On May 21, 2013, the Menace's Brandon Fricke, Nico Wright and Sean Hoek (left to right) celebrated Fricke's late goal in Minnesota. The trio is back for the 2014 Menace, preparing for an Open Cup rematch. Photo credit: Minnesota United FC
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Tuesday, May 27, 2014 – With a single strike of the ball or a powerful header, the Des Moines Menace could retrace its footsteps to the bigger stage.
The Menace is one win away from a rematch with reigning Major League Soccer Cup champion Sporting Kansas City. The only thing standing in the Menace’s way: a revenge-minded Minnesota United FC team coming to Valley Stadium for a 7:30 match tomorrow night in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup’s third round.
In 2013, Des Moines handed Minnesota an early exit from the Open Cup. Brandon Fricke’s 86th-minute header on a rain-soaked field in Minnesota propelled the Menace to a 1-0 victory on May 21. A week later, the Menace held their own against Sporting KC, in a 2-0 loss in front of 15,000 fans at Sporting Park.
Tomorrow’s winner draws a June 18 date at Sporting Park, and a place in the spotlight.
With a 5-1-1 mark, Minnesota United FC leads the North American Soccer League – widely regarded as the top professional rung below MLS. In 2012, Minnesota advanced to the Open Cup’s fourth round. Following a 2-0 win at Valley Stadium on May 22, Minnesota upset Real Salt Lake, 3-1, a week later, in front of 17,212 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium – the largest crowd in Open Cup history. The run came to an end two weeks later, in a 1-0 loss at San Jose.
Minnesota United FC at Des Moines Menace
Date and Time: Wednesday, May 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Venue: Valley Stadium (turf) in West Des Moines, Iowa
Competition: Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, third round
ABOUT THE MENACE
- Took down the Real Colorado Foxes (Premier Development League) in the Open Cup’s second round, 3-0, at Valley Stadium on May 14.
- Makes its fifth straight Open Cup appearance – ninth overall.
- Carries an 11-8 record in the Open Cup, including 3-2 in home matches against pro teams.
- Is 2-0-0 in 21st season of PDL soccer, including a road win over the St. Louis Lions on Sunday (May 25). Holds first place in the PDL Heartland Division.
- Qualified through United States Adult Soccer Association, by advancing to the USASA Region II Open Cup final last fall.
ABOUT MINNESOTA UNITED FC
- Coming off a scoreless draw with Carolina on Saturday at home, leads the North American Soccer League with a 5-1-1 mark.
- Received one of eight allotted NASL spots in the Open Cup.
- Christian Ramirez leads the team with 10 points, on four goals and four assists.
- Features two former Menace players: Justin Davis (2007-08) and Brent Kallman (2012).
- Minnesota leads 2-1-0 in all competitions
- In 2012, Minnesota Stars FC defeated the Menace by a 2-0 count twice at Valley Stadium – May 22 in the Open Cup and July 14 in an exhibition.
- Des Moines snagged one on the road in the second round of the 2013 Open Cup, 1-0.
- The Menace features three returners from the 2013 meeting: Brandon Fricke, Sean Hoek, Dylan Lax, and Nico Wright.
- Minnesota has eight returners, including the entire defense, from the 2013 game: goalkeeper Matt VanOekel; defenders Justin Davis, Brent Kallman, Michael Reed, Cristiano Fagundes Dias; midfielders Michael Reed, Miguel Ibarra.
LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP
- In its 101st year, is the oldest and most storied running soccer tournament in American soccer.
- Is the sport’s second oldest consecutive-running tournament in the world.
- Is a single-loss elimination style tournament with 80 teams – the most in the event’s history.
- Welcomes the country’s 16 Major League Soccer teams in the fourth round (June).
- The winner receives $250,000 and a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League; runner-up gets $60,000; last amateur team left standing receives $15,000.
- D.C. United won the 2013 Open Cup final by a 1-0 score over Real Salt Lake.
RECAP FROM SUNDAY
- The Menace used a quick start to defeat the St. Louis Lions, 2-0, at Tony Glavin Soccer Complex in St. Peters, Mo.
- Sean Hoek scored his team-leading second goal in the 11th-minute; Alec Bartlett scored in the 18th.
- Goalkeeper David Meves recorded his third shutout in three 2014 appearances.
UP NEXT: SATURDAY EXHIBITION WITH MINNESOTA’S RESERVES
- Des Moines is in a weekend away from the PDL schedule. The Menace takes on the Minnesota United FC Reserves, of the National Premier Soccer League, on Saturday (May 31) at Valley Stadium.
- Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. exhibition follows a 4:30 p.m. Women’s Premier Soccer League match between the Menace and the Chicago Red Stars Reserves.
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 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.
FOLLOW THE MENACE: