The Menace, shown here in its 2-1 win over Madison Fire on May 13, will try to earn a May 27 Open Cup home date with MLS-bound Minnesota United FC. Photo credit: R Image Studio
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Tuesday, May 19, 2015 – Will the Des Moines Menace tangle with Minnesota United FC for the fourth straight year?
We’ll find out tomorrow, when a rematch with Minnesota – a club destined for Major League Soccer – is on the line in the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. To earn another shot at its northern nemesis, the Menace must upset Cup debutant Saint Louis FC (United Soccer League). World Wide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton, Mo., is the site of this 7 p.m. match, and the winner hosts Minnesota United FC next Wednesday (May 27).
The Menace looks to even its mark to 7-7 against professional teams in the Open Cup. A notable 1-0 win over Minnesota (National American Soccer League) in 2013 propelled the Premier Development League team to the third round, where Des Moines took on eventual Major League Soccer champion Sporting Kansas City. Playing in the national spotlight, the Menace fought hard, but the defending Open Cup champs finished off a 2-0 win in front of 15,000 fans at Sporting Park.
Minnesota United FC has earned the upper hand against Des Moines, ousting the home-side Menace from the Open Cup in 2012 (2-0) and in 2014 (1-0). Less than two months ago, MLS officials announced Minnesota will be a 2018 expansion team in the top pro league, with plans for the Loons to break ground for a soccer-specific stadium in downtown Minneapolis.
In its inaugural year, Saint Louis FC is the city’s first pro soccer team since short-lived AC St. Louis edged the host Menace, 1-0, in 2010 (the franchise’s only season). That match started the Menace’s current streak of six straight appearances in the Open Cup. On the heels of a 2-1 home win last Wednesday over the Madison Fire, Des Moines is 12-9 in 10 Cup appearances.
Des Moines Menace at Saint Louis FC
Date and Time: Wednesday, May 20 at 7 p.m.
Venue: World Wide Technology Soccer Park (turf) in Fenton, Mo.
Competition: Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, second round
ABOUT THE MENACE
- The reigning Premier Development League regular-season champion (12-1-1).
- Makes its sixth appearance – and 10th straight – in the U.S. Open Cup.
- Has won an Open Cup match in four consecutive years.
- Opened the PDL season in Missouri last Saturday with a 1-0 win – the 200th league victory in franchise history – over the Springfield Synergy.
- Hosts WSA Winnipeg on Saturday in the Menace’s first men’s/women’s doubleheader of the season. The women host the Minnesota TwinStars.
- Led by first-year head coach Mike Matkovich, who is assisted by Tony Jouaux and Jeremy Proud.
ABOUT SAINT LOUIS FC
- United Soccer League expansion team with a record of 3-3-1 (aggregate 7-7 score).
- Hosts its first-ever match in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
- The city’s first professional team since AC St. Louis, which downed the Menace (1-0 on June 15 at Valley Stadium) in the 2010 Open Cup.
- Lost to Toronto FC II, 2-1, in most recent match, last Thursday at home.
- Led by head coach Dale Schilly, who has more than 30 years of coaching experience at the professional, collegiate and club levels.
- Goalkeeper Mark Pais, a St. Louis native who played for the 2013 Menace, is 2-2-1 with a 1.20 Goals Against Average.
- Bryan Gaul leads the team with five points on two goals and one assist.
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
- Opened the 2015 tournament with a 2-1, first-round home win over Madison Fire FC on May 13.
- 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.
- 12-9 all-time in the national tournament, including a 6-2 mark against amateur teams (6-7 versus pro teams) and an 8-5 record at home (4-4 on the road).
UP NEXT: MENACE DOUBLEHEADER AT VALLEY STADIUM
- This Saturday, the Menace hosts its 2015 first double header, with the women facing the Minnesota TwinStars at 4:30 p.m. in their Women’s Premier Soccer League season opener
- The men take on WSA Winnipeg under the lights at 7:30.
- The matches are presented by Gatorade, and magnet schedules (sponsored by Frito Lay and Kum & Go) will be available to early-arriving fans.
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 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.
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