The Menace (1-0-0) plays its first road match tonight, facing the Springfield (Mo.) Demize. Cooper Sports Complex is the site for the 5:30 p.m. match.
The Menace brings some new players into the mix for toinght's game. Des Moines is without the services of Nick Barclay, a defender from Gonzaga who went down with an injury in the first half on Saturday. Four other players could not make the trip to Springfield, due to final exams at Drake University: Julien Edwards, Hunter Kennedy, Thomas Ostrander and Michael Thaden.
In the last two days, the Menace has welcomed Luke Baker and Jack Pearson (Dayton teammates), Matt Dagilis (Akron), Sterling Copeland (Regis University in Colorado) and Kyle Zobeck, a goalkeeper from Valparaiso who just last year was finishing up his standout high-school career at Iowa City West.
“Being down five players from last week’s line up makes this basically another new team we are putting out thereI am excited for the new guys we have had arrive this week, so I am anxious to see how they perform,” Mann said. “In the end, it is the same as last week.... We just have to grind this one out.”
Today’s match opens the Demize’s third PDL season.The Menace has won all five meetings with the Demize since it joined the league in 2007.
Springfield played several tight games during 2008, but finished the season 0-16-0. The Menace saw a much-improved Demize team when it visited Springfield last July. After dominating the Demize in a 7-0 home win in May, the Menace needed goals from Lamar Neagle to edge Armen Tonianse’s team, 2-0, late in the season.
“This is an important match,” Mann said. “It’s an Open Cup match on the road. Springfield is never an easy place to play.”
Fans can access live updates from tonight's game at Springfield by going to http://twitter.com/MenaceSoccer
MENACE HOME SATURDAY:
Casey Mann’s team will be back at Valley Stadium this Saturday. A week after defeating Premier Development League newcomer Rochester (Minn.), the Menace hosts another Heartland Division expansion team – the Real Colorado Foxes. All of the Menace’s 2009 home matches kick off at 7:30 on Saturday nights.