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Menace eyes playoff berth

John Lujano, Brandon Fricke and goalkeeper Paul Blanchette (left to right) held the Thunder Bay Chill to one goal last weekend at Valley Stadium. Photo credit: Art Schramm Photography



WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Thursday, July 3, 2014 – With a win and a draw, the Des Moines Menace can punch a ticket for the Premier Development League playoffs.


To earn a postseason berth for the first time in three years, Des Moines (7-1-0) needs just four points over its remaining six games. A Saturday-Sunday doubleheader at WSA Winnipeg is the Menace’s first chance to clinch.


The Heartland Division’s top two teams qualify for the PDL playoffs. Fresh off a weekend sweep of Thunder Bay, Des Moines leads the division with 21 points. Thunder Bay (5-5-1, 16 points) sits in second with 16 points; all three of the defending PDL finalists’ remaining matches come against St. Louis (3-2-3, 12 points). St. Louis hosts Thunder Bay tonight and Saturday.


The Menace has held WSA Winnipeg (2-5-2) in check over the past four years. Des Moines is series 7-0-1 against Winnipeg, whose only standings point against the Menace came from a 2-2 draw on June 12, 2012.


If things go the Menace’s way in Winnipeg, Des Moines could clinch the Heartland Division title at Valley Stadium on July 12 against St. Louis.

PDL regular-season match: Des Moines Menace at WSA Winnipeg
Date and time: Saturday, July 5 at 7 p.m. CDT
Venue: Winnipeg Soccer Complex (turf) in Winnipeg, Man., Canada
PDL regular-season match: Des Moines Menace at WSA Winnipeg
Date and time: Saturday, July 6 at 7 p.m. CDT
Venue: Winnipeg Soccer Complex (turf) in Winnipeg, Man., Canada
-       Under second-year head coach Mike Jeffries, is 7-1-0 in its 21st season of PDL play.
-       Has conceded only six goals in PDL play (all scored by Thunder Bay) – second best in the league (Seacoast United Phantoms, five).
-       Holds a 6-0-0 record when leading at half; has outscored PDL teams 11-1 in the first half.
-       Chris Hellmann leads the team with 13 points and six goals – all coming in the last six games.
-       After assisting three Hellmann goals last weekend, Sean Dong is tied with Nico Wright for the team’s assists lead (three).
-       Has more wins through just eight games compared to all of 2013 (6-6-2 record).
-       The team has more points in eight games (21), compared to 2013 (20).
-       2-5-2 in its fourth season.
-       Returner Moses Danto has four goals in six games to lead the team.
-       Comes off an idle weekend; in its most recent action, settled for a pair of 3-0 losses to Thunder Bay on June 20 and 21.
-       Best season in franchise history was 2012 (3-8-5, 14 points).
-       Eduardo Badescu leads the team as head coach for the fourth year.
-       Des Moines leads the overall series, 7-0-1.
-       The Menace took two in 2013, 1-0 on May 18 at Valley Stadium and 4-1 on May 30 in Winnipeg.
-       The Menace leads the aggregate scoring in the series: 24-8.
-       Des Moines has scored four goals in a game on four occasions against Winnipeg.
-       Nico Wright earned PDL Team of the Week honorable mention on June 26 for his one-goal, two-assist performance in last Saturday’s 4-0 win over Springfield.
-       Chris Hellmann earned PDL Team of the Week honorable mention on June 19, for his two-goal weekend in Thunder Bay.
-       Captain Brandon Fricke was named to the PDL Team of the Week on June 12, after the defender scored in Des Moines’ 3-0 home win over the Chicago Inferno on June 7.
-       Chris Hellmann and Sean Dong combined for all of the Menace’s goals in two wins against Thunder Bay on June 28 and 29.
-       Dong’s cross found a sliding Hellmann for Saturday’s lone goal in a 1-0 win.
-       Hellmann got on the end of Dong’s crosses for two first-half scores on Sunday, as the Menace beat the Chill, 2-1, for its first home sweep of Thunder Bay since 2006.
-       As a result of the Chicago Inferno folding midseason, the United Soccer Leagues postponed the Menace’s scheduled June 24 match at Chicago.
-       The USL has announced Des Moines will make up this game on July 15 at the Springfield (Mo.) Demize. Cooper Complex is the site for this 7:30 p.m. match.
-       Des Moines shut out the Demize in two earlier meetings, securing the inaugural Kum & Go Kup.
-       The Menace will be at home next Saturday (July 12) against St. Louis. The 7:30 PDL match is preceded by the final 2014 action for the Menace women, who host Fire and Ice S.C. at 4:30 p.m.
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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