First-year head coach Mike Matkovich and his Menace look to start 2015 on the right foot.
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Tuesday, May 12, 2015 – Making the franchise’s 10th appearance in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the Des Moines Menace hosts a team making its Cup debut. The Menace opens its 2015 schedule tomorrow night, welcoming the Madison Fire for a 7:30 p.m. first-round match at Valley Stadium.
Des Moines, the Premier Development League’s defending regular-season champion, is led by new head coach Mike Matkovich. The Chicagoland native joins the organization after six years in Major League Soccer and six more as the leader of the Chicago Fire U23s, one of the PDL’s most successful teams.
“I can’t even tell you how excited I am to start the season,” Matkovich said. “We’re ready to step on the field, and we’re looking forward to getting it under way. Hopefully, we can get a win and keep it going in the Open Cup.”
Tomorrow’s winner advances to play a second-round match on May 20 at Saint Louis FC, an expansion club in the professional United Soccer League. Teams from the North American Soccer League enter the field in the third round, followed by Major League Soccer teams in the fourth round of this 102nd annual tournament.
With 91 teams competing, this is the largest field in U.S. Open Cup history. The play-in round and first round feature 44 amateur teams: 19 from the PDL, 12 from the National Premier Soccer League, 11 (including Madison) from the United States Adult Soccer Association and one team each from the U.S. Specialty Sports Association and U.S. Club Soccer. Twenty-one USL teams will face first-round winners in the second round.
Madison Fire at Des Moines Menace
Date and Time: Wednesday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Venue: Valley Stadium (turf) in West Des Moines, Iowa
Competition: 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, first round
- The reigning PDL regular-season champion (12-1-1).
- Makes its 10th appearance – and sixth straight – in the U.S. Open Cup.
- Carries a streak of having won a Cup match in three consecutive years.
- Opens the PDL season on Saturday in a 7 p.m. road match against the Springfield (Mo.) Synergy.
- Sees its first PDL home action on May 23, hosting WSA Winnipeg.
- Led by first-year head coach Mike Matkovich, who is assisted by Tony Jouaux and Jeremy Proud.
ABOUT THE FIRE
- The Menace’s third Wisconsin-based Open Cup opponent in the last four years.
- Earned its first U.S. Open Cup berth with a 1-0 victory over FC Indiana in the USASA Region II tournament last fall in Reddan Soccer Park in Verona, Wis.
- In that win on Oct. 4, Ali Barry scored the lone goal and Demba Camara recorded the shutout.
- Competes in the Majors Division of the Wisconsin Soccer Leagues.
MENACE VS. BADGER STATE
- The Fire is the Menace’s third Wisconsin-based Open Cup foe in the last four years.
- On May 15, 2013 against the Madison 56ers, Jimmy Tulloch’s chip over the keeper was the only goal of a Menace home win that set up a 1-0 upset at Minnesota United on May 21; One week later, the Menace held its own in a 2-0 loss at eventual MLS Cup champ Sporting Kansas City.
- On May 15, 2012, the Menace achieved a 3-1 OT victory against the host Milwaukee Bavarians.
- The Bavarians ousted the Menace from the 2003 Cup, 2-1, on June 5 in Des Moines.
LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP
- In its 102nd year, is the oldest and most storied running soccer tournament in American soccer.
- The second oldest consecutive-running tournament in the world.
- A single-elimination tournament with 91 teams – the most in the event’s history.
- Welcomes the country’s 17 Major League Soccer teams in the fourth round (June).
- The winner receives $250,000 and a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League; runner-up gets $60,000; last amateur team left standing receives $15,000.
- Seattle Sounders F.C. won the 2014 Open Cup final by a 3-1 score over Philadelphia Union; Menace alumni were featured on both sides, with Lamar Neagle (2007-08 Menace) playing for Seattle and Danny Cruz (2008) representing Philadelphia.
MENACE IN THE OPEN CUP
- Makes its sixth straight appearance in the U.S. Open Cup and 10th overall, the Menace has hosted a Cup match in all 10 berths.
- The franchise’s first four Cup berths came in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006.
- 11-9 all-time in the national tournament, including a 5-2 mark against amateur teams (6-7 mark versus pro teams) and a 7-5 record at home (4-4 on the road).
- Has won four of its last five home matches against amateur teams in the Open Cup (the exception being a 1-0 loss to Chicago Fire PDL in 2011).
- Opened the 2014 tournament with a 3-0, second-round home win over Real Colorado on May 14; Two weeks later, Minnesota United FC eliminated the Menace with a 1-0 payback win at Valley Stadium.
UP NEXT: PDL OPENER ON SATURDAY
- The Menace starts regular-season play in Springfield, Mo., on Saturday (May 16). This is the third consecutive year the Menace opens the season in Springfield. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Cooper Complex against the Synergy, which changed names (previously the Springfield Demize) in the offseason.
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 63-team 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.
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