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Menace looks to boost playoff chances

Vince Cicciarelli (left) scored a pair of first-half goals in a 5-1 Menace win at St. Louis on June 13.
 
 
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Friday, July 3, 2015 – Within points of each other, the Des Moines Menace (19 points), the Thunder Bay Chill (21) and Chicago Fire U23 (17) are in an all-out sprint to the finish line to secure the Heartland Division’s two playoff spots.
 
In the division’s lone match this holiday weekend, the Menace (6-2-1) can move back into first place with a win against the host St. Louis Lions (4-6-2). These rivals meet Sunday in a 5 p.m. Premier Development League fixture in St. Peters, Mo.
 
Coming off home victories over Springfield and Thunder Bay last weekend, the Menace is riding a three-match winning streak. The Lions carried a four-match unbeaten streak until last night, when they lost, 2-0, at Springfield.
 
Des Moines and St. Louis – the Heartland Division’s representatives in the 2014 postseason – will meet twice in the same week. Next Saturday (July 11), the Menace welcomes the Lions to Valley Stadium.
 
This upcoming home match kicks off a busy stretch to close the regular season. Starting July 11, Mike Matkovich’s Menace play four matches in eight days – visiting Springfield on July 14 and hosting Chicago in a pivotal Friday-Saturday doubleheader (July 17-18) on the Menace’s home turf.
 

 

 
Des Moines Menace at St. Louis Lions
Date and Time: Sunday, July 5 at 5 p.m.
Venue: Tony Glavin Complex (grass) in St. Peters, Mo.
Competition: Premier Development League regular season
 

 
ABOUT THE MENACE
-       6-2-1, in second 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.
-       A year after collecting 25 points (nine goals, seven assists), Chris Hellmann leads the team with six points on two goals and two 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 LIONS
-       Held a four-match unbeaten streak until last night’s 2-0 loss at Springfield.
-       Finished last season second in the Heartland Division with a 6-4-4 record, clinching the franchise’s second playoff berth.
-       4-6-2, in fifth place in their tenth season.
-       Jeffrey Tryon leads the team in points (10) on three goals and four assists.
-       Tony Glavin is in his tenth year as head coach.
 
ALL-TIME SERIES
-       On a five-match unbeaten streak (3-0-2) against St. Louis, Des Moines leads the overall series, 11-5-10.
-       Goals from Chris Hellmann, Vince Cicciarelli (two), Matt Gweh, and an own goal contributed to a 5-1 romp in St. Louis on June 13.
-       The Menace rallied for a 1-1 tie on July 12, 2014, clinching the Heartland Division title at Valley Stadium.
-       Des Moines holds a 51-33 scoring advantage.
 
GOING BACK TO THE LOU
-       This is the Menace’s third trip to St. Louis this season.
-       In addition to the June 13 match against the Lions (a 5-1 Menace win), Des Moines earned a May 20 match in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup against Saint Louis FC. In Fenton, Mo., the pros edged the Menace 1-2 in overtime to get a shot at Sporting Kansas City (losing 1-0 on June 16).
-       The Menace plays five of its six U.S. road games in Missouri this year. The team’s road schedule also includes one match in Illinois and two in Canada.
 
HEARTLAND DIVISION STANDINGS
Click here for all Premier Development League divisions
1.     Thunder Bay Chill (21 points in 11 games played; 6-2-3)
2.     Des Moines Menace (19 points in 9 games played; 6-2-1)
3.     Springfield Synergy (18 points in 13 games played; 5-5-3)
4.     Chicago Fire U23 (17 points in 12 games played; 5-3-2)
5.     St. Louis Lions (11 points in 12 games played; 4-6-2)
6.     WSA Winnipeg (2 poines in 11 games played; 0-9-2)
 
 
PDL HONOR ROLL: TEAM OF THE WEEK
-       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.
-       Fernando Machado was named to the PDL Team of the Week on July 1.
-       Leigh Veidman and Shawn Claud Lawson received honorable mention on July 1.
 
 RECAP FROM LAST WEEKEND
-       The Menace claimed the Kum & Go Kup last Friday with a 3-1 win over the Springfield Synergy at Valley Stadium.
-       Javi Lopez, Lawson, and former Springfield player Heath-Preston contributed to the 3-1 score line.
-       Heath-Preston has scored in both of his appearances for the Menace this season, with both being against Springfield.
-       Des Moines clinched the top spot in the Heartland Division with a 2-0 victory over previously unbeaten Thunder Bay last Saturday at Valley Stadium.
-       Leigh Veidman opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a chip over the keeper.
-       Chris Hellmann iced the match by converting a penalty kick in the 63rd minute, just seven minutes after being subbed into the game.
 
 
UP NEXT: FOUR GAMES IN EIGHT DAYS
-       The Menace has three remaining home matches – July 11 against St. Louis and July 17-18 against Chicago.
-       Des Moines closes its road schedule on July 14 at Springfield. The Menace has already clinched the Kum & Go Kup in its four-game season series with the Synergy, whose only home blemish (5-1-0) is a season-opening, 1-0 loss to the Menace.
 
 
 
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. In its 21stseason, the Menace men’s side competes in the 64-team United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL). The Menace’s women’s team played in the 2013 Women’s Premier Soccer League playoffs, after debuting as the Women’s League Soccer 2012 champions. 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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