John Pascarella signs an autograph after a 2017 home game at Valley Stadium. Photo credit: Joe Sprunger
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017 – John Pascarella is headed back to Major League Soccer.
After a year as the Des Moines Menace’s head coach, Pascarella is the newly named goalkeeping coach for Minnesota United FC.
This is familiar ground for the MLS veteran. He was a Sporting Kansas City assistant coach for eight seasons (2009-2016) and a Los Angeles Galaxy goalkeeper in the league’s first two years (1996-1997).
The next steps of Pascarella’s journey will continue his northbound trek up Interstate 35, with the goal of helping head coach Adrian Heath and the Loons improve upon a 10-18-6 record from their 2017 MLS debut.
“It’s an exciting change for me to join Minnesota,” Pascarella said. “My time with the Menace was a tremendous opportunity for me to learn and grow, and to do it with the support of an organization that’s been around so long and been so successful. I’ve loved every minute of it.”
Under Pascarella’s leadership, the Menace finished the Premier Development League regular season with a 7-5-2 record. The team punctuated the summer with a dramatic playoff berth and a postseason upset of the defending PDL champion Michigan Bucks on their home turf (2-0 on July 21).
The 2017 season marked Pascarella’s first time in a lead role since guiding the Northern Virginia Royals in the 2007 and 2008 PDL seasons. The New Jersey native has “A” coaching licenses from the United States Soccer Federation and from the Union of European Football Associations.
The Menace’s four most recent head coaches brought MLS experiences to Des Moines. Mike Matkovich (2015-16 Menace), Mike Jeffries (2013-14) and Laurie Calloway (2001-02 and 2010-12) have also coached MLS teams. Pascarella, however, is the only Menace head coach who has both played and coached in the league.
“Des Moines is not only a place for top amateur players to prepare for the pros; it’s also a great bridge for professional coaches, as well,” Pascarella said.
The search has started for the head coach who will lead the Menace in its 25th season.
“We thank J.P. for his time with the Menace organization, and we wish him nothing but the best in his return to Major League Soccer,” said Menace owner Kyle Krause. “We look forward to next season, building on the many contributions he made to the program.”
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. Preparing for its 25th season, the Menace men’s team competes in the Premier Development League (PDL). Entering its seventh 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 youth tournaments, camps and clinics.