With a pair of late goals, the visitors claimed a 3-1 victory over the Des Moines Menace tonight in the first round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The Royals snapped the Menace’s streak of five straight Cup appearances with at least one win.
Chris Cvecko struck in the final minute of regulation and Reymar Klochko-Khoo delivered the dagger goal in stoppage time. In a Buckeye State Derby next Wednesday the defending National Premier Soccer League champions will visit FC Cincinnati.
Des Moines’ Hayden Partain evened the match in the 82nd minute, six minutes after Ben Truax’s penalty kick broke the ice. Partain nearly pulled the Menace ahead a few minutes later, but his left-footed rip was deflected off the cross bar by the fingertips of Cleveland ‘keeper Alex Ivanov.
“For two amateur teams starting the season, I thought it was some pretty good soccer,” said head coach John Pascarella after making his Menace debut. “We showed some character, coming back the way we did. The thing that excites me is the way our guys applied what we’ve been working on these first five days of training. Based on what I saw tonight, I think we’re going to have a pretty good team.”
Partain’s goal came from a beautiful build-up after a fast break.
“(Lucas) Stauffer cut it back, Devyn (Jambga) left it, and I pulled the trigger,” said Partain. “It felt good to get the goal after hitting the upper-90 corner in the first half.”
Missed chances might haunt the Menace in the days leading up to the team’s Premier Development League opener – May 20 at home against WSA Winnipeg. Des Moines outshot Cleveland 13-9 but did not get the lucky bounces the Menace has received in recent Open Cups, including last year’s run to the third round.
This is the Menace’s first Cup loss to a fellow amateur team since the Chicago Fire’s PDL team left here with a 1-0 win in 2011. Des Moines has eight straight berths in the national tournament, and this is only the second appearance during this streak that didn’t include a matchup with a professional team.
“We take the lessons learned and we move on,” said Partain. “It’s a good opportunity for us. We’ll focus on the little details. Defensively, we can’t let the wheels fall off at the end.”
The Menace drops to 14-12 all-time in the U.S. Open Cup, with a 7-3 record against amateur teams.
The Michigan Bucks’ 1-0 home win over Ann Arbor pulls the PDL power even with the Menace for the most wins by amateur teams in the Open Cup’s Modern Era (1995-present).
Goalkeeper Kyle Ihn made his Menace debut, one year after playing against the team as a member of Kokomo Mantis FC.
AFC Cleveland reached the second round last year in the franchise’s first Cup appearance.
Hayden Partain dedicated his goal to girlfriend Madeline Lundberg, who today was released from a hospital in Partain’s native Texas. Underneath his Menace jersey tonight, he wore a shirt with a special message for his girlfriend.
MAN of the MATCH: Lucas Stauffer, who helped set up the Menace’s lone goal. Back for his second season with the Menace, Stauffer is a Creighton Bluejay and a native of Owensboro, Ky.
UP NEXT: Des Moines opens league play, hosting WSA Winnipeg on Saturday, May 20. Watch LIVE on CISN.tv
Match: AFC Cleveland at Des Moines Menace
Date: Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Competition: 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, first round
Venue: Valley Stadium in West Des Moines, Iowa (artificial-turf field)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m CDT
Weather: 60s and windy after thunderstorms earlier in the day
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 0 1 1
CLEVELAND 0 3 3
MENACE – Hayden Partain (Devyn Jambga) 82:00
CLEVELAND – Ben Truax PK 76:00; Chris Cvecko (Ian Larson) 90:00; Reymar Klochko-Khoo (Tom Beck) 90:00+
MENACE / CLEVELAND
Shots: 13 / 9
Saves: 5 / 9
Corner Kicks: 5 / 3
Fouls: 8 / 7
Offside: 1 / 3
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. In its 24th season, the Menace men’s team competes in the Premier Development League (PDL). Entering its sixth season, the Menace women’s team is part of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL). With loyal support, the Menace men’s and women’s teams play their home games at the Valley Stadium in West Des Moines to provide family-fun entertainment. The Menace organization provides the growth of the game of soccer in Iowa with their youth soccer programs, including Junior Menace (ages 3-9), Menace Youth Academy (ages six and older), and tournaments, camps and clinics.