WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Friday, June 22, 2018 – Though it’s four weeks away, the postseason is already within the Des Moines Menace’s reach.
A home win tomorrow night would clinch the Menace’s 16th berth in the Premier Development League Playoffs.
Kaw Valley FC – a first-year team from Kansas – gets a couple cracks at crashing the Menace’s pursuit of perfection. The Menace (9-0-0) welcomes the Cranes (4-4-1) to Valley Stadium tomorrow, and again next Friday.
Three weeks ago, the Menace escaped Lawrence with a 2-1 win over Kaw Valley. This stands as one of just three times this PDL season that the Menace’s win margin was a single goal.
Des Moines has since distanced itself from the rest of the pack in the Heartland Division’s race for two postseason spots. The Menace’s spirits are soaring after three wins in a five-day span – 1-0 over arch-rival Thunder Bay at home last Saturday, then 2-1 and 5-0 at second-place Chicago on Tuesday and Wednesday.
RELATED LINK: Fans' Gameday Guide
KAW VALLEY FC at DES MOINES MENACE
DATE and TIME: Saturday, June 23 at 7:30 p.m.
VENUE: Valley Stadium (artificial-turf field) in West Des Moines, Iowa
COMPETITION: Premier Development League regular season
ABOUT THE MENACE
- 9-0-0 – the PDL’s lone team with a perfect record.
- Has outscored foes 25-3 – 7-0 before halftime and 18-3 after halftime.
- Has not trailed a PDL opponent this season; has been tied for 12 total minutes in league play (in the second half of Tuesday’s 2-1 result at Chicago).
- Kino Ryosuke leads the PDL with 11 goals; Nico Clasen shares the PDL lead with five assists.
- Goalies Keegan Meyer (6-0-0 mark) and Carlos Mercado (3-0-0) each carry a 0.33 Goals Against Average.
- 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).
ABOUT KAW VALLEY FC
- 4-4-1, seeing its first action since a 2-1 home win over Thunder Bay on June 15.
- Plays its five remaining PDL matches on the road.
- First-year club and a developmental partner with Sporting Kansas City.
- Head coach Istvan Urbanyi played for the 2001 Menace team that reached the PDL Final Four. Urbanyi played in more than 400 pro matches, including time in the 1997 Major League Soccer season with the San Jose Clash (led by Laurie Calloway, who was the head coach of the 2001-02 and 2010-12 Menace).
- Tucker Stephenson, who played for the 2017 Menace, leads the Cranes with six goals. He scored against his former team in the second half of Des Moines’ 2-1 win on June 1.
- Roster features Nic James and Lucas Bartlett, who were also part of the 2017 Menace.
ALL-TIME SERIES: MENACE vs. KAW VALLEY
- The Menace leads 1-0-0.
- In the teams’ first-ever meeting, the Menace won 2-1 on June 1 at Rock Chalk Park on the Kansas University campus.
- Kaw Valley visits the Menace on June 23 and 29, sandwiching the Cranes’ June 26 match at Oklahoma City Energy U23.
PDL HEARTLAND DIVISION STANDINGS
- MENACE – 9-0-0, 27 points
- Chicago FC United – 5-3-0, 15 points
- KAW VALLEY FC – 4-4-1, 13 points
- St. Louis Lions – 2-3-1, 7 points
- Thunder Bay Chill – 2-4-0, 6 points
- WSA Winnipeg – 0-9-0, 0 points
RECAPPING TWO WINS IN THE WINDY CITY
- On Tuesday, the Menace topped Chicago FC United 2-1; Kino Ryosuke started the scoring in the 42nd minute, Chicago’s Sven Koenig evened things in the 63rd. and Ryosuke assisted Nico Clasen’s game-winner in the 75th.
- On Wednesday, Ryosuke (two goals) and Clasen (three assists) fueled a late surge for a 5-0 win over Chicago. Peter Pearson, Johnny Fenwick and Omar Mohamed also scored in a match that was scoreless until Ryosuke found the net in the 68th minute.
UP NEXT: LOTSA HOME ACTION
- The Menace plays all of its remaining schedule at Valley Stadium, with Friday-Saturday doubleheaders coming up the following three weekends.
- Des Moines hosts Kaw Valley (again) on Friday, June 29; the next day, the Menace hosts Union Dubuque FC.