WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Saturday, July 7, 2018 – No doubt about it: the Des Moines Menace is this year’s one and only champion of the Premier Development League Heartland Division.
Tonight’s 2-0 victory solidifies the Menace’s sweep of the four-game season series with second-place and playoff-bound Chicago FC United. This comes one night after a 5-1 victory here at Valley Stadium in the doubleheader’s opener.
Scoring tonight for the still-undefeated Menace (12-0-1) were Christo Michaelson and Kino Ryosuke.
Michaelson’s long-range blast in the 42nd minute gave the Menace the halftime lead; Ryosuke’s PDL-leading 15th goal – a header set up by Omar Mohamed in the 69th minute– provided plenty of insurance for a team that’s outscored opponents 34-5.
“It’s awesome,” Michaelson said while signing post-game autographs for a long line of fans. “I’m just happy to be here, and happy to help keep it going. It’s a very organized group and everybody’s buying into it. It’s a team effort.”
This year’s team looks to join the 2002 Menace (15-0-3) in securing the second undefeated season in the franchise’s 25-year history.
With a home win next Friday, Des Moines can clinch at least a share of the PDL’s regular-season championship. Reading United AC (11-0-2) and South Georgia Tormenta FC (10-0-1) are the league’s only other undefeated teams.
“We’re not letting up,” Michaelson said. “It’s all about momentum at this point. We keep our heads down and keep moving forward.”
PDL HEARTLAND DIVISION STANDINGS
1. MENACE – 12-0-1, 37 points
2. Chicago FC United – 7-5-2, 23 points
3. Kaw Valley FC – 5-5-2, 17 points (max: 23)
4. Thunder Bay Chill – 5-6-1, 16 points (max: 22)
5. St. Louis Lions – 4-5-2, 14 points (max: 23)
6. WSA Winnipeg – 0-11-0, 0 points
UP NEXT: The Menace has one more Friday-Saturday home doubleheader before the PDL Playoffs.
Next weekend, the team hosts the St. Louis Lions on Friday (July 13) on Youth Night ($5 tickets for ages 6-17) and “Libraries Rock” Night. Saturday’s opponent is Aurora Borealis on Alumni Night.
MAN of the MATCH: Christo Michaelson for his game-winner. The Menace newcomer is a native of Portland, Ore., a graduate of Gonzaga, and a recent pro (Reno 1868 FC).
- Des Moines outscored Chicago by a 14-2 aggregate in four meetings this season.
- Chicago’s 7-5-2 record matches the Menace’s record from a year ago, when Des Moines squeaked into the playoffs with a season-closing, 2-0 home win against Chicago.
- This season, the Menace has outscored foes 12-0 in the first half and 22-5 in the second half.
- Goalie Carlos Mercado was between the pipes for the Menace’s eighth shutout of the season.
Match: Chicago FC United at Des Moines Menace
Date: Saturday, July 7, 2018
Competition: Premier Development League regular season
Venue: Valley Stadium (artificial turf) in West Des Moines, Iowa
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CDT
Weather: 80s, sunny
Scoreline 1 2 F
MENACE 1 1 2
CHI 0 0 0
MENACE – Christo Michaelson (Jonathan Bolanos) 42
MENACE – Kino Ryosuke (Omar Mohamed) 69
No yellow or red cards
Corner Kicks: 4-6