Shadow Sebele (1989-2016) in the Menace's May 28, 2013 match against Sporting Kansas City. Menace captain Brandon Fricke is in the background.
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 – The Menace family is deeply saddened by the untimely death of Abel “Shadow” Sebele.
Sebele, a former Menace star, was killed in an automobile accident late Thursday night in San Diego. The news came from the San Diego Sockers, the professional team Sebele was playing for in the Major Arena Soccer League.
The Zimbabwe native left his mark during his only season in Des Moines. Playing a role in each of the Menace’s last four goals of the 2013 Premier Development League season, Sebele led the team with nine points and five assists. He started against eventual Major League Soccer Cup champion Sporting Kansas City in the Menace’s memorable U.S. Open Cup match at Sporting Park.
“On behalf of the Menace family, I would like to express our sympathies to Shadow’s family and friends during this difficult time,” said Menace general manager Matt Homonoff. “Shadow was a wonderful player and an even better teammate and friend. I will always remember his willingness to work with younger players and consistently lead by example. Our sincere hope is that players for years to come experience the same joy playing soccer that Shadow brought to the field each day.”
An opportunity with the Grassroots Soccer program brought Sebele to the United States when he was 15. In Alexandria, Va., his standout high-school career set the stage for his time at West Virginia, where he earned all-Big East honors and graduated with a sport-management degree (Dec. 2012).
After his season with the Menace, Sebele earned invites to train with Minnesota United FC (North American Soccer League) in 2013 and with D.C. United (MLS) in 2014. Though neither club signed Sebele, he broke into the pro ranks with the Wichita B-52s in the 2014-2015 MASL season.
Last spring, he became the first captain for the FC Wichita, and his six goals and nine assists led the National Premier Soccer League team to the South Central Conference championship.
Sebele signed with the Sockers this fall. He turned 26 on New Year’s Eve.
The Menace sends its condolences to Shadow’s family and friends, to the coaches and players who were part of his soccer career. We are grateful for the time we had with Shadow, and grateful that the Menace was part of his journey.