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Menace opens PDL season at home

The Menace and Chicago Fire U23 closed the 2015 PDL season with this match (a 3-0 Menace win) at Valley Stadium. They'll open the 2016 season on the same field.
 
 
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Friday, May 20, 2016 – With the momentum from two wins in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the Des Moines Menace is looking to feed off that energy in its Premier Development League season opener.
 
Chicago Fire U23 returns to Valley Stadium tomorrow night for a 7:30 p.m. match on the field where these rivals closed the 2015 season in a doubleheader dominated by the Menace. The Fire will be seeking payback after the Menace outscored Chicago 13-0 in back-to-back wins to decisively clinch Des Moines’ second straight Heartland Division championship.
 
The Menace hopes to extend its home unbeaten streak of 15 regular-season matches. Des Moines’ last league-play home loss was a 2-1 setback to Real Colorado on July 13, 2013. Another streak at stake: the Menace is undefeated in its last seven PDL openers and 15 of its last 16 (with the team’s lone Opening Night loss since 1999 coming on May 10, 2008, when St. Louis spoiled Des Moines’ Valley Stadium debut, 2-1).
 
This is the Menace’s second home match in four days. On Wednesday, the Menace fought past Tulsa Roughnecks FC, 2-0, earning the opportunity to host another professional team, San Antonio FC, on June 1. The winner advances to a fourth-round trip to face the Houston Dynamo (Major League Soccer).
 

 
Chicago Fire U23 at Des Moines Menace
Date and Time: Saturday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. CDT
Venue: Valley Stadium (turf) in West Des Moines, Iowa
Competition: Premier Development League regular season
 

 
 
ABOUT THE MENACE
  • Two-time defending Premier Development League Heartland Division champion, coming off an 11-2-1 season.
  • Beginning its 23rd season and carries an all-time PDL regular-season mark of 210-113-32.
  • Led by second-year head coach Mike Matkovich, who coached Chicago Fire U23 in 2002-06 and 2014.
  • Greg Hennelly, Mark Heath-Preston, Chris Rennie and Leigh Veidman assist Matkovich.
 
ABOUT THE FIRE
  • Finished last season 6-6-2, placing third in the six-team PDL Heartland Division.
  • The Fire is directed by head coach Logan Pause, who played his entire twelve-year professional career with the Chicago Fire in Major League Soccer.
 
ALL-TIME SERIES
  • Des Moines and Chicago Fire U23 are tied 4-4-2 in their all-time series.
  • The Menace has outscored the Fire 22-10 overall, allowing only three goals at home.
  • Des Moines took the 2015 series: After the home-side Fire converted penalty kicks to win 2-1 on June 9, the Menace stomped out the Fire (10-0 on July 17 and 3-0 on July 18) in a season-closing doubleheader at Valley Stadium.
  • The Fire ousted the Menace from the 2006 PDL Playoffs and the 2011 U.S. Open Cup.
 
 
RECAP FROM WEDNESDAY
  • Des Moines upset visiting Tulsa Roughnecks FC, 2-0, in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup.
  • The goals came from two second-half subs Sean Hoek (68th minute) and Elvir Ibisevic (81st).
  • The Menace improves to 14-10 overall in the U.S. Open Cup, with a 7-8 record against professional teams.
  • The win came a week after the Menace edged host FC Wichita in the first round.
 
 
PROMOTIONS
  • Tomorrow’s early-arriving fans will receive magnet schedules, sponsored by Kum & Go and Frito Lay.
 
 
UP NEXT
  • A road trip to St. Louis is next on the PDL schedule for Des Moines (May 28).
  • On June 1, Des Moines hosts San Antonio FC, a professional team in the United Soccer League, in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. On the line is a marquee matchup with the Houston Dynamo.
 
 
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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