
- The Menace has controlled the series lately, tallying an 8-2-2 record against St. Louis in the last 12 matches.
- The two sides have met in their season finales for the past four years, with the Menace collecting a 3-0-1 mark.
RECAP FROM LAST SATURDAY
- The Menace was dropped from postseason consideration with a 2-1 loss to the Real Colorado Foxes at Valley Stadium.
- Colorado’s Andrew Mejia sent in the game’s opening score on a deflected shot in the fifth minute and Jamie Gilbert added the game winner for the Foxes in the 54th minute.
- Shadow Sebele pulled the Menace within one off a penalty kick goal in the 74th minute.
- The loss ended Des Moines’ season-long thee game winning streak.
CELEBRATING 20 SEASONS
- The Menace has 11 playoff berths and eight Open Cup appearances in the organization’s storied history, with an all-time mark of 187-112-30.
- More than 70 Menace alumni have played professionally, with more than 25 suiting up for Major League Soccer teams.
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 is a member of 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.