For the third straight year, the Des Moines Menace and Minnesota United FC meet in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Des Moines hosts Minnesota’s North American Soccer League (NASL) squad in third-round action of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The match on Wednesday, May 28 starts at 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium (4440 Mills Civic Parkway in West Des Moines). The winner moves on to a June 18 showdown with reigning Major League Soccer champion Sporting Kansas City at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.
In the 2013 Open Cup, the Menace upset Minnesota in the second round (May 21 in Minnesota), to earn a May 28 match at Sporting Kansas City. The defending Open Cup champs defeated the Menace, 2-0, at Sporting Park.
Menace season-ticket holders receive free admission to Open Cup matches at Valley Stadium. Tickets will be available at the Valley Stadium ticket window, starting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28. Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for children ages 5-18.
About the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
In its 101st year, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the country’s oldest soccer cup competition and the second oldest consecutively running tournament internationally. It is open to all affiliated amateur and professional teams in the United States.
The 2014 edition fielded 80 teams – the most ever in the competition’s history. The bracket includes 16 teams from Major League Soccer, 14 from the United Soccer League-Pro, 19 USL Premier Development League teams, eight from the North American Soccer League, 11 National Premier Soccer League teams, 10 teams from the United States Adult Soccer Association, and one US Club Soccer team.
The 64 non-MLS teams compete in head-to-head matches until the field whittles down to 16, when they are joined by the MLS teams to form a 32-team bracket. Head-to-head play continues until one team is left standing. The tournament opened on May 7 and will conclude on Sept. 30 or Oct. 1.
Statistics through Tuesday, May 27, 2014.
Des Moines Menace (USASA)
How They Qualified: The Menace missed out on one of the 19 spots given to Premier Development League teams, based on regular-season records from the 2013 season. The Menace returns to the Open Cup, however, after winning a spot last November in the USASA Region II Open Cup.
Record (PDL): 2-0-0, 6 points, 1st in PDL Heartland Division
Coaches: Mike Jeffries is in his second season as head coach; Under his direction, the Menace is 8-6-2 in PDL play and 3-1 in the Open Cup. Matt Kennedy and Ben Taylor assist Jeffries.
Points Leaders: Sean Hoek leads the team with four points on two goals. He has scored in both Menace PDL victories.
Goalkeepers: David Meves has been getting the starts for Des Moines. He has kept true form as the NCAA career leader in shutouts, collecting clean sheets in his first three matches with the Menace.
Second Round: The Menace took down the Real Colorado Foxes (PDL) on May 14 at Valley Stadium. The 3-0 result is tied for the franchise’s largest margin of victory in a home Open Cup contest (matching a first-round win over the Croatian Eagles, 4-1, in 2006). Against its former Heartland Division rival, the Menace got goals from Nico Wright, Alec Bartlett and Sean Dong.
Minnesota United FC (NASL)
Minnesota has been on a rampage, despite the loss of their leading scorer Pablo Campos. Campos, the 2012 NASL MVP, is out due to knee surgery in the offseason.
Record (NASL): 5-1-1, 1st in NASL
Coaches: Manny Lagos is in his fifth season at Minnesota; his managerial record with Minnesota is 47-40-44. He is assisted by Carl Craig, Donny Mark, and Paul O’Connor.
Leading Scorers: Christian Ramirez leads the team with four goals. Miguel Ibarra is tied with Ramirez for most assists on the team (two). Ibarra tallied one goal and one assist against Des Moines in 2012.
Goalkeepers: Matt VanOekel (5-1-1, 0.71 goals-against average)
This is the third straight year for these two teams to meet in the Open Cup. Playing under the name of Minnesota Stars FC, the NASL side took a second-round meeting on May 22, 2012 at Valley Stadium, 2-0. Des Moines returned the favor on May 21, 2013, when Brandon Fricke headed home the game-winner in the 86th minute, giving Des Moines a 1-0 win at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in St. Paul, Minn.
The third-round winner gets a shot at Sporting KC in Kansas City on Wednesday, June 18. Sporting KC is the current reigning MLS cup Champion and the 2012 Open Cup champion.
A year ago, the Menace kept Minnesota from its first matchup with Sporting KC. In 2012, Minnesota faced a pair of MLS teams. After beating Des Moines, Minnesota upset Real Salt Lake in Sandy, Utah, 3-1. The Stars were knocked out in the next round, falling 1-0 at San Jose.
Menace's History in the Open Cup
This is the Menace’s fifth straight Open Cup appearance – and the club’s ninth appearance overall.
All-time Record in Open Cup
Against pro teams: 6-6
Against amateur teams: 5-2
2nd round: vs. Real Colorado (PDL) W, 3-0
1st round: vs. Madison 56ers (NPSL) W, 1-0
2nd round: at Minnesota United FC (NASL) W, 1-0
3rd round: at Sporting Kansas City (MLS) L, 0-2
1st round: vs. Milwaukee Bavarians (NPSL) W, 3-1 OT
2nd round: vs. Minnesota Stars FC (NASL) L, 0-2
1st round: vs. Chicago Fire (PDL) L, 0-1
1st round: vs. AC St. Louis (USSF D-2) L, 0-1
1st round: vs. Croatian Eagles (USASA) W, 4-1
2nd round: vs. Dallas Mustang Legends (USASA) W, 3-2
3rd round: at Minnesota Thunder (USL-1) W, 1-0
4th round: at Kansas City Wizards (MLS) L, 2-3
1st round: vs. Pittsburgh RiverHounds (USL-2) W, 1-1 (4-2)
2nd round: vs. Charleston Battery (USL-2) W, 3-2
3rd round: at Atlanta Silverbacks (USL-1) W, 5-1
4th round: at Kansas City Wizards (MLS) L, 1-6
1st round: vs. Milwaukee Bavarians SC (USASA) L, 1-2 OT
1st round: vs. New Jersey Stallions (USL-2), W 3-1
2nd round: at Rochester Rhinos (USL-1), L 2-3