Luke Haakenson and the Menace had their opportunities in a close loss to Chicago FC United. Photo credit: Joe Sprunger
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Saturday, June 24, 2017 – It was bound to end eventually. At some point the Des Moines Menace’s home unbeaten streak was going to come to a close.
It concluded tonight at 24. Chicago FC United struck late to break a scoreless draw, dealing the Menace its first regular-season home loss in nearly four years.
Chicago’s 1-0 win at Valley Stadium comes four days after these teams dueled to a dramatic, 1-1 draw in Illinois. In the Premier Development League foes’ first-ever meeting, Johan De Picker’s stoppage-time header salvaged a point for the Menace.
Tonight, the goal-scoring hero was Ryan Sierakowski. He converted a penalty kick in the second half in Tuesday’s 48th minute, and he stung the Menace in the 84th minute of the rematch.
The Menace had its chances. Des Moines outshot Chicago 19-7, and in the 62nd minute, it appeared the home side was on the scoreboard.
Luke Haakenson’s shot deflected off a Chicago defender, landing in the path of Hayden Partain. A beautiful volley from Partain landed in the right-hand corner, and the Menace’s players and fans started celebrating.
Except it wasn’t a goal in the referees’ eyes. An offside call nullified the goal, and the Menace was back to square one.
“Sometimes that happens,” Menace head coach John Pascarella said. “That’s the beauty of the game, and you move on from it.”
There were other close calls – Adam Knight’s curling shot in the 25th minute bounced off the cross-bar, and Partain’s low laser was stuff by Chicago ‘keeper James Barkei.
“The guys’ reaction was outstanding,” Pascarella said. “Each time, they kept plugging away.”
The Menace (5-3-2) will keep plugging away, with the opportunity to start a new streak at Valley Stadium. Des Moines will be at home the next three weekends, starting with next Saturday’s PDL match with Saint Louis FC U23.
- The Menace remains in the Heartland Division’s top spot for another night, though second-place St. Louis (5-2-1) hosts Cincinnati tomorrow.
- This is the Menace’s first PDL regular-season home loss since falling to Real Colorado on July 13, 2013.
- The 24-match home unbeaten streak started with a 3-3 draw against St. Louis on July 20, 2013.
- In the streak, the Menace was 19-0-5.
- Chicago (2-1-5) snapped a streak of four consecutive ties; this is the team’s first win since opening the season with a 6-0 win over St. Louis on May 23.
- The Menace also brought a four-match unbeaten streak into tonight.
- Tonight, Chicago’s Anthony Collaizi saw his first PDL action since his time with the 2011 Menace.
MAN of the MATCH: Hayden Partain for his great work after entering the match in the 59th minute. Partain is a Texas native and a Wake Forest grad.
UP NEXT: The Menace hosts Saint Louis FC U23 next Saturday (July 1). Fireworks will follow the game.
Match: Chicago FC United at Des Moines Menace
Date: Saturday, June 24, 2017
Competition: Premier Development League regular season
Venue: Valley Stadium (artificial turf) in West Des Moines, Iowa
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CDT
Weather: 60s, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 0 0 0
CHI 0 1 1
CHI – Ryan Sierakowski (Qudus Lawal) 84:00
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. In its 24th season, the Menace men’s team competes in the Premier Development League (PDL). In 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 tournaments, camps and clinics.