Alec Bartlett (4) and the Menace look to extend their 10-match home unbeaten streak.
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Thursday, June 25, 2015 – Get out the calculators. Two Premier Development League wins this weekend at home would mathematically propel the Des Moines Menace into first place in the Heartland Division.
In a rematch of its first PDL home action in nearly four weeks, the Menace welcomes the Springfield Synergy for a Kum & Go Kup clash tomorrow, before battling the first-place Thunder Bay Chill on Saturday night. Both matches start at 7:30 at Valley Stadium.
Halfway through its league schedule, Des Moines (4-2-1, 13 points) enters the weekend in third place – one spot and four points behind Chicago Fire U23 (5-2-2), which is idle until July 1. A year after missing the PDL playoffs for the first time since 2006, the Chill is 5-0-3 (18 points).
The Menace is 1-0-1 against the Synergy this season, and a win at home tomorrow would allow Des Moines to clinch the Kum & Go Kup a game early. Des Moines topped the Synergy in a 1-0 road win on May 16, and the teams tied 0-0 at Valley Stadium on May 30. The 2015 Kum & Go Kup series wraps up in Missouri on July 14.
Boasting a 10-game unbeaten streak in regular-season home action, the Menace looks to protect its house against arch-rival Thunder Bay, which sits atop the Heartland Division at 5-0-3. The Chill, which downed the Menace, 2-0, last Friday in Canada, will play at Springfield on Monday.
Springfield Synergy at Des Moines Menace
Date and time: Friday, June 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Venue: Valley Stadium (turf), West Des Moines, Iowa
Competition: Premier Development League regular season
Promotion: Wear red and receive a $5 ticket.
Thunder Bay Chill at Des Moines Menace
Date and time: Saturday, June 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Venue: Valley Stadium (turf), Des Moines, Iowa
Competition: Premier Development League regular season
Preceded by: Iowa High School All-Star Games (girls at 2:30 and boys at 4:30)
Promotion: High-school students and high-school staff members receive free admission when they present their school I.D.
ABOUT THE MENACE
- 4-2-1, in third place in the Heartland Division.
- Entered its 22nd season with an all-time PDL regular-season mark of 199-113-32.
- The defending PDL regular-season champion (12-1-1).
- Roster features 10 returners, including Charlie Bales, a fifth-year veteran, and Chris Hellmann, last year’s leader in goals and assists.
- Guided by first-year head coach Mike Matkovich, a former Major League Soccer coach who is assisted by Tony Jouaux and Jeremy Proud.
ABOUT THE SYNERGY
- Coming off a 2-1 road loss to Chicago on June 24.
- 3-4-3, in fourth place in the Heartland Division.
- Phillip Woods leads the team in scoring with six goals.
- Finished last season 4-5-4 – fourth in the Heartland Division.
- Led by new head coach Andrew Bordelon.
- Best finish came in 2012 (5-7-4).
ALL-TIME SERIES: MENACE VS. SYNERGY
- Des Moines leads the all-time series 17-2-2 (8-1-1 at home).
- Mark Heath-Preston, a former Springfield player, notched the lone goal of the game against the Synergy on May 16.
- The two foes tied 0-0 at Valley Stadium on May 30.
- Springfield earned its first series win on May 9, 2012, and its first win at Des Moines on June 8, 2013. Eric Martin scored both goals in the 1-0 results.
- Des Moines has outscored Springfield 36-3 at home.
- This is the third of four meetings this season.
- The Menace swept three meetings last year, securing the inaugural Kum & Go Kup.
KUM & GO KUP
- This rivalry trophy debuted in 2014.
- The winner is determined by points earned in the regular-season games between the Menace and the Demize. Tie-breakers: 1. Aggregate goals scored; 2. Away goals scored; 3. Previous year’s series winner (Menace in 2014).
- The trophy will be presented at the conclusion of the season’s last meeting between the teams (July 14 at Cooper Complex).
- Recognizes the communities’ support of Kum & Go’s success and growth.
- The traveling trophy was generously provided by Custom Awards and Embroidery.
ABOUT THE CHILL
- 5-0-3 – first in the PDL Heartland Division.
- Forward Brandon Swartzendruber leads the team in points (11) with five goals and one assist – with his lone assist coming from a 3-3 tie against St. Louis Lions on June 24.
- Giovanni Petraglia is in his first season as head coach, succeeding Tony Colistro who was head coach for the franchise’s first 15 seasons.
- Premier Development League champions in 2008 and finalists in 2010 and 2013.
- Finished third in the division last season (6-1-7, 19 points), missing out on the postseason for the first time in eight years.
ALL-TIME SERIES: MENACE VS. CHILL
- The Menace regained the series lead, now at 25-24-4, with three wins last season.
- Thunder Bay picked up a 2-0 home win on June 19 during the Menace’s Canadian tour with both goals produced by Brandon Swartzendruber.
- The Menace received its only regular-season loss last season at Thunder Bay on June 13, 3-1.
- Menace midfielder Christopher Hellmann scored in all of the teams’ meetings last season.
PDL HONOR ROLL
- Mark Heath Preston was named to the PDL Team of the Week on May 20.
- C. Nortey received honorable mention on May 27.
- Alec Bartlett received honorable mention on June 3.
- Vince Cicciarelli and Leigh Veidman received honorable mention on June 17.
- Brett Lane received honorable mention on June 24.
RECAP FROM LAST WEEKEND
- The Menace wrapped up their Canadian tour, bringing home a 1-1 record over the weekend.
- Thunder Bay handed the Menace a 2-0 defeat on June 19 at Fort William Stadium.
- Des Moines toppled WSA Winnipeg on June 21 in a 4-0 win at the Waverly Soccer Complex with goals from Brett Lane, Johnny Lujano, Javi Lopez, and Ricky Hoegg.
UP NEXT: THE END IS NEAR
- The Menace travels to St. Louis on July 5 to take on the Lions, and will host them the following weekend.
- July 14 marks the final match of this season’s Kum & Go Kup series with Des Moines taking on Springfield in a midweek showdown.
- Des Moines concludes its season with a weekend double-header playing back-to-back matches against the Chicago Fire U23s.
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. In 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, in 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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