Des Moines Menace is an American soccer team, founded in 1994. The team is a member of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL), the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, and plays in the Heartland Division of the Central Conference against teams from Boulder, Kansas City, Springfield, St. Louis and Thunder Bay.
Des Moines is one of the more successful teams in the PDL. Despite losing their first 10 games in their debut season in 1994, they reached the final stages of the PDL Championship playoffs in 1995 and 1998, and won the PDL Championship title in 2005, beating the El Paso Patriots in the championship game in El Paso, Texas.
Tomas Boltnar, a Czech and two-time (2002, 2003) PDL MVP, is the club's all-time leading goalscorer, with 73 goals. Historically, the club has been one of the best-supported teams in the PDL, and leads the league in attendance figures, regularly drawing in excess of 3,500 spectators.
|Year||Division||League||Regular Season||Playoffs||Open Cup|
|1994||N/A||USISL||7th, Midwest||Did not qualify||Did not enter|
|1995||N/A||USISL Premier League||3rd, Central||4th Place||Did not qualify|
|1996||4||USISL Premier League||5th, CENTRAL Southern||Division Semifinals||Did not qualify|
|1996/97||N/A||I-League (indoor)||N/A (limited schedule)|
|1997||4||USISL PDSL||3rd, Central||Quarterfinals||Did not qualify|
|1998||4||USISL PDSL||2nd, Central||3rd Place||Did not qualify|
|1999||4||USL PDL||4th, Heartland||Did not qualify||Did not qualify|
|2000||4||USL PDL||3rd, Heartland||Did not qualify||Did not qualify|
|2001||4||USL PDL||2nd, Heartland||National Semifinals (3rd Place)||Did not qualify|
|2002||4||USL PDL||1st, Heartland||Conference Semifinals||2nd Round|
|2003||4||USL PDL||2nd, Heartland||Conference Semifinals||1st Round|
|2004||4||USL PDL||3rd, Heartland||Did not qualify||Did not qualify|
|2005||4||USL PDL||2nd, Heartland||Champions||4th Round|
|2006||4||USL PDL||2nd, Heartland||Conference Semifinals||3rd Round|
|2007||4||USL PDL||4th, Heartland||Did not qualify||Did not qualify|
|2008||4||USL PDL||3rd, Heartland||Did not qualify||Did not qualify|
In their early days, the Menace played their home matches on the soccer fields of Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines, without any seating structures or lights. To meet league stadium requirements, the Menace moved to Cara McGrane Memorial Stadium, located on the campus of Herbert Hoover High School on the west side of Des Moines. With bleachers and lights at their new home, the Menace were able to push games to evenings instead of summer afternoons.
Attendance skyrocketed at McGrane Stadium. After averaging a mere 67 fans in their inaugural season and between 234 and 341 from 1995 to 1997, attendance passed 2,000 in 2001 and hit a record 4,415 fans/match in the final season at McGrane, 2004.
Buoyed by the increasing attendance averages (far and away the league leaders), the Menace began making plans to build a soccer-specific stadium. The proposed Liberty Bank Stadium would have been a 6,000 seater capable of hosting team, youth, and international matches. However, a land negotiations with western suburb Urbandale broke down and the Menace were unable to find another interested party.
With plans for a new stadium collapsing, the Menace moved to Waukee Stadium in nearby Waukee for the 2005 season, where they remained through 2007. Attendance was in the high 3000s to low 4000s at Waukee Stadium. The Menace also played home matches at Coach Cownie Stadium on the south side of Des Moines when Waukee Stadium has had conflicts.