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After winning the Iowa State Cup on Sunday, the 13U Menace Academy boys are headed to regionals. Photo credit: Kevin O'Connor


MUSCATINE, Iowa – Tuesday, June 6, 2017 – The 13U Menace Academy boys had one goal at the beginning of the spring season – win the Iowa State Cup.

On Sunday, it happened.

They won 3-1 in overtime against Bettendorf Soccer Association White in the championship.

“I couldn’t be prouder of this team,” head coach JR Fernandes said. “Hard work, commitment, dedication and passion for the beautiful game won us the title.”

In a game that had fans on the edge of their lawn chairs, Menace Academy was down 1-0 in the second half, until Freddy Muniz made contact and scored the tying goal.

Muniz netted two more in overtime to clinch the title and a hat trick.


Related link: Academy 13U boys are state indoor champs


The team sported No. 9 patches on their jerseys in memory of teammate Derek Cisneros, who died in a tragic car accident in March. The boys dedicated their season to Derek and his family.

“We did this for Derek and the entire Cisneros family,” Fernandes said. “We look forward to playing well at Regionals in honor of Derek.”


Related link: In Memory of Derek Cisneros (2003-2017)


The win gives the 13s a chance at the U.S. Youth Soccer Regional Championships, June 23-28 in Sioux Falls, S.D.

If the Academy boys win their region, they will head to Frisco, Texas, July 24-29, for the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships.

The 13s started out the State Cup tournament in Waterloo May 27-28. They won 6-1 over Iowa Rush the first day and 5-0 over JUSC Premier a day later. Des Moines advanced to the final after Saturday’s 3-1 win over Iowa City Alliance Blue.


Related link: Tournament schedule and results


Team Members: 13U Menace Academy boys
Joedwin Barboza
Kendall Bickford
Xavier Davis
Pablo De Avila
Haref Diaz
Saladin Hodzic
Ryan Huang
Calvin Jaworski
Diego Leon
Tonatiuh Merlos-Rojas
Freddy Muniz
Aidan O’Connor
Saul Rodriguez
Abraham Ruiz-Rivas
Alexis Soto
Brandon Vasquez Banegas
Coaches: JR Fernandez, Joe Arreola, David Soto-Luna and Muriz Hodzic
Team manager: Kevin O’Connor


The weekend also saw the 14U Menace Academy boys in the President’s Cup. After advancing to the final with a 2-0 win over Iowa Rush, the 14U boys lost 2-1 to JUSC Premier in Sunday’s final.


ABOUT THE MENACE ACADEMY: The Des Moines Menace Youth Soccer Academy provides a fun and challenging soccer environment that allows players to grow as people and reach the best of their soccer abilities.  The academy includes boys and girls teams ranging in age from six to 18.  Players are from all over the Des Moines metro area, coming from diverse backgrounds.  Academy members develop by learning skills and strategies at age-appropriate levels. Youth are exposed to the very best coaching and training on a consistent basis as they grow and mature.


The non-profit Menace Academy is part of the Des Moines Menace – Iowa’s premier men’s and women’s teams. The Menace promotes healthy lifestyles through popular youth programs that also include Junior Menace, camps, clinics and tournaments.

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