Des Moines Menace defender Brandon Fricke scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 upset of Minnesota United FC | Photo: RySiPhoto.com | Des Moines Menace
The Des Moines Menace, one of the best PDL teams over the years, traveled to Minnesota United FC of the NASL in the Second Round of the US Open Cup, playing the role of underdog. By the time the final whistle had sounded, the Menace had defeated their fifth professional team in club history 1-0, thanks to the heroics of defender Brandon Fricke.
Fricke’s defensive performance and his game-winning goal in the 86th minute were enough to be named TheCup.us Player of the Round.
The award is voted on by the staff at TheCup.us and a select panel from the North American Soccer Reporters. Fricke edged out Reading United goalkeeper John McCarthy, while his Menace teammate, goalkeeper Scott Angevine, finished third in the voting.
Fricke’s game-winning goal came off a Jimmy Tulloch left-footed, in-swinging corner kick. Fricke made a run to the near post, and headed the ball in from close range, much to the surprise to the more than 1,000 fans in attendance. It was Des Moines’ first win over a professional team since the last time they traveled to St. Paul, Minn. In 2006 when they upset the Minnesota Thunder (USL First Division), also a Division I professional team, by a score of 1-0.
Fricke, who plays his college ball at Butler University in Indianapolis, is playing his fourth season with the Menace, his second as team captain. The Grimes, Iowa native will move on to face defending US Open Cup champion Sporting Kansas City in Round 3, a club he has played for as a youth, competing for the MLS club’s Under-16 and Under-18 teams.
Fricke is the first Des Moines Menace player to be named Player of the Round.
A little known fact is that Fricke’s head coach at Butler University, Paul Snape, has four US Open Cup goals on his resume when he played for the Michigan Bucks. Snape helped the Bucks upset three professional teams during his time with the club, highlighted by a road upsets of the Minnesota Thunder (A-League, Division II) in 1999 and the New England Revolution (MLS, Division I) in 2000.