Mike Matkovich is the only Menace head coach to lead the team to back-to-back division titles. Photo credit: Antonio Rodriguez
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016 – Mike Matkovich will not return as the Des Moines Menace’s head coach in 2017.
Following two successful seasons in Des Moines, Matkovich has decided to step down from his role with the Menace, in order to focus on his responsibilities with the Chicago Fire’s youth programs.
Under Matkovich, the Menace went 21-4-3 in the Premier Development League season, keeping alive the franchise’s streaks of consecutive division titles (three), appearances in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (eight) and unbeaten regular-season home matches (22).
“I want to thank the Des Moines Menace family for two outstanding years,” Matkovich said. “I enjoyed my time and wish the franchise nothing but the best. I would like to personally thank (Menace owner) Kyle Krause for all his support to the team, and (Menace general manger) Matt Homonoff for making my time in Des Moines fantastic.”
“Matko” has led the Chicago Fire Juniors South since 2011. His impressive resume includes an all-time PDL regular-season mark of 99-17-12 – he led the Fire’s PDL team from 2006-12 and in 2014 – and stints as a Major League Soccer assistant coach with Toronto FC (2007), Chivas USA (2008) and Chicago (2009-10 and 2012-13).
Highlights from the last two Menace seasons included an eight-game winning streak to finish the 2015 season, a 2-0 upset of pro-side Tulsa in the 2016 U.S. Open Cup and a 5-1 victory over defending PDL champion K-W United in this year’s postseason.
“On behalf of the Menace staff and players, we would like to thank Coach Matkovich for two fine seasons in Des Moines,” Homonoff said. “Back-to-back Heartland Division titles and an exciting, attacking brand of soccer were hallmarks of his teams. We wish him all the best as he continues his career with the Chicago Fire.”
A search is underway for the Menace’s next head coach.
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. Preparing for its 24th season, the Menace men’s team competes in the Premier Development League (PDL). Entering its sixth 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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