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Menace Hosts Springfield

By Des Moines Menace, 06/25/09, 2:45PM CDT


Boasting the Premier Development League’s longest active unbeaten streak, the Des Moines Menace prepares for two weekend contests. The Menace (5-0-4) hosts the Springfield (Mo.) Demize on Saturday

Saturday’s match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium, and Sunday’s 7 p.m. match takes place on the Rochester Community and Technical College campus. The Menace’s weekend opponents face each other Friday night in Rochester.


Des Moines is one of five undefeated teams remaining in the 68-team PDL, and the only one of these teams that carries over its streak from last season. Casey Mann’s crew has not lost since falling to the 2008 league champion Thunder Bay Chill on July 4, almost a year ago.


The only other time the Menace had an unbeaten streak this long was in 2002, when Laurie Calloway led the team to a 15-0-3 campaign. 


The Menace and the St. Louis Lions (5-2-4, 19 points) are tied for second place in the Heartland Division, just one point behind the Real Colorado Foxes (6-4-2, 20 points). Des Moines has an opportunity to take over first place this weekend, as Real Colorado is idle, and St. Louis has just one match – Sunday against Thunder Bay.


RECAPPING LAST SATURDAY: Des Moines blanked the Kansas City Brass, 4-0, at Valley Stadium, marking the most goals the team has scored since last year’s 5-1 win over Thunder Bay that launched the current unbeaten streak on July 5.


Sterling Copeland opened each half with a goal, scoring in the 2nd minute and 47th minute against Kansas City, a team the Menace tied, 1-1, on June 4.  Samuel Asante assisted Copeland’s second goal before setting up reigning PDL Player of the Week Armin Mujdzic’s in the 65th minute, and scoring his own unassisted goal in the 81st minute. 


Copeland and Asante share the team lead with eight points apiece, while Mujdzic and Ben Taylor each have seven points. 


SCOUTING SPRINGFIELD:  The Menace has won all six meetings with the Demize, which is 2-7-1 in its third year. Springfield held a late lead against the Menace on May 13, until the visitors scored three late goals to escape Cooper Sports Complex with a 3-1 win.


After a winless 2008 (0-16), Springfield lost its first six matches to open this season. Since then, the team has turned things around. On Saturday, the Demize earned a 2-2 draw at second-place St. Louis, in a rematch of a 1-0 win the Lions eked out in Springfield two days earlier.


The Demize shook off its 25-match losing streak with back-to-back home wins against Kansas City and Rochester on June 11 and 13. This current 2-1-1 stretch started when goalkeeper Cesar Cereijo joined the team, following a 6-0 loss to Kansas City.


Micah Whorton leads the team with four goals, including the one against the Menace in the teams’ May meeting.


Chris Hanlon, a former Menace goalie, is in his first year as the Demize’s head coach.

SATURDAY’S EVENTS: The Menace hosts the 2009 Iowa High School All-Star Games, preceding the 7:30 PDL match.  The all-star games are set to kick-off at 3 p.m. for the girls and 5 p.m. for the boys. The price of admission gets fans in for all three matches, which are sponsored by Kum & Go.


This Saturday is also the Science Center of Iowa Night.  Any Science Center member will receive $2 off the general-admission price.  Menace players will be demonstrating the “Science of Soccer” at the Science Center of Iowa from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.