WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Thursday, July 5, 2018 – If there’s any lingering uncertainty about who’s the best team in the Heartland Division, the Des Moines Menace can put that to rest this weekend.
On Friday and Saturday, the undefeated Menace (10-0-1) hosts Chicago FC United (7-3-2) in a Premier Development League doubleheader between the teams atop the division table.
The Menace earned the upper hand in the sides’ first go-round, separating itself from the rest of the pack with 2-1 and 5-0 victories in a June 19-20 Chicago showdown.
In the last week, head coach Alen Marcina’s Menace has clinched the regular-season championships for the Heartland Division and the Central Conference.
This weekend closes the regular season for Chicago, which is in the driver’s seat for the division’s second and final playoff berth. One more win for Chicago would secure this postseason spot; Kaw Valley FC (5-5-2) and Thunder Bay (5-5-1) are hoping for Menace victories to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Des Moines has one more Friday-Saturday doubleheader at home – July 13-14 against the St. Louis Lions and then Aurora Borealis. The team’s playoff run begins the following weekend with the Central Conference’s championship, to be hosted by a team from the Heartland Division or the Great Lakes Division.
CHICAGO FC UNITED at DES MOINES MENACE
DATE and TIME: Friday, July 6 and Saturday, July 7 – 7:30 both nights
VENUE: Valley Stadium (artificial-turf field) in West Des Moines, Iowa
COMPETITION: Premier Development League regular season
PRESENTED BY: Hussmann (Friday night)
PROMOTIONS: “Celebrate America” on Fireworks Friday; “Health and Fitness Night” on Saturday
ABOUT THE MENACE
- 10-0-1 – just ahead of Reading United AC (10-0-2), South Georgia Tormenta FC (9-0-1) and FC Golden State Force (10-1-1) for the best record in the 72-team PDL.
- 2018 regular-season champs of the PDL’s Heartland Division and Central Conference (which also includes the Great Lakes Division).
- Has outscored foes 27-4 – 8-0 before halftime and 19-4 after halftime.
- Tied with New York Red Bulls U23 and FC Golden State Force for the league’s best goal differential (+23).
- Has not trailed a PDL opponent this season; not counting scoreless beginnings, has been tied for 18 total minutes in league play.
- Kino Ryosuke has scored 12 goals, tied with Samuel Villava (FC Golden State Force) and Marek Weber (SC United Bantams) in the PDL’s Golden Boot race.
- First-year head coach Alen Marcina is assisted by Dario Pot and goalkeeping coach Devala Gorrick.
- Entered the franchise’s 25th season with an all-time record of 267-154-37 (237-126-37 regular season; 16-16 PDL playoffs; 14-12 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup).
- Six-time PDL Heartland Division champion (2002, 2009, 2014-16, 2018).
ABOUT CHICAGO FC UNITED
- 7-3-2, wrapping up its 2018 schedule this weekend.
- In its most recent action, tied visiting Thunder Bay 1-1 on Tuesday, after topping the Chill 2-1 on Monday.
- 2017 Menace alum Luke Haakenson (three goals, three assists) and Jesus Perez (three goals and an assist) pace the offense.
- Steve Bode is Chicago’s head coach.
ALL-TIME SERIES: MENACE VS. CHICAGO FC UNITED
- Des Moines holds the lead, 3-1-1, in a series that began last year.
- The Menace defeated host Chicago 2-1 on June 19 and 5-0 on June 20 (with all five goals coming in the final 23 minutes).
- In 2017, the Menace earned a 1-1 draw on June 20 in Chicago in the teams’ first meeting; Johan De Picker’s header heroics in the closing moments of second-half stoppage time earned a point for the Menace.
- The teams split a pair of 2017 matches at Valley Stadium: Chicago won 1-0 on June 24 (snapping the Menace’s home winning streak at 24) and Des Moines won 2-0 on July 15 (to clinch a playoff berth in the final match of the regular season).
PDL HEARTLAND DIVISION STANDINGS
- MENACE – 10-0-1, 31 points
- CHICAGO FC UNITED – 7-3-2, 23 points
- Kaw Valley FC – 5-5-2, 17 points
- Thunder Bay Chill – 5-5-1, 16 points
- St. Louis Lions – 2-5-2, 8 points
- WSA Winnipeg – 0-11-0, 0 points
RECAPPING LAST WEEKEND
- On Friday, a 1-0 win over visiting Kaw Valley FC sealed the Menace’s playoff berth and division title. Kino Ryosuke scored his PDL-leading 12th goal of the season.
- On Saturday, the Menace was up 2-0 against Union Dubuque FC in an exhibition that was halted in the 41st minute, due to lightning. About 30 minutes later, the match was cancelled, due to an unrelenting thunderstorm and unsafe playing conditions.
UP NEXT: ONE MORE WEEKEND
- Des Moines wraps up its schedule July 13 (St. Louis Lions) and July 14 (Aurora Borealis).