DES MOINES, Iowa. – Des Moines Menace continues to roll. The home side earned a 3-0 victory against a tough FC Wichita, defending Valley Stadium on home-opening night.
A valiant first-half effort from the visitors troubled the Menace backline. History, however, would repeat itself as all scorers on the night doubled their goal tally from last week.
The long ball continues to work for Dean Johnson’s team, with a fluid, well-timed attack that plans to terrorize the rest of the Heartland Division.
Caique Trivelato and Blake Arndt brought the offense for FC Wichita early in the match.
Several chances from the forwards kept the Menace backline on their toes.
Trivelato forced a shot that went over the bar in the 13th minute. Soon after, a hopeful strike by Aarndt from inside the box had a similar fate, flying over Ryan Troutman’s goal.
An intense, energetic standard was set as chances began to arrive for both sides.
At the 17th minute, Henry Sach found the ball pacing towards his right foot, but the Menace midfielder could not keep his shot on target.
At the 20th minute, Trivelato drove a low shot forcing Troutman to make a save, Lans Bovenberg unable to punish on the rebound.
But Menace would catch the FC Wichita defense off guard in the 28th minute.
Kori Cupid played a ball for Eliot Goldthorp's chest, bringing it down with class and darting a volley for the opening goal of the night.
A minute later, Gabi Rodriguez was unable to put away a goal of his own after a brilliant cross by Goldthorp.
In the 33rd, Lagos Kunga chased down a through ball from Alberto Suarez, clashing with goalkeeper Breno Zanolla as he tapped the ball down and into the net for 2-0.
Kunga got behind the line of FC Wichita on the 43rd minute, dribbling around Zanolla but this time unable to create a shot from a tough angle.
The second half was relatively calm, but chances continued to arrive for both sides.
Bovenberg had the better chance for the visitors in the 57th minute spinning on the half-moon and lunging a shot away from goal.
Several shot opportunities were shut down by Wichita’s Fabricio Lobo, but Menace came to its best senses after several substitutions halfway through the half.
Adrien Gameiro and Leroy Enzugusi entered the match showing promise on the attack, as the two linked up for 3-0 in the 75th minute.
Diego Konincks sent Gameiro down to the goal-line, who found a well-positioned Enzugusi at the heart of the box for the tap-in.
At the 83rd minute, a particular call rattled FC Wichita, as Zanolla was sent off with a straight red card after an alleged touch of the hand outside the box.
Trivelato, the tall forward, was forced to put on the gloves for the remaining time.
It was a well-rounded performance from the visitors in their opening match. Valley Stadium saw a Menace team with balance, building up from the result obtained last weekend.
'28 Eliot Goldthorp, assisted by Kori Cupid
'33 Lagos Kunga, assisted by Alberto Suarez
'75 Leroy Enzugusi, assisted by Adrien Gameiro
Make it OK
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the Menace and Make it OK have partnered with Healthiest State Initiative to raise awareness, raise funds, and help kick the mental health stigma in Iowa. Mental health is very important in every aspect, and that includes sport.
Menace welcomed Briana Scurry, two-time Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion goalkeeper, at Valley Stadium for Opening Night.
Owner of the Menace, Kyle Krause, was also in attendance for the match, joining Scurry on a successful night for the club in West Des Moines.
Des Moines Menace remain on top of the division at 2-0. They will face FC Wichita on Saturday, May 20th, only this time as visitors.
FC Wichita will host Des Moines, hoping to earn a home-opener victory. Kickoff is at 7PM local time from Stryker Sports Complex.
Starting XI (Des Moines Menace)
Ryan Troutman (goalkeeper); Diego Konnicks, Alberto Suarez, Jesse Williams (defenders); Kori Cupid, Henry Sach, Luke Nedic, Eliot Goldthorp, Nico Torres (midfielders); Gabi Rodriguez, Lagos Kunga (forwards).
Substitutes: Adrien Gameiro, Curtis De Leon, Tyler Moss, Leroy Enzugusi, Quinn Millerd, Audi Jepson, Tyrese Spicer