Photo credit: Megan Lankford
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Tuesday, June 28, 2016 – For the first time this Premier Development League season, the Des Moines Menace feels the burn of defeat.
In a morning clash between the Heartland Division frontrunners, the Menace (8-1-1) couldn’t connect its goal chances and suffered a tough 1-0 loss to Chicago Fire U23 (7-3-1) at Toyota Park. This snaps Des Moines’ 17-match unbeaten streak that started over a year ago with a 2-0 win at Winnipeg on June 21, 2015.
Today’s lone goal came from a penalty kick in the 45th minute after Chicago’s Mark Segbers got caught between defenders Jimmy Fiscus and Sam Brotherton and went down in the box. Andrew Gutman converted his kick, and for the first time this PDL season the Menace trailed its opponent.
“It wasn’t an easy call for the ref to make, but he made it and we just have to move on,” Menace goalkeeper Nico Campbell said. “Chicago was just able to take advantage of one of their opportunities and ended up winning the game.”
This was a flashback to last year, when Chicago converted two PK’s to down Des Moines 2-1 on June 9.
The Menace had hopes of clinching one of the division’s two playoff spots today, but even with this morning’s result, Des Moines remains atop the table – three points ahead of Chicago.
“We’re still in a very strong position and we will let this be a lesson and get back to our winning ways,” said defender Jack Griffin.
Des Moines looks to move on from its first loss when the team travels to Kokomo (Ind.) for a Friday-Saturday doubleheader.
“We have to keep doing what we are doing and cannot let one result define us,” Griffin said. “We will get back to work on the practice field and put it right on Friday.”
Today’s loss also snaps the Menace’s seven-match road winning streak.
Before today, Des Moines’ last PDL regular-season loss was at Thunder Bay on June 19, 2015 (2-0).
Menace captain Leigh Veidman had scored in each of his five previous appearances, racking up eight goals – most recently, a four-goal tirade in a 7-0 defeat of WSA Winnipeg last Friday.
Since Chicago’s Elliott Collier scored in the 70th minute of the Menace’s 2-1 season-opening win on May 21, Des Moines has gone nine straight matches without allowing a second-half goal.
Andrew Gutman’s successful PK sanpped a 456-minute shutout streak for the Menace – the franchise record for a single season.
The Menace leads the PDL in goals scored (32) and goals allowed (three); Des Moines has padded this with a 22-0 aggregate against WSA Winnipeg, including a 16-0 difference in a home doubleheader this past Friday and Saturday.
FC Tucson (7-0-2) is the PDL’s only remaining unbeaten team.
MAN of the MATCH: Nico Campbell for his numerous saves and ability to help give the Menace a fighting chance. This is Campbell’s second “Man of the Match” recognition; the first was for his eight saves in Des Moines’ season opener against Chicago Fire U23 on May 21.
UP NEXT: The Menace closes its road schedule with a Friday-Saturday doubleheader against Kokomo Mantis FC in Indiana. Des Moines hosts arch-rival Thunder Bay on July 9.
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. In its 23rd season, the Menace men’s team competes in the Premier Development League (PDL). In its fifth season, 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 six and older), and youth tournaments, camps and clinics.
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