Mueng Sunday leaped on the top of the Menace's celebration of Tommy Barlow's game-winning goal on Saturday against St. Louis. Photo credit: Joe Sprunger
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Monday, July 18, 2016 – In a familiar place, the Des Moines Menace opens the 2016 postseason against a familiar opponent.
For the second straight year, the Menace is headed to Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, Mich., the home of the Michigan Bucks. And, for the third straight year, the Menace will face K-W United FC in the Premier Development League Playoffs.
A year ago, K-W United rallied past Des Moines and went on to win the league title. In the 2014 postseason at Valley Stadium, the Menace ousted the Canadian club in a shootout, one night before Michigan dispatched Des Moines on the way to the PDL championship.
Michigan has followed its 2014 postseason crown by claiming a pair of PDL regular-season titles. The Bucks host Thunder Bay on Friday in a rematch of the home side’s come-from-behind win last season.
Here’s the schedule for this year’s PDL Central Conference championship weekend – a carbon copy of the 2015 matchups:
Friday, July 22 – PDL Central Conference Semifinals
5 p.m. EDT.: Des Moines Menace (Heartland Division champion) vs. K-W United FC (second place in Great Lakes Division)
7:30 p.m. EDT: Michigan Bucks (Great Lakes Division champion) vs. Thunder Bay Chill (second place in Heartland Division)
Saturday, July 23 – PDL Central Conference Championship
7:30 p.m. EDT: Friday’s winners battle for a spot in the PDL’s final four.
Des Moines – the Heartland Division’s three-peat champion – aspires to bring a PDL semifinal match to Valley Stadium on July 30, with the larger goal of claiming the franchise’s second postseason championship on Aug. 6. The Menace’s 2005 title is the highlight of the organization’s 14 playoff appearances.
2016 SCHEDULE (10-2-2 PDL: 5-0-2 home; 5-2-0 away)
Wednesday, May 11 # at FC Wichita W, 2-1
Wednesday, May 18 # Tulsa Roughnecks FC W, 2-0
Saturday, May 21 Chicago Fire U23 W, 2-1
Saturday, May 28 at St. Louis Lions W, 2-0
Wednesday, June 1 # San Antonio FC L, 1-2
Saturday, June 4 Kokomo Mantis FC T, 0-0
Friday, June 10 at Thunder Bay Chill W, 2-0
Saturday, June 11 at Thunder Bay Chill W, 2-1
Tuesday, June 14 at WSA Winnipeg W, 6-0
Saturday, June 18 St. Louis Lions W, 2-0
Friday, June 24 WSA Winnipeg W, 7-0
Saturday, June 25 WSA Winnipeg W, 9-0
Tuesday, June 28 at Chicago Fire U23 L, 0-1
Friday, July 1 at Kokomo Mantis FC L, 0-2
Saturday, July 2 at Kokomo Mantis FC W, 2-0
Saturday, July 9 Thunder Bay Chill T, 1-1
Friday, July 15 ^ Toledo United FC W, 4-3
Saturday, July 16 St. Louis Lions W, 2-1
Friday, July 22 * K-W United FC 4 p.m. at Ultimate Soccer Arenas
All game times are listed in Des Moines time
# = Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup ^ = Exhibition * = Premier Development League Playoffs
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). 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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