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Canadian Odyssey: 3 matches in 6 days

Chris Mueller (10) and the Menace battled in this scoreless draw with Kokomo in the team's last outing. Photo credit: Antonio Rodriguez
 
 
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Thursday, June 9, 2016 – In the next six days, the Des Moines Menace will play three Premier Development League matches and travel nearly 2,500 miles by bus.
 
The Canada-bound Menace faces the Thunder Bay Chill in a Friday-Saturday doubleheader in Ontario, before heading west to Manitoba for a Tuesday-night matchup with WSA Winnipeg.
 
This weekend’s doubleheader provides the 55th and 56th meetings in the PDL’s longest-standing rivalry. Des Moines holds an all-time edge of 26-24-4 against Thunder Bay, which joined the PDL in 2000 – six years after the Menace’s inaugural season. In its last 10 matches on the Chill’s home turf, the Menace has come away with only one victory (3-2 on June 14, 2014) and one tie (1-1 on June 19, 2010).
 
The Menace looks to stay unbeaten against WSA Winnipeg, building on a 13-0-1 lead in a series that began in 2011.  Heading into its Saturday-Sunday home doubleheader with Chicago Fire U23, WSA Winnipeg is on a 31-match winless streak that goes back to the final seven games of 2014.
 
Mike Matkovich’s Menace takes a 2-0-1 record to Canada. A scoreless draw with PDL newcomer Kokomo Mantis FC on Saturday extended Des Moines’ home unbeaten streak to 17 while halting the team’s franchise-record string of 10 straight wins. Around the corner for the Menace are home matches with St. Louis (June 18) and WSA Winnipeg (June 24-25).
 

Des Moines Menace at Thunder Bay Chill
Dates and times: Friday, June 10 and Saturday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. EDT each night
Venue: Fort William Stadium (turf) in Thunder Bay, Ontario
Competition: Premier Development League regular season
 
Des Moines Menace at WSA Winnipeg
Date and time: Tuesday, June 14 at 7 p.m. CDT
Venue: Waverly Soccer Complex (turf) in Winnipeg, Manitoba
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.
  • Entered its 23rd season with an all-time PDL regular-season mark of 210-113-32.
  • Advanced to the third round of the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – eliminated by San Antonio FC, 2-1, on June 1 at Valley Stadium – two weeks after a home Cupset of Tulsa Roughnecks FC (2-0).
  • 2-0-1 in PDL action this year, after drawing 0-0 with newcomer Kokomo Mantis FC on Saturday and defeating Chicago Fire U23 (2-1 on May 21) and host St. Louis Lions (2-0 on May 28).
  • Regular-season goals have come from Christian Okeke, Ricky Hoegg, Mark Heath-Preston and Elvir Ibisevic.
  • Led by second-year head coach Mike Matkovich, who is assisted by Greg Hennelly, Mark Heath-Preston, Chris Rennie and Leigh Veidman.
 
ABOUT THE CHILL
  • Finished last season 9-3-2, second to the Menace in last year’s Heartland Division standings.
  • Entering this doubleheader weekend 2-0-0 in PDL play after beating WSA Winnipeg twice on the road (5-1 on June 3 and 2-1 on June 4).
  • Christopher Jones and Anthony Putrus lead the team with two goals each.
  • Ross Lindsay, Daniel Oliveira and Pedro Adan have also scored for Thunder Bay.
  • The Chill are directed by Giovanni Petraglia, who is assisted by Stefano Cristali, Saverio Lento and Aarno Peura.
  • Has made the PDL playoffs eight of the last nine years, with the outlier coming in 2014.
  • 2008 PDL champions; PDL finalists in 2010 and 2013.
 
ALL-TIME SERIES: MENACE VS. CHILL
  • The Menace leads the all-time series, 26-24-4, with an 11-16-3 record at Thunder Bay.
  • The Chill has won eight of its last 10 home matches against the Menace.
  • Des Moines has won four of the last five meetings, including a split of 2-0 results last year (June 19 in Thunder Bay and June 27 in West Des Moines).
  • For nine straight seasons, the Heartland Division champion has been either Des Moines or Thunder Bay; the Menace’s titles came in 2009, 2014 and 2015.
 
ABOUT WSA WINNIPEG
  • Finished last season winless, 0-12-2.
  • 0-5-0 entering a home doubleheader with Chicago this Saturday and Sunday.
  • Winnipeg’s two goals have come from Raphael Ohin and Moses Danto.
  • WSA Winnipeg is led by head coach Eduardo Badescu (2011-present), who is assisted by William Rosales.
  • On a 31-match winless streak (0-28-3) since a 2-1 win at Chicago Inferno on May 22, 2014.
 
ALL-TIME SERIES: MENACE VS. WSA WINNIPEG
  • Des Moines leads the all-time series 13-0-1 (7-0-1 on the road).
  • Last season, the Menace swept WSA (1-0 at home on May 23 and 4-0 in Winnipeg on June 21).
  • The Menace has outscored WSA Winnipeg 41-8 (26-7 at Winnipeg).
  • The teams’ lone draw came on June 2, 2012, when a pair of late goals allowed Des Moines to escape Manitoba with a 2-2 tie.
 
RECAP FROM LAST SATURDAY
  • PDL newcomer Kokomo Mantis FC earned a scoreless draw with the Menace at Valley Stadium.
  • Menace goalkeeper Nico Campbell, who has cracked the top 10 of the PDL’s top prospects list, made seven saves.
  • The tie with Kokomo came just three days after Des Moines was knocked out of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in the third round by San Antonio FC (2-1).
 
UP NEXT
  • The Menace hosts the St. Louis Lions on June 18 and WSA Winnipeg on June 24-25.
 
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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