On Saturday, June 6th, the Menace hosts the Winnipeg Lions in an exhibition match at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines. The match begins at 7:30 p.m. features a performance by the Isiserettes Drum & Drill Corp. at halftime. Saturday's game is presented by CB Richard Ellis/Hubbell Commercial and Hubbell Realty Company.
SCOUTING WINNIPEG: The Lions play in the premier division of the Manitoba Major Soccer League. Each year, they vie for the Manitoba Soccer Association’s spot in the Canadian Soccer Association’s Challenge Cup. In their 13-year history, the Lions have made it to Canada’s cup six times – most recently in 2007 – and claiming the 2002 national title.
Winnipeg is familiar with opponents from the United Soccer Leagues. The Lions play exhibitions against the Thunder Bay Chill each season, and they have already gone up against the Chill, the defending PDL champion. On May 24, Winnipeg led the Chill 1-0 in the final 10 minutes, before the home team rallied with two late goals, including the game-winner in the 90th minute. The close call came after the Lions made adjustments to bounce back from a 9-1 loss to the Chill the previous day.
Winnipeg has also faced the Minnesota Thunder each of the last three years, earning a 2-2 draw in 2007, sandwiched by a pair of 5-1 losses against the USL-1 team. The Lions will head north on Sunday to face Minnesota’s new PDL affiliate – the Rochester (Minn.) Thunder.
The Lions are coached by Tony Nocita, who played for the Canadian national team and was a member of Winnipeg’s national-championship team in 1992.