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Menace Fans' Guide to the 2014 PDL Playoffs

For the first time in five years, the Premier Development League Playoffs return to Des Moines.
The Menace, the league’s 2014 regular-season champion, hosts the Central Conference’s championship weekend at Valley Stadium. 
The Menace has been eliminated from the playoffs. Thank you, Menace fans, for an incredible 2014 season.
Friday, July 25 – Central Conference Semifinals
-       4:30 p.m.: Michigan Bucks 3, St. Louis Lions 1 (OT) 
-       7:30 p.m.: Des Moines Menace 0 (4), K-W United FC 0 (3) -- Menace wins on a shootout
Saturday, July 26 – Central Conference Championship
-       7:30 p.m.: Des Moines Menace vs. Michigan Bucks

TICKETS will be available at the stadium on game days, starting 90 minutes before kick-off:
-       $9 single-day ticket for adults (19 and older)
-       $7 single-day ticket for children (ages 5-18)
-       $15 two-day pass for adults (19 and older)
-       $12 two-day pass for children (ages 5-18)
-       Free admission for children 4 years and younger
All 2014 season passes and individual tickets will be honored for all postseason games hosted by the Menace.

The Central Conference champion moves on to the PDL Championship weekend, joining the champions of the Eastern, Southern and Western Conferences. The Championship weekend is August 1-3, at a venue to be determined.
Related link: The playoff match-ups


A dominant regular season sends the Menace back to the playoffs, following a two-year hiatus. This is the franchise’s 12th playoff appearance in 21 seasons.
What to look for: The Menace is on a 10-game unbeaten streak – the third-longest in franchise history. Des Moines is 6-0-1 at home, where it has outscored opponents 11-2.
Record: 12-1-1, 37 points
Scoring margin: 32-7
Points leaders: Chris Hellmann ranks fifth in the PDL with 25 points (nine goals and seven assists). Ralphie Lundy is second on the balanced team, with nine points (three goals and three assists).
Goalkeepers: Paul Blanchette is 5-0-1 with a 0.285 goals-against average; Erich Marscheider earned a shutout in his Menace debut – the team’s title-clinching, regular-season finale (2-0 over WSA Winnipeg on July 19).
Head coach: Mike Jeffries, who in two seasons has guided the Menace to a 18-7-3 record in PDL play and a 3-1 mark in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Record in the playoffs: 13-12
Highest finish: PDL champion (2005)
K-W United makes its first playoff appearance in the club’s four year history. The team changed names after playing the 2011 and 2012 seasons as the Hamilton FC Rage.
Coming from: Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario – approximately 12 hours from Des Moines
What to look for: K-W United is one of only two Canadian teams in the PDL playoffs this year (Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23).
Record: 8-3-3, 27 points
Scoring margin: 26-20
Points leaders: Stefan Vukovic leads the team with seven goals and four assists (18 points). Jarek Warburton is second on the team with 12 points (five goals, two assists).
Goalkeepers: Darrin MacLeod (3-2-2, 0.926 goals-against average) and Nathan Ingham (5-1-1, 1.166 GAA) have shared time in goal. MacLeod has local ties: the native of Waterloo, Ont., attends Drake University.
Head coach: Stuart Neely is in his first season as head coach.
Highest finish: First appearance
The Bucks return to the playoffs for the 17th time in 19 seasons.
Coming from: Pontiac, Mich. – approximately 10 hours from Des Moines
What to look for: The Bucks are the only team with more PDL playoff appearances and wins than the Menace. Michigan has knocked the Menace out of the playoffs on four occasions (1997, 2002, 2003 and 2011); the eventual PDL champion Menace eliminated the Bucks in 2005.
Record: 9-2-3, 30 points
Goals For-Goals Against: 38-8
Points Leaders: Dzenan Catic leads PDL with 35 points and 16 goals. Zach Steinberger (five goals and one assist) and David Goldsmith (four goals and three assists) each have 11 points.
Goalkeepers: Adam Grinwis has the most experience in goal for the Bucks, posting a 6-2-2 record in 10 games and posting a 0.700 GAA.
Head coach: Demir Muftari is in his second season.
Record in the playoffs: 21-16
Highest finish: PDL champions (2006)
ST. LOUIS LIONS (Heartland Division runner-up)
The Lions make their second playoff appearance (2007) in nine seasons.
Coming from: St. Peters, Mo. – approximately five and a half hours from Des Moines
What to look for: The Lions’ only win at Valley Stadium came on May 10, 2008 – the Menace’s first game at the venue. Since then, St. Louis is 0-4-5 on the Menace’s home turf.
Record: 6-4-4, 22 points
Goals For-Goals Against: 18-16
Points Leaders: Jordan Roberts has four goals and four assists to total 12 points.
Goalkeepers: Iain McTurk has 10 games in goal for the Lions. He has a 3-4-4 record, while posting 1.181 GAA.
Head coach: Tony Glavin is in his ninth season as the team’s only head coach in franchise history.
Record in the playoffs: 0-1
Highest finish: Conference semifinals (2007)

