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Menace announces more newcomers

 
 
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Friday, May 16, 2014 – On the eve of the Premier Development League season, the Des Moines Menace has finalized its 2014 roster.
 
The Menace opens the PDL schedule tomorrow in Springfield (Mo.), hoping to build on the confidence from Wednesday’s 3-0 home win over Real Colorado in the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
 
These players come into the mix for head coach Mike Jeffries’ team, joining 10 returners (announced last Thursday) and the first group of newcomers (announced Monday).
 
Richard Ballard
Position: Midfielder
Hometown: Louisville, Ky.
College: Indiana (Bloomington, Ind.; NCAA Division I)
2013 College Class: Sophomore
 
In College: Makes a comeback after redshirting the 2013 season. As a freshman season, saw action in 13 matches, including the national champions’ wins in the College Cup’s semis and finals. Member of the Big Ten’s all-freshmen team.
 
Grant Bell
Position: Defender
Hometown: Little Falls, Minn.
College: Bradley (Peoria. Ill..; NCAA Division I)
2013 College Class: Sophomore
 
In College: Named to the NSCAA all-Midwest Region third team and the Missouri Valley Conference second team in the 2013 season.  Led the Braves in minutes played (1,966). Scored two goals and tallied three assists. Was part of the MVC’s all-freshmen team in 2012.
 
Paul Blanchette
Position: Goalkeeper
Hometown: Palo Alto, Calif.
College: Loyola Marymount (Los Angeles, Calif.; NCAA Division I)
2013 College Class: Sophomore
 
In College: Posted an 11-4-2 record and seven shutouts during the Lions’ 2013 NCAA Tournament season, with a 0.81 goals allowed average. Received all-West Coast Conference honorable mention in 2013, one year after earning a spot on the WCC’s all-freshmen team. Prior to joining Loyola Marymount, played in the U.S. Soccer 2010 Development Academy Winter Showcase against Menace teammate AJ Jeffries.
 
Chris Hellmann ^
Position: Midfielder
Hometown: Cologne, Germany
College: Lynn (Boca Raton, Fla.; NCAA Division II)
2013 College Class: Freshman
 
In College: Plays alongside Menace returner Javi Lopez. In nine games, racked up 11 points on four goals and three assists.
^ Pending international clearance
 
Anthony “AJ” Jeffries
Position: Midfielder
Hometown: Downer’s Grove, Ill.
College: Southern Methodist (Dallas, Texas; NCAA Division I)
2013 College Class: Freshman
 
In College: Redshirted his freshman year. Was part of the U17 U.S. Youth National Team and came on at half during the 2010 Development Academy Winter Showcase to face current Menace teammate Paul Blanchette. The son of Menace head coach Mike Jeffries.
 
John Lujano
Position: Midfielder
Hometown: McPherson, Kan.
College: Southern Methodist (Dallas, Texas; NCAA Division I)
2013 College Class: Sophomore
 
In College:. Started and played in all 17 games for the 2013 Mustangs. Had one assist and 14 shots for SMU, which lost all three games against top-10 teams by one goal. Ranked the nation’s No. 56 player before attending SMU.
 
Ralphie Lundy
Position: Midfielder
Hometown: Mount Pleasant, S.C.
College: College of Charleston (Charleston, S.C., NCAA Division I)
2013 College Class: Graduate
 
Professional: Played this past season for Caledonia AIA FC in Trinidad & Tobago. Scored twice for the professional club.
In College: Tallied three goals for the Cougars as a senior in 2012. Finished his college days with six goals. The son of long-time College of Charleston head coach Ralph Lundy.
 
Deshawon Nembhard
Position: Defender
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
College: Southern Methodist (Dallas, Texas; NCAA Division I)
2013 College Class: Freshman
 
In College: Member of the American Athletic Conference’s 2013 all-rookie team. Started in 13 of 17 matches and led SMU with three assists.
 
 
Michael Semenza
Position: Forward
Hometown: Encinitas, Calif.
College: St. Mary’s (Moraga, Calif.; NCAA Division I)
2013 College Class: Junior
 
In College: With three goals and four assists in 2013 season, collected 10 points – second on the team and tied for fifth in the West Coast Conference. Put in 1,021 minutes in 19 appearances. Honorable mention on the all-West Coast Conference squad in 2013.
 
Jacob Speed
Position: Defender
Hometown: Mansfield, Texas
College: Southern Methodist (Dallas, Texas; NCAA Division I)
2013 College Class: Sophomore
 
In College: After transferring from Kentucky, made 16 starts in his first season at SMU. Has logged 3,261 minutes in two college seasons, including 1,815 minutes as a freshman at Kentucky in 2012.
 
Mueng Sunday
Position: Midfielder
Hometown: Coralville, Iowa
College: Drake (Des Moines, Iowa; NCAA Division I)
2013 College Class: Freshman
 
In College: Started all 20 games for the Bulldogs in 2013. Iowa’s 2013 Gatorade Player of the Year, after leading Iowa City West to three state titles. Assisted a goal in the East’s 7-2 win in the 2013 Iowa High School All-Star Game, hosted by the Menace.
 
Kyle Whigham
Position: Midfield
Hometown: Overland Park, Kan.
College: Drake (Des Moines, Iowa; NCAA Division I)
2013 College Class: Junior
 
In College: Has made 40 appearances for the Bulldogs. Appeared in all 20 games as a freshman in 2011. Part of the Missouri Valley Conference’s 2012 academic honor roll.


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