Grant Bell (24) and Brandon Fricke (8) were key cogs in the Menace's run to the 2014 league title. Can the Menace repeat in 2015? Photo credit: Art Schramm
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015 – Des Moines Menace fans, start making plans for your team’s title defense.
United Soccer Leagues officials today announced the 2015 schedule for the 65-team Premier Development League. The Menace, the reigning PDL regular-season champion, will call West Des Moines’ Valley Stadium its home for the eighth straight year.
Des Moines’ first scheduled home action comes on three straight Saturdays: May 23, May 30 and June 6. The draw for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, to be released in April, could give the Menace an earlier start at home.
The Menace’s division has a couple facelifts from 2014, when Des Moines raced to a 12-1-1 finish and advanced to the quarterfinals of the PDL Playoffs.
The Chicago Fire U23s return to the Heartland Division, more than a decade after the Major League Soccer affiliate was part of this group in 2003 and 2004. The Springfield (Mo.) Demize has a new name: the Springfield Synergy.
The Thunder Bay Chill (16th season), the St. Louis Lions (10th season) and WSA Winnipeg (5th season) provide continuity to the six-team division.
The Menace’s road schedule begins (May 16) and ends (July 14) at Springfield. The team packs four of its seven away matches into 13 days in mid-June, capping this road-warrior stretch with a Canadian journey to Thunder Bay (June 19) and Winnipeg (June 21).
A July 17-18 home doubleheader against Chicago concludes the regular season for Des Moines, which plays five of its last seven matches at Valley Stadium.
Des Moines’ eight home matches – played on two Fridays and six Saturdays – will begin at 7:30 p.m. The schedule for the Menace women’s team, to be released in March, will feature 4:30 home matches in several doubleheaders – providing fans two games for the price of one.
The PDL, North America’s top amateur soccer league, comprises four conferences and 10 divisions. The Eastern and Western Confererences each encompass three divisions; the Central and Southern Conferences have two divisions a piece. Des Moines is part of the Heartland Division, which, alongside the Great Lakes Division, makes up the Central Conference. The PDL’s 2015 postseason in the last weekend of July and the first weekend of August. The Michigan Bucks, who eliminated the Menace from the 2014 postseason, are the defending PDL champions.
Reserve Your Season Tickets
Become a season-ticket member today. Benefits include admission (and V.I. P. parking) for all home action for the Menace men and women (including exhibitions, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and postseason matches). Adult season tickets are $80, while youth season tickets (for ages 5-18) are only $20.
Open Cup Streak Hits Six
For the sixth-straight year – and 10th overall – the Menace will compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the century-old national tournament that gives amateur teams like the Menace the chance to battle the professionals. Des Moines has won at least one match in each of the last three Open Cups before bowing out to pro sides Minnesota United FC (2012 and 2014) and Sporting Kansas City (2013).
Kum & Go Kup Kontinues
The Menace partnered with the Springfield Demize in 2014 to launch an annual rivalry trophy series – the Kum & Go Kup. A year after the Menace took the cup with a 3-0 series sweep, these teams battle four times – May 16 and July 14 in Springfield and May 30 and June 26 in West Des Moines. For its ninth season, the southwest Missouri franchise is rebranded as the Springfield Synergy.
Milestone Win Oh-So-Close
The Menace’s next PDL victory will be the franchise’s 200th. With a proud history that predates Major League Soccer, the Menace is one of the country’s longest continually running soccer teams. The Menace debuted in 1994 – two years before the launch of MLS – and has compiled a mark of 199-113-32 in 21 PDL seasons. The franchise has 12 appearances in the PDL playoffs and has secured 10 berths in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. More than 70 Menace alumni have played professionally, with more than 25 playing for MLS teams.
Des Moines Menace 2015 PDL Schedule
Saturday, May 16 at Springfield Synergy 7 p.m. at Cooper Complex
Saturday, May 23 WSA Winnipeg 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Saturday, May 30 Springfield Synergy 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Saturday, June 6 #Muskegon Risers 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Tuesday, June 9 at Chicago Fire U23 10 a.m. at Toyota Park
Saturday, June 13 at St. Louis Lions 5 p.m. at Tony Glavin Complex
Friday, June 19 at Thunder Bay Chill 6:30 p.m. at Chapples Park
Sunday, June 21 at WSA Winnipeg 7:30 p.m. at Waverley Soccer Complex
Friday, June 26 Springfield Synergy 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Saturday, June 27 Thunder Bay Chill 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Saturday, July 5 at St. Louis Lions 5 p.m. at Tony Glavin Complex
Saturday, July 11 St. Louis Lions 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Tuesday, July 14 at Springfield Synergy 7:30 p.m. at Cooper Complex
Friday, July 17 Chicago Fire U23 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Saturday, July 18 Chicago Fire U23 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
All game times are central # = Exhibition
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 80-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.