WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Tuesday, May 10, 2016 – Dorothy had it right: “There’s no place like home.”
The Des Moines Menace has made 10 appearances in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and every time the Menace has hosted at least one match in the storied tournament. For this streak to continue, Des Moines needs to open its 2016 schedule with a victory in the “Land of Oz.”
When the Menace and host FC Wichita tangle tomorrow night, a May 18 home date with Tulsa Roughnecks FC (professional United Soccer League) is up for grabs.
For Des Moines, another streak is on the line in Kansas. The franchise seeks its fifth straight win against fellow amateur teams in the U.S. Open Cup. The Menace’s streak started with a pair of wins against teams from the National Premier Soccer League, which FC Wichita joined last year. Des Moines has opened the last four Cups with victories over the Milwaukee Bavarians (2012), the Madison 56ers (2013), the Real Colorado Foxes (2014) and the Madison Fire (2015).
This year’s newly assembled team hopes to follow the yellow-brick road in the footsteps of past Menace players who have seen action against the pros. Kansas was the site of the Menace’s memorable 2013 U.S. Open Cup matchup with Sporting Kansas City, the eventual Major League Soccer champion. In 2005 and 2006, the Menace also visited Kansas City’s MLS team – then named the Wizards (fittingly enough for this story). We’ll see if the Menace has more Open Cup magic up its sleeves in 2016.
Des Moines Menace at FC Wichita
Date and Time: Wednesday, May 11 at 7 p.m. CST
Venue: Stryker Complex in Wichita, Kan. (grass field)
Competition: 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, first round
ABOUT THE MENACE
- Two-time defending Premier Development League Heartland Division champion, coming off an 11-2-1 season.
- One of 19 PDL teams in the 2016 U.S. Open Cup.
- Makes its 11th U.S. Open Cup appearance – all in the last 15 years.
- Opens its 23rd PDL season on May 21 against Chicago Fire U23 at Valley Stadium.
- Led by second-year head coach Mike Matkovich, who is assisted by Greg Hennelly, Mark Heath Preston and Leigh Veidman.
ABOUT FC WICHITA
- The National Premier Soccer League’s 2015 South Central Conference champion (11-3-0 in its inaugural season).
- One of 15 NPSL teams in the 2016 U.S. Open Cup.
- Opened their 2016 NPSL regular-season with a 2-0 road victory over the Little Rock Rangers last Friday, with goals from Corey Cantor and Luis Pinto.
- John Markey is the head coach; Jamie Harding, Sammy Lane and Brent Hobson assist Markey.
MENACE TIES TO FC WICHITA
- Before the match, there will be a moment of silence to honor the late Abel “Shadow” Sebele, a former Menace star (2013) and the first captain for FC Wichita (2015), who passed away in January.
- Jeffrey Kyei, a 2012-13 Menace alum, joined FC Wichita for the 2016 season and assisted the team’s first goal in Friday’s 2-0 win at Little Rock.
- In its early seasons, the Menace faced a pair of teams from Kansas’s largest city: the Wichita Blue (1994-95) and the Wichita Jets (2000-01).
LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP
- Starting its 103rd year of competition, featuring a single-game knockout.
- With 91 teams this year, the Cup comprises Open Division local qualifiers and teams from the Premier Development League (PDL), National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), United Soccer League (USL), North American Soccer League (NASL), Major League Soccer (MLS).
- The winner receives $250,000 and a berth in the 2017-18 CONCACAF Champions’ League; runner-up gets $60,000; the team that advances the furthest from each lower division receives $15,000.
- Sporting Kansas City won the 2015 Open Cup final by outlasting the host Philadelphia Union in a shootout last September.
MENACE IN THE U.S. OPEN CUP
- Makes its seventh straight (and 11th overall) appearance in the U.S. Open Cup.
- Has a four-year streak of winning at least one game. (2012 at Milwaukee Bavarians; 2013 vs. Madison 56ers and at Minnesota United FC; 2014 vs. Real Colorado Foxes; 2015 vs. Madison Fire).
- The franchise’s first four Cup berths came in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006.
- Menace is 12-10 all-time in the Open Cup – 6-2 against amateur teams and 4-5 on the road.
- Last year the Menace opened the tournament with a 2-1 home win over Madison Fire on May 13; One week later, Saint Louis FC eliminated the Menace with a 2-1 overtime win in Fenton, Mo.
- The team’s only previous road match against an amateur team: a 3-1 overtime win over the Milwaukee Bavarians on May 15, 2012.
UP NEXT: SECOND ROUND OR SEASON OPENER?
- If Des Moines comes out of tomorrow’s match with a win, it hosts Tulsa Roughnecks FC at Valley Stadium on May 18 for the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
- If Des Moines leaves tomorrow’s match with a loss, its next game will be on May 21 at Valley Stadium for the Menace’s PDL regular-season opener against Chicago Fire U23.
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. The Menace men’s team competes in the Premier Development League (PDL) and is set to begin its 23rd season in 2016. Starting their fifth season this year, the Menace women’s team is part of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL). With loyal support, the Menace men’s and women’s teams play their home games at the Valley Stadium in West Des Moines to provide family-fun entertainment. The Menace organization provides the growth of the game of soccer in Iowa with their youth soccer programs, including Junior Menace (ages 3-9), Menace Youth Academy (ages 10+), and other various youth tournaments, camps and clinics.
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