Bryce Gibson (7), captain Biko Brennan (4) and goalie Carlos Mercado (hiding behind Brennan) came up short against Bugeaters FC. Photo credit: Jayde Vogeler
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Friday, June 15, 2018 – In a Fireworks Friday friendly against Nebraska Bugeaters FC, the Des Moines Menace found itself in an unfamiliar position.
For the first time in 2018, the Menace trailed its opponent. Nebraska scored in each half of a 2-0 exhibition win tonight at Valley Stadium.
Des Moines (6-0-0 Premier Development League) looks to bounce back tomorrow night in a Heartland Division showdown with the arch-rival Thunder Bay Chill. The Menace, which won 3-0 in Thunder Bay last Saturday, eyes its first season sweep of the Chill since 2006.
Michael LaGro put Nebraska (2-1-2 United Premier Soccer League) ahead in the 35th minute, when he rose above the crowd and headed in a long ball.
Head’s-up play by the Lincoln-based club made it 2-0 in the 54th minute. Lewis Rathbone kicked in what appeared to be a dead ball after Menace goalkeeper Carlos Mercado illegally touched the ball outside his box.
Nebraska goalkeeper Jack Bennett thwarted the Menace’s repeated attempts to come back in the second half.
Tomorrow, Des Moines looks to show fans the offensive rhythm the team rolled with in the team’s five-game road swing that brought home five league wins.
UP NEXT: The Menace clashes with Thunder Bay tomorrow; the boys’ Iowa High School All-Star Game opens the action at 5 p.m.
MAN of the MATCH: Alejandro Covarrubias, for his consistent play in the midfield, including a handful of free kicks that gave the Menace opportunities to score. Covarrubias carries pro experiences with LA Galaxy II (2014-17), the Oklahoma City Energy (2017) and Fresno FC (2018).
- Mark Heath-Preston, a goal-scoring force for the 2015-16 Menace, is Nebraska’s head coach.
- This is one of the Menace’s three home exhibitions this season against UPSL teams; Union Dubuque (June 30) and Aurora Borealis (July 14) also visit Valley Stadium.
- Des Moines has outscored PDL foes 17-2.
- This was the Menace’s first home action since a 3-0 season-opening win over WSA Winnipeg on May 24.
Match: Nebraska Bugeaters FC at Des Moines Menace
Date: Friday, June 15, 2018
Venue: Valley Stadium (artificial turf) in West Des Moines, Iowa
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m CDT
Weather: 90s, sunny and breezy
Scoreline 1 2 F
MENACE 0 0 0
NEB 1 1 2
NEB – Mitch LaGro 35:00
NEB – Lewis Rathbone 54:00
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). In 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.