Menace head coach Mike Jeffries (left) guided the Menace to the league's 2014 egular-season title. For the second straight season, he was assisted by Matt Kennedy (right). Photo credit: Art Schramm Photography
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Monday, Aug. 4, 2014 – Mike Jeffries is the Premier Development League’s 2014 Coach of the Year, announced by United Soccer Leagues officials on Saturday at the PDL Championship Luncheon in Pontiac, Mich.
The Des Moines Menace’s head coach led his team (12-1-1) to the league’s regular-season championship. The Menace collected its first postseason win in five years and built an 11-match unbeaten streak before falling in the PDL quarterfinals to eventual champion Michigan.
"I am honored by the recognition,” said Jeffries. “The award is the result of the success of our group - including the contributions, competitiveness, and cohesion of the players and the efforts of the staff to maintain a positive environment."
This is the fourth occasion the Menace has received this award. Des Moines’ Blair Reid and Doug Mello shared Coach of the Year plaudits in 1995, Laurie Calloway garnered the award in 2002 and Casey Mann earned it in 2009.
“Congratulations to Coach Jeffries on this well-deserved honor,” Menace owner Kyle Krause said. “He represents the best qualities of the Des Moines Menace and this award is a credit to his hard work and dedication.”
In Jeffries’ second season guiding the Menace, the team doubled its win total from the previous year (6-6-2 in 2013), clinched the franchise’s 12th berth in the PDL Playoffs and won the Heartland Division for the third time.
In the regular season, the Menace’s defense allowed just seven goals – tied for the best in the PDL. Des Moines’ Chris Hellmann (nine goals and seven assists) was named to the All-PDL Team, and teammate Ralphie Lundy joined him on the All-Central Conference Team.
“Mike’s commitment to building a deep and talented roster and maintaining the highest possible standards of his coaching staff and players has set him apart from the beginning of his tenure,” said Menace general manager Matt Homonoff. “His ability to identify and develop top collegiate and post-collegiate talent is unmatched in our league. It continues to be a privilege to work with him as we strive to bring the PDL championship back to Iowa.”
In addition to Jeffries’ recognition, these PDL awards were selected by team management and announced Saturday:
Most Valuable Player: Dzenan Catic, Michigan Bucks
Young Player of the Year: Ricardo Velazco, FC Tucson
Goalkeeper of the Year: William Thompson, FC Tucson
Jeffries came out atop a group of four finalists for PDL Coach of the Year. Also in the running were Chris Grassie (West Virginia Chaos), Jeff Matteo (Jersey Express) and Demir Muftari (Michigan Bucks).
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. Preparing for its 22nd 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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