Sean Hoek (left center) and Alec Bartlett (right center) scored again for the Menace, as the team picked up a win at St. Louis. Pjhot credit: Joe Nalefski
ST. PETERS, Mo. – Sunday, May 25, 2014 – The Des Moines Menace’s second win of the Premier Development League season looked a whole lot like its first. In an eerily familiar result, the fast-starting Menace defeated the St. Louis Lions, 2-0, today at Tony Glavin Soccer Complex.
After opening the PDL campaign with a victory on May 17 at Springfield, the Menace is 2-0-0 as the team takes a break from league play to host Minnesota United FC at Valley Stadium on Wednesday in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup rematch.
The Menace’s PDL wins bear a striking resemblance. On each occasion, the team has netted a pair of early scores en route to a 2-0 result on Missouri soil.
“It’s a good confidence-builder to open with a pair of shutout wins on the road,” said Menace head coach Mike Jeffries. “I thought we came out really sharp today. In the beginning, we were creative and made a lot of chances. In the second half, we closed up shop and really limited their chances.”
On this steamy St. Louis night, goals from Sean Hoek (11th minute) and Alec Bartlett (18th minute) provided a hot start for the visitors.
Nico Wright collected a long pass and found Hoek on the right side of the 18-yard box. Following a controlling touch, Hoek one-timed a rocket into the left side of the net.
A penalty kick gave Wright a chance to score in his third straight match. However, Lions goalkeeper Iain McTurk saved the PK attempt, resulting in a Ralphie Lundy corner kick that in a roundabout way set up Bartlett’s score. The ball rattled around a cluster of players in the box, and the defender from Drake got his foot on it.
Hoek, Bartlett, Wright and Lundy have collectively played a role in all six of the Menace’s first-half goals, including the pair in a 3-0 win over Real Colorado in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup.
On May 14, Wright struck less than five minutes into the Open Cup action, and Lundy’s free kick set up Bartlett’s header goal just before halftime. On May 17, a Lundy corner kick assisted Hoek in the seventh minute, and Wright found the net in the ninth.
Des Moines’ defense continues to do its part, and goalkeeper David Meves has collected a shutout in each of his first three appearances with the Menace.
“We’ve done a good job limiting scoring chances,” Jeffries said. “David’s done a great job coming off the line and sniffing out through-balls and crosses, and handling them really well.”
On a short turnaround, the Menace hosts Minnesota United FC on Wednesday in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup. A year ago, the Menace knocked off the pros to advance to a showdown with eventual Major League Soccer Cup champ Sporting Kansas City. This time around, a June 18 date at Sporting KC is on the line. Minnesota’s 5-1-1 mark leads the North American Soccer League – the rung directly below the MLS.
St. Louis (0-1-2), which drew 3-3 with WSA Winnipeg yesterday, seeks its first win of the PDL season.
MAN of the MATCH: Sean Hoek, for his second goal of the young season. Hoek, who played collegiately at UNC-Pembroke, coaches for the Menace Academy. His lone goal for the 2013 Menace was the team’s final score in a season-closing, 3-3 draw with visiting St. Louis.
UP NEXT: In the span of four days, the Menace closes its May schedule with a double-dose of Minnesota United FC at Valley Stadium.
On Wednesday, May 28, the Menace hosts Minnesota United FC (North American Soccer League) in the third-round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The winner moves on to a June 18 matchup with Sporting Kansas City, the defending Major League Soccer champion.
On Saturday, May 31, the Menace hosts the Minnesota United FC Reserves (National Premier Soccer League) in an exhibition, following the Menace women’s team’s home opener, against the Chicago Red Stars Reserves (Women’s Premier Soccer League). All Menace PDL home matches start at 7:30 p.m.; all Menace WPSL home matches kick off at 4:30.
Match: Des Moines Menace at St. Louis Lions
Date: Sunday, May 25, 2014
Competition: Premier Development League regular season
Venue: Tony Glavin Soccer Complex (grass) in St. Peters, Mo.
Kickoff: 5 p.m. CDT
Weather: 80s, sunny and steamy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 2 0 2
StL 0 0 0
MENACE – Sean Hoek (Nico Wright) 11:00; Alec Bartlett 18:00
Stats Summary: MENACE / StL
Shots: 7 / 5
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 1 / 3
Fouls: 11 / 11
Offside: 7 / 0
Misconduct Summary: StL caution: Blake Jones 50:00
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. In its 21st season, the Menace men’s side competes in the 64-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.
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