Des Moines makes its 12th playoff appearance. This is only the second time the Menace has gone into the playoff weekend as regular-season champions. Here is a look at the all-time record in the playoffs.
All-Time Record in the Playoffs: 13-12
   Home Matches: 6-6
   Away Matches: 1-4
   Neutral Sites: 6-2
2011 Playoffs                                                                              
Record: 0-1    Place: –                                                                
Conference Semifinals – Michigan 3, Des Moines 2 (OT)
2009 Playoffs                                                                               
Record: 1-1   Place: PDL Elite Eight                                                                                   
Division Finals – Des Moines 2, Real Colorado 1       
PDL Quarterfinals – Cary 1, Des Moines 0           
2006 Playoffs                                                                              
Record: 0-1    Place: –                                                                
Central Conference Semifinals – Chicago 3 (5), Des Moines 3 (3)    
2005 Playoffs                                                                              
Record: 4-0    Place: PDL Champions                                                                                    
Central Conference Semifinals – Des Moines 3, Chicago 0            
Central Conference Finals – Des Moines 4, Michigan 1                  
PDL Semifinals – Des Moines 2, Orange County 1                        
PDL Finals – Des Moines 0 (6), El Paso 0 (5)                                                                                                
2003 Playoffs                                                                              
Record: 0-1    Place: –                                                                 
Central Conference Semifinals – Mid Michigan 1, Des Moines 0     
2002 Playoffs                                                                              
Record: 0-1    Place: –                                                                 
Central Conference Semifinals – Mid Michigan 3, Des Moines 1     
2001 Playoffs                                                                               
Record: 0-2    Place: 4th                                                   
PDL Semifinals – Calgary 2, Des Moines 1                                   
PDL Consolation – Sioux Falls 1, Des Moines 0
1998 Playoffs
Record: 4-1    Place: 3rd                                                  
Central Division Semifinals – Des Moines 2, Twin Cities 1 (OT)      
Central Division Finals – Des Moines 3, Kansas City 2 (OT)
PDL Quarterfinals – Des Moines 3, Cocoa 1
PDL Semifinals – San Gabriel 3, Des Moines 1
PDL Consolation – Des Moines 4, Kalamazoo 1
1997 Playoffs
Record: 2-1     Place: --
Central Division Semifinals – Des Moines 4, Lincoln 0
Central Division Finals – Des Moines 6, Omaha 0
Central Conference Finals – Mid Michigan 3, Des Moines 0 
1996 Playoffs
Record: 0-1     Place: –
Southern Division Semifinals – Austin 1, Des Moines 0 (OT)
1995 Playoffs   
Record: 2-2      Place: 4th
Central Division Semifinals – Des Moines 3, Austin 2 (OT)
Central Division Finals – Des Moines 1, Sioux Falls 0
Premier League Semifinals – Cocoa 3, Des Moines 1
Premier League Consolation – San Francisco 4, Des Moines 1


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