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Fans' Guide to the PDL Playoffs

By Des Moines Menace, 07/23/18, 4:00PM CDT


Postseason soccer's coming to Des Moines. Get your tickets and cheer on the 2018 PDL regular-season champion Menace in the first weekend of the playoffs.

Postseason soccer returns to Valley Stadium!
Join us when the Premier Development League regular-season champion
Des Moines Menace hosts the opening round of the playoffs.
 UPDATED July 23: Saturday's loss ends the Menace's unbeaten season.
Thanks, fans, for all your support during this 25th season of Menace Soccer!
Friday, July 20 – PDL Central Conference Semifinals
4:30 p.m.: Dayton Dutch Lions vs. Chicago FC United
7:30 p.m.: Des Moines Menace vs. Lansing United
Saturday, July 21 – PDL Central Conference Championship
7:30 p.m.: Des Moines Menace vs. Chicago FC United
  • The Central Conference champion moves on to the PDL Semifinals on Saturday, July 28.
  • The PDL Championship is Saturday, Aug. 4.
(Heartland Division champion)
The undefeated Menace makes its fifth straight appearance in the PDL Playoffs. The franchise’s 25-year history includes four trips to the PDL Final Four – most recently in 2005, when the Menace won the championship.  
What to look for: The PDL regular season champions have been dominant all season especially during the second half. Look out for the combination play of the front three to tire out opposing defenses by the hour mark.
Record: 13-0-1, 40 points
Goals For-Goals Against: 37-6 (+31 goal differential leads the PDL)
Points Leaders: Kino Ryosuke (17 goals, three assists) is tied with the South Carolina United Bantams’ Marek Weber (18 goals, one assist) for the most points (37) in the PDL regular season. Audi Jepson is second on the Menace with 18 points (six goals and six assists).
Goalkeepers: Carlos Mercado and Keegan Meyer have combined for eight shutouts. The Menace and SIMA Aguilas (Fla.) share the league lead for fewest goals allowed.
Coaches: First-year head coach Alen Marcina is assisted by Dario Pot and Devala Gorrick.
Record in the playoffs: 16-16 (7-7 home; 2-5 away; 7-4 neutral)
Best finish: PDL Champion (2005)
(Great Lakes Division runner-up)
Following four seasons in the National Premier Soccer League, Lansing has found success in its first year in the PDL. For the playoff spot, Lansing edged the instate foe Michigan Bucks, who miss the postseason for just the third time in their 23 seasons.
What to look for: Lansing is riding a three-game win streak and will have Cedar Rapids native and current Drake Bulldog, Leroy Enzugusi, starting up top. Enzuguzi is second on the team in scoring and will be extra motivated playing so close to his home at Drake.
Record: 7-2-5, 26 points
Goals For-Goals Against: 27-12
Points Leaders: Dejuan Jones (11 points on five goals, one assist) leads Lansing’s balanced attack. Leroy Enzugusi is second in points for Lansing with 10 (four goals, two assists)
Goalkeepers: Goalkeepers Anthony Mwembia and Joe White have split time this season, combining for 49 saves and only 11 goals allowed.
Coaches: Head coach since 2015, Nate Miller is assisted by Paul Gilbert, Darus Ward, Tim Daniels, and Daniel Price.
Record in the playoffs: 0-0
(Great Lakes Division champion)
Dayton debuted in the 2010 PDL season, played in USL Pro from 2011 to 2014, and jumped back into the PDL in 2015. This was a breakout season for the Ohio side, which had not won more than four games in any of its three previous seasons.
What to look for: Look out for Dayton’s aggressive style (in their regular-season matches, both sides combined for 59 yellow cards, seven red cards -- six Dayton opponents were ejected from matches) to leave an impression against the less aggressive Heartland Division opponents.
Record: 8-3-3, 27 points
Goals For-Goals Against: 29-15
Points Leaders: Tate Robertson (19 points on six goals, seven assists) leads the way for a dangerous front three. Jackson Dietrich (six goals, six assists) and Jerome Williams (seven goals, two assists) are also dangerous.
Goalkeepers: Four ‘keepers have completed at least three full games for Dayton. Federico Barrios leads the way with five appearances and 22 saves.
Coaches: First-year head coach Dan Griest is assisted by Kevin Terrell and Catherine Gordon.
Record in the playoffs: 0-0
(Heartland Division runner-up)
In its second PDL season, Chicago went 7-1-2 against teams that are not the Menace. Des Moines swept the four-game season series, outscoring Chicago 14-2.
What to look for: With only two wins in its last nine games, Chicago will looks to regain their early season form of five straight wins. A balanced attack – 23 goals scored by 14 players – makes Chicago a tough team to defend.
Record: 7-5-2, 23 points
Goals For-Goals Against: 23-20
Points Leaders: Luke Haakenson (2017 Menace) leads the way with nine points (three goals, three assists); Jesus Perez is second on the team in points with seven (three goals, one assist)
Goalkeepers: Luis Barraza and Sawyer Jackman have played the majority of minutes for Chicago, combining for five shutouts this season.
Coaches: Steve Bode is Chicago’s head coach.
Record in the playoffs: 0-0