The Des Moines Menace is through to the next round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
The Menace used a late, breakaway goal from Leigh Veidman to secure the 1-0 victory over FC Wichita (NPSL) and move on to host the Tulsa Roughnecks Wednesday at Valley Stadium.
“It’s exciting for the club,” said Veidman. “We’re excited to get to play a pro team at home.”
Wichita opened the scoring in the 46th minute, after a miscue in the penalty area gave the hosts a free tap-in. Carlos Contreras was left wide open on the back post to knock home a cross from the right side of the goal area.
Mark Heath Preston knotted the game up in the 57th minute on a breakaway attempt from a quick throw-in. Working down the left flank, Heath Preston cut in and was one-on-one with Steven Hamersky. The forward powered his shot to the near post and put the Menace on level terms once again.
Veidman capped off Des Moines’ comeback to give the Menace the opportunity to host a US Open Cup game for the seventh straight season. .
The England native worked behind the Wichita defense in the 85th minute and slotted home the breakaway goal, just one minute after the Menace had multiple opportunities to find a winner.
Hamersky kept out two shots and watched as a Heath Preston-header clipped the crossbar.
“I think it shows a lot of character, going down a goal and coming back for the win,” Veidman said. “We were creating chances, and it was a just a case of being patient and composed when the opportunity came. This gives us a sense of momentum going into next week, and I’m just happy for the team.”
Des Moines now has the Tulsa Roughnecks on deck at home. This season, Tulsa sits 13th out of 15 teams in the USL Western Conference.
This will be the first time in 11 years the Menace has hosted a professional team in the Open Cup. The last time they did was in 2005 when they upset the USL’s Charleston Battery 3-2 at Waukee Stadium. Next week will mark the first time the club will host a pro team at Valley Stadium.