USL DIII / John Pascarella (left), Steven Short (middle), Matt Homonoff (right)
Steven Short, United Soccer League’s Division III Vice President, and Des Moines Menace Manager Matt Homonoff came away from meetings eager to continue discussions of a move to the USL’s third-division league – which is set to kick off in 2019.
After traveling to multiple markets in the Midwest and Southeast, Short continued his expansion tour in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday through Monday. Short spoke to the leadership of the Menace about Division III, attended the club’s rivalry match against the Thunder Bay Chill on Saturday evening and spent Monday with the Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“We were very happy to host Steven and learn more about Division III this weekend,” Menace General Manager Matt Homonoff told USLD3.com. “It was a special weekend for the club with an excellent crowd in excess of 3,500, and he taught us a lot about what the next level could look like. We look forward to continuing discussions and evaluating the opportunity.
“I think anyone who comes to Des Moines falls in love with it,” Homonoff added, “and there’s no doubt in my mind that this city and its fans are deserving of high-level soccer. We look forward to continuing to be the premier club in the state.”
Ahead of their highly-anticipated match against the Chill, the Menace hosted FC Barcelona midfielder and Croatian international Ivan Rakitic for a soccer camp on Friday and Saturday. Rakitic and Short attended the Menace’s 60th meeting against the Chill on Saturday evening, seeing a crowd of more than 3,500 cheer on the home side to a 1-0 win.
Currently competing in its 24th season, the club has earned multiple titles since beginning play in the Premier Development League, including a PDL title (2005), two regular-season championships (2002, 2014), a Central Conference championship (2005) and five Heartland Division titles (2002, 2009, 2014-16).
“The Des Moines Menace continue to drive excellence within their community as well as their organization,” Short told USLD3.com. “Vital to its success throughout the past 24 seasons, the club’s ownership continues to serve the community in multiple fashions while providing an unparalleled soccer experience to fans of all ages. There is no doubt the Menace remain strong, and I look forward to continuing discussions with the club regarding the potential for USL’s Division III.”