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Back at home vs. Nebraska, Thunder Bay

Nico Clasen (left) assisted Brandon Fricke's game-winner in this 3-0 victory at Thunder Bay on June 8. Photo credit: James Mirabelli

 

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Wednesday, June 13, 2018 – Randomly select any Friday or Saturday coming up these next five weekends, and there’s a 90-percent chance there’s a Des Moines Menace home game that night.

The Menace brings a 6-0-0 record into this action-packed home stretch, which begins with a couple matches this weekend at Valley Stadium.

Des Moines – one of just two unbeaten and untied teams remaining in the 72-member Premier Development League – hosts Nebraska Bugeaters FC on Friday and the arch-rival Thunder Bay Chill on Saturday.

The Chill (2-2-0) seeks payback after the Menace won 3-0 last Friday to spoil Thunder Bay’s home opener for the third straight year. This is the second and final 2018 battle between the PDL’s longest-standing rivals. The Menace has claimed the season series each of the last four years, and a win on Saturday would give the Menace the franchise’s first season sweep of the Chill since 2006.

Looming on the horizon for Alen Marcina’s Menace is the team’s only remaining road competition – a Tuesday-Wednesday doubleheader against fellow Heartland Division frontrunner Chicago FC United (5-0-0), the PDL’s only other team without a loss or tie this season.

 

Related Link: GAMEDAY GUIDE for this weekend
 

NEBRASKA BUGEATERS FC at DES MOINES MENACE
DATE and TIME: Friday, June 15 at 7:30 p.m. CDT
VENUE: Valley Stadium (artificial-turf field) in West Des Moines, Iowa
COMPETITION: Exhibition
GAME-TITLE SPONSOR: Frito Lay
PROMOTIONS: Post-game fireworks
 
 
THUNDER BAY CHILL at DES MOINES MENACE
DATE and TIME: Saturday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m.
VENUE: Valley Stadium (artificial-turf field) in West Des Moines, Iowa
COMPETITION: Premier Development League regular season
GAME-TITLE SPONSOR: Kum & Go
PRECEDED BY: 2018 Iowa High School All-Star Game (boys) at 5 p.m.
 
 

ABOUT THE MENACE

  •  6-0-0 – matching the 2003 Menace for the best start in franchise history.
  • Kino Ryosuke leads the PDL with eight goals; Audi Jepsen is second on the Menace with three goals (one in each of the last six games).
  • Keegan Meyer has a 4-0-0 mark with a 0.25 Goals Against Average. Carlos Mercado is 2-0-0 with a 0.50 GAA.
  • First-year head coach Alen Marcina is assisted by Dario Pots and goalkeeping coach Devala Gorrick.
  • Entered the franchise’s 25th season with an all-time record of 267-154-37 (237-126-37 regular season; 16-16 PDL playoffs; 14-12 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup). 

 

ABOUT BUGEATERS FC

  •  2-1-2 in the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL)
  • First-year club competing in the UPSL Midwest Conference – West Division, along with St. Louis Maritsa and a trio of Kansas City-area clubs: the Santa Fe Wanderers, Barilleros FC and Quinto Elemento FC.
  • On a four-match unbeaten streak, with the latest result a 2-2 tie at St. Louis Maritsa last Saturday.
  • Head coach Mark Heath-Preston starred for the 2015-16 Menace, helping the team win consecutive PDL Heartland Division crowns.

 

ABOUT THE CHILL

  • 2-2-0 after dropping home matches last Friday (3-0 to Des Moines) and Saturday (2-0 to Chicago).
  • Defending PDL Heartland Division champs (9-3-2) have made 10 appearances in the PDL playoffs (all in the last 11 years).
  • Won the PDL championship in 2008 and advanced to the league final in 2010, 2013 and 2017 (a 2-1 loss to the host Charlotte Eagles on Aug. 5).
  • Giovanni Petraglia is in his fourth season as Thunder Bay’s head coach.

 

ALL-TIME SERIES: MENACE VS. BUGEATERS

  • This is the first-ever meeting between these teams.
  • In 2018, Des Moines will host two other United Premier Soccer League teams: Union Dubuque FC on June 29 and Aurora Borealis on July 14.

 

ALL-TIME SERIES: MENACE VS. CHILL

  • The Menace leads 31-26-5; the PDL’s oldest rivalry traces back to 2000.
  • Des Moines has won the season series each of the last four years.
  • The Menace defeated the Chill twice during the 2017 season; Thunder Bay downed Des Moines once in 2017 league play, on the way to the Heartland Division crown.
  • In the Central Conference championship of the 2017 PDL playoffs, the Chill eliminated the Menace 2-0 on July 22 in Pontiac, Mich.
  • Each of the last 11 PDL seasons has ended with Des Moines (four times) or Thunder Bay (seven) as the Heartland Division champion.

 

ABOUT THE PDL HEARTLAND DIVISION

  • The Menace (25th season), the Thunder Bay Chill (19th season), the St. Louis Lions (13th season), WSA Winnipeg (eighth season), and Chicago FC United (second season) are back in the division, joined by newcomer Kaw Valley FC (Kan.).
  • Des Moines or Thunder Bay has been the Heartland Division champ the last 11 seasons.
  • The 72-team PDL comprises 10 divisions and four conferences; the Heartland Division and the Great Lakes Division are in the Central Conference.

 

RECAPPING LAST WEEKEND’S CANADIAN SWEEP

  • Last Friday, the Menace defeated the Thunder Bay Chill, 3-0, at Fort William Stadium. Audi Jepson and Brandon Fricke scored to give the Menace a two-goal lead, and the Chill gifted the Menace an own goal on the final play of the match.
  • Last Sunday, Des Moines moved to 6-0-0 with another 3-0 victory – against WSA Winniipeg at Ralph Cantafio Soccerplex. Kino Ryosuke (two goals) and Audi Jepson handled the scoring.

 

UP NEXT: MENACE PLAYS THREE MATCHES IN FIVE DAYS

  • A Tuesday-Wednesday doubleheader at Chicago FC United is followed by a June 23 home match against Kaw Valley FC.
  • The June 23 match is preceded by the 2018 Iowa High School All-Star Game for the girls.

 

 

ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. In 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 promotes the growth of soccer through these youth programs: Junior Menace (ages 3-9), Menace Academy (ages six and older), and tournaments, camps and clinics.



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