Devyn Jambga (right) and the Menace came up short against Saint Louis FC U23. Photo credit: Joe Sprunger
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Saturday, July 1, 2017 – Back-to-back home losses leave the Des Moines Menace with little wiggle room.
The Menace ran out of time in tonight’ 2-1 Premier Development League setback to Saint Louis FC U23. And time seems to be running out for the Menace’s hopes of a fourth straight Heartland Division title.
Saint Louis FC put the Menace in a 2-0 deficit, and the home side came to life late in the game. Isaiah Madrid scored on a 25-yard rocket in the 86th minute, but the equalizer never came.
“Real tough,” Madrid said. “That was a rough one because I think we were the better team tonight.
“We know if we keep fighting we’ll have a chance. Give us five more minutes, and I think we get another goal and tie it.”
This one comes a week after Chicago left Valley Stadium with a 1-0 win that snapped the Menace’s 24-match home unbeaten streak.
The good news for the Menace: the team closes its PDL schedule with three meaningful home matches.
Next Saturday, Des Moines (5-4-2, 17 points) hosts the St. Louis Lions (6-3-2, 19 points), who fell to second place today after a 1-0 home loss against the division’s new frontrunner Thunder Bay (6-2-2, 20 points).
On July 14, Saint Louis FC U23 (4-2-4, 16 points) comes back to Des Moines, and a day later, the Menace welcomes Chicago (2-2-5, 11 points).
It’s a competitive cluster, and the division’s top two teams make the playoffs.
“It’s winding down to the point where every match matters,” Madrid said. “We need to win them all from here on out. Every game’s a must-win game.”
- SLFC’s Mohamed Awad (29th minute) and Austin Panchot (77th) each scored their second goals of the season.
- This was Isaiah Madrid’s first goal with the Menace.
- The Menace is 5-1-0 against Canadian teams and 0-3-2 against teams from the United States.
- Saint Louis FC U23 had a productive week, which started on Tuesday with a 1-0 win over Chicago and continued with a scoreless draw with Thunder Bay on Thursday.
- SLFC’s starting lineup included a pair of former Menace players: Keegan McHugh (2016) and Trevor Swartz (2015).
- Fireworks followed the match, and there will be postgame fireworks when these teams reunite here on July 14.
MAN of the MATCH: Isaiah Madrid, for his goal in the 86th minute. Madrid is a native of Albuquerque, and he split his college career between Florida Gulf Coast (first) and Valparaiso.
UP NEXT: The Menace hosts Sporting Kansas City U23 on Friday, when former Menace and Sporting KC goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum will be on hand for photos and autographs. The home action continues next Saturday, when the St. Louis Lions visit Valley Stadium.
Match: Saint Louis FC U23 at Des Moines Menace
Date: Saturday, July 1, 2017
Competition: Premier Development League regular season
Venue: Valley Stadium (artificial turf) in West Des Moines, Iowa
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CDT
Weather: 80s, sunny and windy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 0 1 1
SLFC 1 1 2
MENACE – Isaiah Madrid (Tucker Stephenson) 86:00
SLFC – Mohammed Awad (Andres Garza) 29:00; Austin Panchot 77:00
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.