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Rysosuke, Mercado earn all-conference

By Des Moines Menace, 07/31/18, 4:00PM CDT


Forward Kino Ryosuke and goalkeeper Carlos Mercado are on the PDL's 2018 All-Central Conference Team.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Tuesday, July 31, 2018 – While Kino Ryosuke was skillfully scoring goals, Carlos Mercado was proficiently preventing them.

They led the Menace to the Premier Development League’s 2018 regular-season title, and they are part of the All-Central Conference team, announced today by league officials.

Ryosuke led the 74-team PDL with 37 points, the output of 17 goals and three assists. He logged a team-leading 1,211 minutes in the nearly perfect 13-0-1 season.

Mercado secured five shutouts and 21 saves in eight appearances during the season. He shined in a suspenseful shootout win on July 20, lunging to his left to bat away back-to-back kicks from the mark; the Menace got by visiting Lansing to advance to the Central Conference Championship.

Ryosuke, a native of Hyogo, Japan, joins Louisville after two stellar years at Marshalltown Community College. Mercado, from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, enters his freshman season at Incarnate Word in San Antonio.

A couple Menace mainstays – midfielder Audi Jepson (six goals, six assists) and seventh-year Des Moines defender Brandon Fricke (an all-conference selection in 2013 and 2017) – received all-conference honorable mention.

Tucker Stephenson, a member of the 2017 Menace who scored nine goals this season for Kaw Valley FC, is on the 2018 all-conference team. Luke Haakenson, also from the 2017 Menace, earned honorable mention after collecting a team-best nine points (three goals, three assists) for Chicago FC United – the team that eliminated the Menace from the postseason on July 21.

A representative from each team voted on the postseason honors, which are based on regular-season performance. Teams are allowed to vote only on players within their respective divisions.

The Central Conference comprises the Heartland Division (including the Menace) and the Great Lakes Division.


GK – Carlos Mercado, Des Moines Menace
D – Grant Stoneman, Chicago FC United
D – Ebenezer Ackon, Lansing United
D – Mark Da Silva Lindstrom, Cincinnati Dutch Lions
M – Tate Robertson, Dayton Dutch Lions
M – Luka Prpa, Chicago FC United
M – Brad Dunwell, Michigan Bucks
M – Kyle Carr, Lansing United
F – Kino Ryosuke, Des Moines Menace
F – Tucker Stephenson, Kaw Valley FC
F – Austin Ricci, Michigan Bucks