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Menace looks to bounce back

James Wypych (right) had three assists in this 7-0 win over Winnipeg on June 24. Photo credit: Dave Mable
 
 
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Thursday, June 30, 2016 – After suffering its first loss of the Premier Development League season, the Des Moines Menace hopes to get back on track with six points in a Friday-Saturday doubleheader that closes the team’s road schedule.
 
For the first time, the Menace visits Kokomo Mantis FC (3-4-1) – an expansion team that earned a scoreless draw with the Menace on June 4 at Valley Stadium.
 
Des Moines was undefeated in 17 straight PDL matches coming into this week. On Tuesday, though, Chicago Fire U23 – a team that was coming off a loss at Kokomo – snapped the Menace’s year-long streak, making good on a penalty kick in a 1-0 win at Toyota Park.
 
With an 8-1-1 mark and 25 standings points, the Menace leads a Heartland Division race that includes Chicago (7-3-1, 22 points), Thunder Bay (4-2-1, 13 points) and Kokomo (3-4-1, 10 points). The division’s top two teams advance to the PDL Playoffs.
 
On July 9, arch-rival Thunder Bay Chill comes to Valley Stadium on the last stop of its five-match American road trip. A week later, the Menace hosts St. Louis to wrap the season, one night after a Fireworks Friday exhibition with Toledo United FC.
 

Des Moines Menace at Kokomo Mantis FC

Date and time: Friday and Saturday, July 1 and 2 at 7 p.m. EDT
Venue: Kokomo Municipal Stadium (turf) in Kokomo, Ind.
Competition: Premier Development League regular season
 

 

 
ABOUT THE MENACE
  • 8-1-1 after losing 1-0 at Chicago on Tuesday.
  • Leads the PDL with 32 goals scored and three goals allowed.
  • Two-time defending Heartland Division champion.
  • Captain Leigh Veidman is in a four-way tie for the PDL’s third-most goals (eight, including a four-goal outing in last Friday’s 7-0 win over Winnipeg).
  • Tommy Barlow is second with five goals, including a hat trick in last Saturday’s 9-0 win over Winnipeg.
  • 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
  • 3-4-1 in its inaugural season.
  • Snapped a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 home win over Chicago last Saturday, with Hugo Magalhaes’ game-winning goal arriving in second-half stoppage time.
  • Has scored 12 goals and allowed 12.
  • Xhovani Dokaj leads the team with four goals; Grant Owens has three.
  • Directed by head coach Marcelo Santos, who is assisted by Tobias Edenvik and Cristiano Costa.
 
ALL-TIME SERIES
  • In the teams’ first meeting, they drew 0-0 on June 4 at Valley Stadium.
 
MENACE VS. EXPANSION TEAMS
  • Since the start of the 2002 season, the Menace is 19-0-4 against first-year PDL teams.
  • Des Moines has not lost to an expansion team since dropping a pair of 2-1 decisions to Chicago Eagles Select in 2001 (away May 25 and home June 9).
  • The Menace against expansion teams: 4-0-0 vs. WSA Winnipeg in 2011; 2-0-0 vs. Real Colorado Foxes in 2009; 3-0-0 vs. Rochester Thunder in 2009; 3-0-0 vs. Springfield Demize in 2007; 1-0-2 vs. St. Louis Lions in 2006; 2-0-1 vs. Springfield Storm in 2005; 2-0-0 vs. Colorado Springs Blizzard in 2004; 1-0-0 vs. Ft. Wayne Fever in 2003; 1-0-0 vs. Memphis Express in 2002; 1-2-0 vs. Chicago Eagles Select in 2001; 1-0-1 vs. Chicago Fire Reserves in 2001; 1-1-0 vs. Wichita Jets in 2000.
 
PDL HONOR ROLL
  • Goalkeeper Nico Campbell was named to the PDL Team of the Week on June 1.
  • Captain Leigh Veidman was named to the PDL Team of the Week on June 15.
  • Veidman received honorable mention on June 22.
  • Veidman was named to the PDL Team of the Week on June 29.
  • Tommy Barlow received honorable mention on June 29.
 
MATKO CLOSE TO 100TH PDL WIN
  • Menace head coach Mike Matkovich is 97-16-11 as a PDL head coach.
  • In two stints guiding the Chicago Fire U23s (2002-06 and 2014), Matkovich compiled a 78-13-9 regular-season record.
  • The Menace is 19-3-1 under Matko.
 
 
RECAP FROM TUESDAY
  • Chicago Fire U23 defeated the Menace, 1-0, on Tuesday morning at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill.
  • The Fire’s Andrew Gutman converted a penalty kick in the 45th minute, and the Menace was unable to find an equalizer in the team’s first loss since a 2-0 setback at Thunder Bay on June 19, 2015.
 
UP NEXT
  • The Menace hosts Thunder Bay on July 9 and the St. Louis Lions on July 16 for last two weekends of the regular season.
  • On July 15, Toledo United FC ventures to Valley Stadium for an exhibition game.
 
 
 
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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