DES MOINES, Iowa – Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019 – Though the Des Moines Menace’s league has a new name, the team’s division remain mostly unchanged for the upcoming season.
In 2018, the Menace claimed the regular-season championship for the Premier Development League, which has since rebranded as USL League Two.
Like last year, the Menace will compete in the Heartland Division against the Kaw Valley F.C., the St. Louis Lions, the Thunder Bay Chill and WSA Winnipeg. For 2019, the division welcomes a new, yet-to-be-named, team from Green Bay. The Heartland division loses Chicago FC United, which has shifted to the Great Lakes Division after two years in the Heartland. The first season of USL League Two will have more than 70 teams competing in 10 divisions and four conferences. The Heartland and Great Lakes divisions compose the Central Conference.
Capsules of the 2019 Heartland Division teams
Des Moines Menace 2018: The Menace celebrated its 25th anniversary with a 13-0-1 mark and the team’s fifth straight appearance in the league playoffs. Chicago, which lost all four regular-season games to Des Moines last season, found payback in a 1-0 win on July 21. This knocked the Menace out of the PDL postseason.
Notable: More than 150 Menace alumni have played professionally. The franchise’s all-time record in the regular season is 250-126-38.
Green Bay (Team Name TBA) Notable: Leading this expansion team is general manager Dannon Anderson, who interned with the Menace in 2015.
Kaw Valley F.C. 2018: This Kansas team made an impressive debut, earning a 6-6-2 record and PDL New Franchise of the Year.
All-time series: Menace leads 2-0-1; Kaw Valley’s 1-1 tie at Valley Stadium on June 23 was the only blemish on the Menace’s otherwise-unbeaten mark.
Notable: Kaw Valley F.C., nicknamed the Cranes, plays its home games in a combination between Lawrence and Topeka.
St. Louis Lions 2018: The Lions tied Kaw Valley for third place with a 6-6-2 mark.
All-time series: Menace leads 20-6-10 in a rivalry that began in 2006.
Notable: Head Coach, Tony Glavin, has been the leading the Lions since the sides inception in 2005.
Thunder Bay Chill 2018: The Chill settled for a 6-7-1 record, missing the PDL Playoffs for just the second time in 12 years.
All-time series: In the league’s longest continually running rivalry, the Menace leads 32-26-5 in a series that began in 2000.
Notable: Thunder Bay has made it to the league final on four occasions, winning the cup in 2008 and finishing second in 2010, 2013 and 2017.
WSA Winnipeg 2018: WSA Winnipeg was 0-14-0.
All-time series: Menace leads 21-0-1 in a series that began in 2011.
Notable: Des Moines has outscored Winnipeg 77-9 – including a 37-1 advantage in home games against the Canadian club.