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Menace, Mantis meet for first time

Jack Griffin (left) and the Menace battled in this 2-1 U.S. Open Cup loss to San Antonio FC on Wednesday. Photo credit: Stodden Photography, LLC
 
 
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Friday, June 3, 2016 – Something’s got to give tomorrow when sides with matching 2-0-0 records collide in a Premier Development League match at Valley Stadium.
 
In the teams’ first meeting, the Des Moines Menace – in its 23rd season – welcomes Kokomo Mantis FC – a newcomer that has found early success.
 
Heading into its first road match, KokoMantis already has a pair of shutouts, with victories over St. Louis (2-0 on May 20) and WSA Winnipeg (4-0 on May 23). Head coach Marcello Santos, a former Thunder Bay Chill player and coach, guides the expansion team from Indiana.
 
Des Moines, the Heartland Division’s two-time defending champion, has extended its franchise-record winning streak to 10 matches in the regular season. The Menace’s season-opening wins were at home against Chicago Fire U23 (2-1 on May 21) and at St. Louis (2-0 on May 28). In its second match in four days, the Menace returns to the site of its 2-1 loss to San Antonio FC (professional United Soccer League) on Wednesday in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
 
Another busy stretch is around the corner for Des Moines. Mike Matkovich’s Menace journeys to Canada on Thursday to play in Thunder Bay (June 10 and June 11) and Winnipeg (June 14). The Menace returns to Valley Stadium on June 18 to face St. Louis.
 

Kokomo Mantis FC at Des Moines Menace
Date and time: Saturday, June 4 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 (11-2-1 in 2015).
  • On a 16-match unbeaten streak in home matches (since a 2-1 loss to Real Colorado on July 13, 2013).
  • 2-0-0 PDL, on a 10-match winning streak that continues from last season (since a 2-0 loss at Thunder Bay on June 19, 2015).
  • The Menace’s league goals have come from Christian Okeke, Ricky Hoegg, Mark Heath-Preston and Elvir Ibisevic.
  • Goalkeeper Nico Campbell, who has played every minute this season, was named to the PDL Team of the Week on Wednesday.
  • Led by second-year head coach Mike Matkovich, who is assisted by Greg Hennelly and Chris Rennie, as well as player-coaches Mark Heath-Preston and Leigh Veidman.
 
ABOUT KOKOMO MANTIS FC
  • 2-0-0 to start its inaugural season.
  • Xhovani Dokaj is part of the current PDL Team of the Week, thanks to a hat trick in Kokomo’s 4-0 win over WSA Winnipeg on May 23.
  • Grant Owens (two) and Mitchell Hopkins have also scored for Kokomo.
  • Goalkeeper Andrew Chekadanov has not allowed a goal.
  • Marcelo Santos directs Kokomo Mantis FC and is assisted by Tobias Edenvik and Cristiano Costa.
  • Owned and operated by MKE Sports and Entertainment, LLC, whose sports properties include the Milwaukee Wave (Major Arena Soccer League) and the Kokomo Jackrabbits baseball team (summer collegiate Prospect League).
 
 
RECAP FROM WEDNESDAY
  • The Menace’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup run came to an end in a third-round, 2-1 loss against pro-team San Antonio FC at Valley Stadium.
  • Des Moines’ lone goal came from Christian Flath on a 30-yard free-kick that spotted the amateurs a lead in the 58th minute; San Antonio equalized in the 72nd minute (Sam McBride) and went ahead for good in the 81st (Jacque Francois).
  • This loss came two weeks after Des Moines upset Tulsa Roughnecks FC, 2-0, in the second round and three weeks after the Menace ousted host FC Wichita, 2-1.
 
PROMOTIONS
  • Saturday is Youth Soccer Night, when youth-soccer players in their team jerseys receive $1 admission for a Menace doubleheader.
  • The Menace ladies host the Kansas City Courage in a 4:30 p.m. Women’s Premier Soccer League showdown.
 
UP NEXT
  • In a Canadian tour, the Menace plays three games in five days (June 10 and June 11 at Thunder Bay and June 14 at Winnipeg).
  • The Menace is back in action at Valley Stadium on June 18 against St. Louis.
 
 
 
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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