Vince Cicciarelli (right) was drafted by the Columbus Crew on Jan. 19.
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016 – Add another pair to the Des Moines Menace’s long list of Major League Soccer draft picks. Vince Cicciarelli and Jacob Speed yesterday became the 38th and 39th Menace alumni drafted by MLS teams.
Columbus Crew SC chose Cicciarelli in the third round of the MLS SuperDraft, and FC Dallas selected Speed in the fourth and final round. The news came five days after Menace alums Chase Minter and Chris Hellmann went in the second round, with Minter (2011 Menace) going to Columbus and Hellmann (2014-15 Menace) headed to Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Last summer, Cicciarelli was a key cog in the Menace’s second-straight Heartland Division championship. In eight Premier Development League matches, the Peoria native scored five goals – a total tied by Mark Heath Preston and one shy of Hellmann’s team-leading tally. He also scored in the Menace’s 2-1 win over the Madison Fire in the first round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Cicciarelli, the SuperDraft’s 60th selection, played a graduate season at Saint Louis, leading the Billikens with six goals in 2015. His college career started at Notre Dame and included a six-goal season with the Fighting Irish’s 2013 national-championship team.
The draft’s 78th pick, Speed was a member of the 2014 Menace. Though he did not appear in any PDL matches for Des Moines, Speed assisted Christian Castillo for the lone goal in an exhibition win over the Minnesota United FC Reserves.
Speed, a defender, will not need to travel far to begin his pro career. The native of Mansfield, Texas, played collegiately in Dallas. In his senior season, he helped Southern Methodist reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Speed was named to the 2015 all-East Region second team.
Cicciarelli, Speed, Minter and Hellmann look to join the 90-and-counting Menace alumni who have played professionally.
Every Menace team from the last 18 seasons (1998-2015) has featured at least one MLS draft pick. For five straight years – and 14 of the last 15 – at least one Menace product has been drafted by an MLS team.
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. Preparing for its 23rd season, the Menace men’s side competes in the 67-team United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL). The Menace’s women’s team, part of the 80-team Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL), heads into its fifth season. 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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