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Regional Champs!

Tanner Krause (kissing the trophy) and teammates celebrate their USASA regional title. Photo credit: Matthew DeWitt
IOWA CITY, Iowa  – Sunday, June 1, 2014 – After dealing with snow, heat and severe thunderstorms, the Des Moines Menace will have to deal with at least one more element : thin air.
The Menace is one of four teams headed to Salt Lake City for the Werner Fricker National Amateur Cup, set for July 25-27. In today’s final for the United States Adult Soccer Association Region-II Tournament. Des Moines defeated Schwaben AC (Ill.), 3-1, at the University of Iowa Soccer Complex.
This USASA regional final was the replay of an April 27 match abandoned due to weather. Battling the sun and temperatures in the high 80s, the Menace’s players – all of 12 of them – gave everything they had to hoist the cup.
“It’s a very savvy group,” Menace head coach Mike Jeffries said. “Given that we only had one sub and it was a very hot day, I think they very much played within themselves.”
Goals from Ashford teammates Tim Krautheim and Fernando Machado broke a 1-1 halftime draw. Krautheim’s score, set up by a cross from Michael Noonan, came less than three minutes into the second half, and Machado iced the match in stoppage time.
The teams exchanged goals in the early going, with the Menace striking first. In the fifth minute, Sean Hoek’s through ball found Michael Thaden, who powered a low strike into the bottom-right corner. The Chicago side responded in the 13th minute, when Joshua Wittenberg evened the match.
Tasked to pull together a team last fall, Jeffries assembled a group of current players at in-state colleges and veterans from the Menace’s past Premier Development League teams. The Menace alumni on the field today included Thaden, captain Jack Pearson, Tanner Krause, Tucker Sindlinger and Ben Taylor.
Sindlinger, a Menace midfielder from 2006 to 2009, was thrust into an unfamiliar and uncomfortable role today. In his first career action as a goalkeeper, Sindlinger rose to the occasion.
“I think it was a great experience for the players,” Jeffries said. “The field was gorgeous, the game was high-intensity, and I think for a lot of the guys that haven’t been directly involved in soccer as of late, it makes for a great atmosphere.”
The Menace fielded a team in the regional tournament with the primary goal of earning a berth in the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Des Moines accomplished this mission by advancing to the final on a snowy Valley Stadium field on Nov. 23. On that frigid night, the Menace defeated defending Werner Fricker national champ RWB Adria (Ill.), 3-0, in the semifinals. The wind chill was four degrees – the polar opposite of this scorching June afternoon.
The Menace’s run in the 2014 U.S. Open Cup ended last Wednesday (May 28) at Valley Stadium, with a 1-0 loss to Minnesota United FC, which goes on to a fourth-round date with reigning Major League Soccer Cup champion Sporting Kansas City.
On May 14, Shwaben AC made its first U.S. Open Cup appearance in 50 years. The visiting Dayton Dutch Lions knocked Schwaben out of the second round, winning 2-0.
MAN of the MATCH: Michael Thaden, for his goal and assist. Thaden, part of the 2013 Menace, is a West Des Moines native and a recent Drake graduate.

Match: Des Moines Menace vs. Schwaben AC
Date: Sunday, June 1, 2014
Competition: United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) National Cups, Region II Tournament, final
Venue: University of Iowa Soccer Complex (grass), Iowa City
Kickoff: 1 p.m. CST
Weather: High 80s, sunny

Scoring Summary:     1   2     F
MENACE                      1   2    3
SCHWABEN                 1   0    1         
MENACE – Michael Thaden (Sean Hoek), 5:00; Tim Krautheim (Michael Noonan), 48:00; Fernando Machado (Thaden), 90:00+
Schwaben – Joshua Wittenburg (Quavas Kirk), 13:00
Misconduct Summary: MENACE Cautions – Nicky Poulter 71:00; Sean Hoek 88:00; Tanner Krause 90:00+ SCHWABEN Cautions – Joshua Wittenburg 65:00; James Mack 77:00

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.

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