Deshorn Brown had plenty to celebrate during his rookie season. Photo credit: Garrett Ellwood / Colorado Rapids
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 – A rookie sensation headlines the stories of Menace alumni in professional soccer in 2013.
Less than two years after his time with the Menace, Deshorn Brown made an instant impact in the pros. Brown, who was selected by the Colorado Rapids with the sixth pick in this year’s Major League Soccer SuperDraft, led all MLS rookies in goals scored. In October, he earned his first call-up to Jamaica’s national team, earning caps in the team’s final two CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers.
Major League Soccer
Brown is one of six Menace alums on MLS rosters this season. The striker from Central Florida was a finalist for MLS Rookie of the Year; Rapids teammate Dillon Powers edged him for the honor.
In 31 matches, Brown collected 10 goals – just one shy of tying Damani Ralph’s MLS-rookie record, set in 2003. Brown, who led the Menace with nine goals in 2011, earned Colorado’s Golden Boot and tied for third on the team with four assists.
A year after enjoying a breakout season, Columbus Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum battled through injuries to appear in 21 MLS matches this season, compiling a 5-11-5 mark and 71 saves. He allowed the fewest goals (28) among goalies with a minimum of 15 games played.
Gruenebaum was in the news this week. MLS Cup champion Sporting Kansas City on Monday (Dec. 16) announced it has acquired Gruenebaum in exchange for a future draft pick. Gruenebaum, a Kansas City native who shined in the Menace’s 2005 Premier Development League title run, is headed home after eight seasons in Columbus.
Seattle Sounders FC’s Lamar Neagle (2007-08 Menace) also enjoyed a banner 2013 season. He shared the team lead with 20 points, coming from career-bests in goals (eight) and assists (four). The Seattle native was named the Sounders’ Humanitarian of the Year; He was also a finalist for MLS Comeback Player of the Year.
Danny Cruz (2008) scored a career-high three goals for the Philadelphia Union, assisting two more scores. In his first full season in Philly, Cruz started all 32 matches he appeared in for the Union.
Kyle Zobeck (2009)and Andrew Duran (2011) were on MLS rosters this season, though they did not make any appearances for the senior sides. Zobeck, a goalkeeper selected by FC Dallas in the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft, showed progress through his rookie season and appeared on the bench for the team’s final four regular-season matches.
The Seattle Sounders waived Duran in April.
North American Soccer League
A trio of Menace alumni squared off against their former team on May 21. Justin Davis, Luis Piffer and Brent Kallman were part of the Minnesota United FC team that was upset by the Menace, 1-0, in the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Davis (2007-08) continues to be a steady presence in Minnesota’s defense. He logged more than 1,100 minutes this season, assisting two goals. Piffer (2010-12) and Kallman (2012) played sparingly in their rookie seasons.
In his 10th pro season, and his third with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, defender Frankie Sanfilippo (2001) had a statline similar to Davis’s: more than 1,100 minutes and two assists.
Edson “Eddie” Edward (2008) found a fitting NASL home in 2013: FC Edmonton, a team nicknamed the “Eddies.” Edson, a former MLS defender, played nearly 1,000 minutes for the former employer of Menace general manager Matt Homonoff.
Goalkeeer Scott Angevine, named the Menace’s 2013 MVP, signed a short-term contract this fall with the New York Cosmos, the eventual NASL champion.
United Soccer Leagues Pro
Ghanaians Stephen Okai (2010) and Samuel Asante (2009) bolstered the midfield for the Charlotte Eagles, who fell, 7-4, to home team Orlando City in September’s USL-Pro championship game. Okai’s four goals tied for third on the team. Asante was signed by the Richmond Kickers (USL-Pro) after the season.
Nicki Paterson (2007-08), who led the Charleston Battery in points each of his two previous seasons in South Carolina, finished second on the team in 2013. Paterson tallied seven goals and three assists for 17 points. In early November, he became the first player to sign with Ottawa Fury FC, an NASL expansion team for 2014.
In his first full pro season, Lance Rozeboom (2007-09) played nearly 2,100 minutes – the second-highest total for the Rochester Rhinos. Rozeboom, whose MLS rookie season was cut short by an early-season injury in 2012, scored one goal in 25 matches.
Coady Andrews (2011) played every minute of the Harrisburg City Islanders’ 26 matches. The defender scored two goals and assisted one more. He is in his fourth season with the indoor Missouri Comets (see below).
Leo Krupnik has made nine appearances this season with Maccabi Umm al-Fahm in the Israeli Premier League Krupnik, who spent time with the Menace in 2002 and 2004, has played in 260 professional matches.
Josh Wicks (2003), a former Major League Soccer goalkeeper, is in his second season with Icelandic side Thór Akureyri.
Bradley Barraclough (2009) is in in third season in his native England, playing for sixth-tier Gainsborough Trinity.
Logan McDaniel (2010, 2012) broke into the pros as a member of Kaya F.C. (Filipines), in the first division of the United Football League.
A trio of former UMKC and 2011 Menace teammates are together again this winter. Coady Andrews, Bryan Perez and John Sosa play for the Missouri Comets of the Major Indoor Soccer League.
Anthony Medina (2002) is in his fifth season with the San Diego Sockers, the Premier Arena Soccer League’s defending champs for four years running.
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. Entering its 21st season, the Menace men’s side competes in the 65-team United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL). The Menace’s women’s team played in the 2013 Women’s Premier Soccer League playoffs, 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.