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Two weekends, four games left for Menace

The PDL Game of the Week pits the Menace against the St. Louis Lions on Saturday at Valley Stadium. Photo credit: Joe Sprunger


WEST DES MOINES, Iowa. – Thursday, July 6, 2017 – The Premier Development League Game of the Week headlines a full slate of soccer at Valley Stadium in the final two weekends of the season.

In the league’s showcase showdown, the Des Moines Menace scuffles with the rival St. Louis Lions on Saturday – one night after the Menace hosts a Friday friendly with Sporting Kansas City U23.

Saturday’s match will have a postseason feel. The Heartland Division’s top two teams net spots in the PDL Playoffs, and the Menace (5-4-2, 17 points) is looking to surpass St. Louis (6-4-1, 19 points) for second place.

Thunder Bay (7-2-2, 23 points) leads a jumbled division including a pair of teams that have deflated Des Moines’ hopes for a fourth straight division crown. The last couple Saturdays, Saint Louis FC (4-3-4, 16 points) and Chicago FC (3-2-5, 14 points) have escaped Valley Stadium with close victories.

Closing the season with home wins over the Lions, Saint Louis FC (July 14) and Chicago (July 15) would clinch the Menace’s 15th appearance in the PDL postseason.


Sporting Kansas City U23 at Des Moines Menace
Date and time: Friday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m. CDT
Venue: Valley Stadium (artificial turf) in West Des Moines, Iowa
Competition: Exhibition
Promotions: Meet former Menace and Sporting KC goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum. He’ll be available for photographs and autographs from 7:15 to 8 p.m.
St. Louis Lions at Des Moines Menace
Date and time: Saturday, July 8 at 7:30 p.m. CDT
Venue: Valley Stadium (artificial turf) in West Des Moines, Iowa
Competition: Premier Development League regular season
Promotions: Be part of the crowd for the PDL Game of the Week.



  • 5-4-2, in third place in the Heartland Division.
  • Three-time defending Premier Development League Heartland Division champion.
  • Looking to shake off consecutive home losses (1-0 to Chicago on June 24 and 2-1 to Saint Louis FC on July 1).
  • 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 and Tiley Nunnink.



  • Features a mix of Sporting KC homegrown players and some of the Kansas City area’s top college-age talent.
  • Represents the pinnacle of SKC’s successful youth academy.
  • Coming off a pair of exhibition losses to FC Wichita (5-4 at home on June 27 and 4-2 on Wednesday in Wichita).
  • Head coach Brian Bliss is a longtime Major League Soccer coach whose playing career included 50 matches in Major League Soccer (1996-98) and 33 caps with the United States national team (1984-95).



  • 6-4-1, in second place in the Heartland Division.
  • Coming off back-to-back home losses to Thunder Bay (1-0 on July 1 and 2-0 on July 2).
  • Vadim Cojocov leads the division with eight goals. He shares the Lions’ assists lead with Greg McCrudden (two).
  • Finished fifth in the five-team Heartland Division in 2016 (2-8-4).
  • Appeared in the PDL Playoffs in 2007 and 2014).
  • Head coach Tony Glavin has led the Lions for all 12 seasons.



  • This is the teams’ first exhibition, though the Menace did host SKC U23 for a scrimmage in June 2016.
  • The Menace has faced Sporting KC’s Major League Soccer team on three occasions in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (2005, 2006, 2013).



  • This is the season’s second and final meeting between these Heartland Division rivals.
  • On May 27, the host Lions topped the Menace 1-0, with Vadim Cojocov scoring in the 66th minute of a match that was moved and delayed due to thunderstorms.
  • The Menace entered the 2017 season with a 10-match unbeaten streak (8-0-2) against the Lions.
  • Des Moines leads 16-6-10 (8-2-6 at home) in a series that began in 2006.



  • Saint Louis FC U23 dealt the Menace its second straight home defeat.
  • Des Moines’ Isaiah Madrid scored in the 86th minute of a 2-1 loss to SLFC U23, whose goals came from Mohammad Awad (29th minute) and Austin Panchot (77th).



  • Thunder Bay Chill (7-2-2, 23 points; maximum of 32 points)
  • St. Louis Lions (6-4-1, 19 points; 28 max.)
  • MENACE (5-4-2, 17 points; 26 max.)
  • Saint Louis FC U23 (4-3-4, 16 points; 25 max.)
  • Chicago FC United (3-2-5, 14 points; 26 max.)
  • WSA Winnipeg (0-10-1, 1 point; 10 max.)
  • PDL playoff spots go to the two teams with the most points in the regular season.



  • The Menace closes the regular season with another Friday-Saturday doubleheader.
  • Saint Louis FC (July 14) and Chicago FC United (July 15) return to Valley Stadium.



  • There will be fireworks after the game on Friday, July 14.
  • The Menace hosts a doubleheader for Fan Appreciation Night on Saturday, July 15. Fans get a double-dose of Windy City foes: the Chicago Red Stars Reserves (4:30 p.m. Women’s Premier Soccer League match) and Chicago FC United (7:30).


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.

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