Lamar Neagle hoists the MLS Supporters' Shield after Seattle's 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy on Oct. 25. Photo credit: Seattle Sounders FC
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014 – Of the more than 30 Des Moines Menace alumni who played professional soccer in 2014, perhaps nobody had a more accomplished year than Lamar Neagle.
With nine goals and nine assists, Neagle enjoyed his best Major League Soccer season to date. His team, Seattle Sounders FC, won the MLS Supporters’ Shield (best regular-season record: 20-10-4) and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (for the fourth time in six years). His totals for goals and assists were third on the team, behind superstars Obafemi Martins (17 goals, 13 assists) and Clint Dempsey (15 goals, 10 assists).
Major League Soccer
Neagle is one of six Menace alums on MLS rosters in 2014. A member of the 2007-08 Menace, Neagle has collected 24 goals and 17 assists in the last four MLS seasons.
Deshorn Brown (2011 Menace) also had a stellar 2014, scoring 10 goals to match his total from 2013, when he was a finalist for MLS Rookie of the Year. For the second straight year, the speedy Jamaican earned the Colorado Rapids’ Golden Boot.
Danny Cruz (2008) scored three goals and assisted two more, matching his totals from 2013. His Philadelphia Union advanced to the final of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, won by Seattle, 3-1. In that Sept. 16 championship match, Cruz faced Neagle, a former UNLV and Menace teammate.
2014 was a homecoming for veteran goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum, who came to Sporting Kansas City after eight seasons in Columbus. With his hometown side, Gruenebaum went 6-3-2 and posted three shutouts. His time back in KC was short-lived, however, as the San Jose Earthquakes selected Gruenebaum earlier this month in the MLS Re-entry Draft. Gruenebaum, a hero in the Menace’s 2005 Premier Development League championship season, has 90 career MLS starts.
Goalkeepers Trevor Spangenberg (2011) and Larry Jackson (2013) were MLS rookies this season. Spangenberg minded the net in one match for Chivas USA in the Los Angeles team’s final season. Jackson did not make any appearances for the New England Revolution, which lost to the Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-1, in an extra-time MLS Cup final on Dec. 7.
North American Soccer League
Justin Davis (2007-08) and Brent Kallman (2012) were part of the Minnesota United FC team that found payback in a 1-0 win over the Menace in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup. Davis, a defender, was named to the NASL’s 2014 Best XI. He played more than 2,300 minutes and he scored the game-winner in a 2-0 friendly win against Premier League side Swansea City. Kallman started in three regular-season matches, as well as the May 28 Open Cup match in West Des Moines.
A pair of former Menace goalkeepers saw their first professional action this year. David Meves, who was rock-solid with the Menace in the first half of the 2014 PDL season, signed with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in July. Meves made the most of his two appearances, posting a pair of shutouts for the NASL finalists, who fell, 2-1, to the San Antonio Scorpions in the Nov. 15 championship. Kyle Zobeck (2009) finished with a 1-2-1 mark, 10 saves and a 1.53 goals-against average for the New York Cosmos.
Veteran defender Frankie Sanfilippo (2001) played in 19 matches with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, scoring one goal. He has played 11 professional seasons, making more than 300 appearances – including 110 in his four seasons in Tampa.
In his first NASL season (and sixth professional season), Nicki Paterson (2007-08) logged more than 1,100 minutes for the expansion Ottawa Fury FC.
Edson “Eddie” Edward (2008), a former MLS defender, was a staple for FC Edmonton, playing more than 1,900 minutes in 24 appearances.
Coady Andrews (2011) scored two goals and played in 15 matches, including the USL PRO championship. Andrews’ Harrisburg City Islanders finished eighth in the regular-season, squeaking into the playoffs, where they upset MLS-bound Orlando City FC and the Richmond Kickers. The Islanders lost the Sept. 27 final, 2-0, to Sacramento Republic FC in front of more than 18,000 fans in California.
A year after playing for the Menace, Albert Edward made 11 appearances in his rookie season with the Wilmington Hammerheads. The 2014 MLS Draft pick played nearly 600 minutes.
Samuel Asante (2009) scored a goal and assisted three more in nearly 2,100 minutes for the Richmond Kickers.
Stephen Okai (2010) scored twice for Orange County Blues FC, playing nearly 2,000 minutes.
Lance Rozeboom (2007-09) has a new home in Texas. After completing his second season with the Rochester Rhinos, the Iowa native has signed to be part of the Austin Aztex, as they prepare for their first USL PRO season.
A Menace great will lead a USL PRO team in 2015. Ezra Hendrickson, who starred for the inaugural 1994 Menace and played in 12 MLS seasons, last month was named the head coach of the newly formed Seattle Sounders FC 2. Hendrickson spent the last six seasons as an assistant coach with the Sounders’ MLS side.
In just five years, Emmanuel Adewole (2010-11) has gone on a pro-soccer odyssey stopping in seven countries: Sweden, Norway, Romania, Italy, Bangladesh, Egypt and his home for the moment: Greece, where he has caught on with Nico & Socratis Erimis, a club in in the Cypriot Second Division.
Leo Krupnik has made nine appearances this season with Maccabi Kabilio Jaffa in the third tier of Israeli football. Krupnik, who played for the Menace in 2002 and 2004, is in the 13th year of a journeyman career with 11 pro teams.
Josh Wicks (2003), a former Major League Soccer goalkeeper, has landed with AFC United in Sweden, following recent stops in Finland and Iceland. Wicks has made 12 appearances this year with the second-tier club.
Bradley Barraclough (2009) is in in fourth season in his native England, playing for sixth-tier Bradford Park Avenue. He has one goal in 14 matches this season.
Logan McDaniel (2010, 2012) is in his second season with Garforth Town A.F.C., in the ninth level of the English football pyramid.
2013 Menace teammates Cameron Roget and Scott Angevine reunited as teammates this year with Sporting Kristina in Finland. Roget scored seven times in 26 matches, and Angevine tended goal in 20 matches with Sporting Kristina before joining another Finnish club, Vasa IFK late in the season.
A trio of 2011 Menace teammates were part of the Missouri Comets’ run to the 2014 Major Indoor Soccer League championship last spring. Coady Andrews (see above, USL PRO), Bryan Perez and John Sosa are together once again this winter, and the Missouri Comets are undefeated through their first nine matches of the newly christened Major Arena Soccer League.
Anthony Medina (2002) is in his sixth season with the San Diego Sockers (MASL). Medina netted 14 goals and four assists in the Sockers’ final season (2013-14) of the Professional Arena Soccer League, the precursor to the MASL.
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. Entering 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, preparing for its fourth season, is part of the 70-team Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL). From May to July, 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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