A week after this 1-0 loss to Chicago, Adam Knight (right) and the Menace look to get back into a winning rhythm in the push for a postseason spot. Photo credit: Joe Sprunger
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa. – Friday, June 30, 2017 – Three crucial weekends are ahead for the defending three-time Heartland Division champion Des Moines Menace.
They’re the last three of the Premier Development League regular season, and all three will be on the Menace’s home turf.
First up: Saint Louis FC U23 tomorrow at Valley Stadium.
The division’s top two teams secure spots for the PDL playoffs. The Menace (5-3-2) and the Thunder Bay Chill (5-2-2) are tied for second place with 17 points, two points behind No. 1 St. Louis Lions (6-2-1). Three matches between the Lions and the Chill are still to come – with two of them set for this weekend in St. Louis.
No. 4 Saint Louis FC U23 (3-2-4, 13 points) and No. 5 Chicago FC United (2-2-5, 11 points) could make a run for a playoff spot, too. Both still play each other, the Chill and the Menace.
To return to the playoffs this year, Menace has little room for error. John Pascarella’s team looks to get back on track after last Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Chicago snapped the Menace’s 24-match home unbeaten streak.
Saint Louis FC U23 at Des Moines Menace
Date and time: Saturday, July 1 at 7:30 p.m. CDT
Venue: Valley Stadium (artificial turf) in West Des Moines, Iowa
Competition: Premier Development League regular season
Promotions: Postgame fireworks
ABOUT THE MENACE
- 5-3-2, in second place in the Heartland Division.
- Three-time defending Premier Development League Heartland Division champion.
- Coming off of a 1-0 home loss to Chicago FC United last Saturday.
- Devyn Jambga leads the team with five goals (10 points); Hayden Partain is second with six points (two goals, two assists).
- First-year head coach John Pascarella is assisted by Greg Hennelly, Matt Kennedy and Tiley Nunnink.
ABOUT SAINT LOUIS FC U23
- 2-2-3 and in fifth place in the Heartland Division.
- Visiting Des Moines after beating Chicago 1-0 on Tuesday and tying Thunder Bay 0-0 on Thursday.
- Closes the season with five straight road matches.
- Sam Gainford leads the team with four goals and three assists.
- Finished fourth out of five teams in the PDL Mid-South Division in 2016 (3-8-3).
- Head coach Kevin Stoll is assisted by Shawn Hewitt and Santiago Castillo.
- This is the teams’ second meeting, after a 1-1 draw in St. Louis on May 28 (with goals from Sam Gainford and Devyn Jambga).
- Saint Louis FC U23 returns to Valley Stadium on July 14.
RECAPPING LAST SATURDAY
- A 1-0 home loss to Chicago snapped the Menace’s 24-match home unbeaten streak in the regular season.
- Chicago’s goal came from Ryan Sierakowski in the 84th minute.
HEARTLAND DIVISION STANDINGS (as of June 30)
- St. Louis Lions (6-2-1, 19 points)
- MENACE (5-3-2, 17 points)
- Thunder Bay Chill (5-2-2, 17 points)
- Saint Louis FC U23 (3-2-4, 13 points)
- Chicago FC United (2-2-5, 11 points)
- WSA Winnipeg (0-10-1, 1 point)
- PDL playoff spots go to the two teams with the most points in the regular season.
UP NEXT FOR THE MENACE
- The Menace is home for a Friday-Saturday doubleheader next weekend.
- On Friday, Des Moines welcomes Sporting Kansas City U23, and on Saturday, the St. Louis Lions come to town.
- Former Menace and Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum will be with us on July 7 for autographs.
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.