Des Moines Menace to host Barcelona midfielder Rafinha in June4/6/2017
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Thursday, April 6, 2017 – International soccer star Rafinha is coming to Des Moines in June.
With Oberto Brands as the presenting sponsor, the FC Barcelona midfielder will make a highly anticipated appearance hosted by the Des Moines Menace in partnership with Elite Soccer Experiences.
Soccer players ages 7-19 are invited to a June 16-17 camp with Rafinha. Click here to sign up today; space is limited and spots will fill up for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Fans are invited to meet Rafinha on June 17 during the Menace’s Premier Development League home match against rival Thunder Bay at Valley Stadium. Click here to reserve your V.I.P. experience, including your admission and an autograph and a personal photograph.
“Barcelona has a fantastic following here in Iowa, and we are thrilled to welcome Rafinha to Des Moines,” said Menace general manager Matt Homonoff. “Events like these don’t happen without significant support from our community and corporate partners. Thanks to Oberto Brands, Nike and Soccer Master for helping make Rafinha’s visit a reality.”
Known around the world simply as Rafinha, Rafael Alcántara do Nascimento is a 24-year-old Brazilian who is one of the game’s rising stars.
His professional career began when he was 17, and he made his debut with Barcelona’s first team at age 18. Since then, he has taken center stage alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and company.
Rafinha has made more than 50 appearances for FC Barcelona – the defending champion of La Liga (Spain’s top division) and the Copa del Rey (Spain’s annual cup).
Of all the sports teams in the world, Barça has the largest social-media following, with more than 100 million likes on Facebook and more than 20 million followers of @FCBarcelona on Twitter. @Rafinha has 1.8 million Twitter followers.
The last time the Menace hosted a household-name soccer star – Freddy Adu in June 2004 – the team drew a standing-room-only crowd that set the franchise (and league) record for single-game attendance.
Our goal is to host more than 6,000 fans on June 17th. Will you help us set our new attendance record and be part of this memorable night?
If you’d like to purchase advance tickets, to be mailed to you before the big day, please click here.
MORE ABOUT RAFINHA
- Born Feb. 12, 1993 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
- Wearing uniform number 12, he’s right by Messi (10) and Neymar (11) on FC Barcelona’s numerical roster.
- Through April 2, has scored six goals in 18 matches this season.
- Has tallied more than 30 professional goals, including stints with Barcelona B (2011-13; 20 goals) and Celta (2013-2014 on loan; four goals).
- In the last two years, has helped Barça to titles in the UEFA Champions League (2014-15), the UEFA Super Cup (2015) and Supercopa de España (2016).
- Scored his first international goal on Sept. 8, 2015, just a minute after stepping on the field in Brazil’s 4-1 win over the United States; also assisted Neymar in this friendly at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
- His father, Mazinho, played professionally (1983-2001) and was part of Brazil’s 1994 FIFA World Cup championship.
- His brother, Thiago – like Rafinha, a central midfielder – plays for Bayern Munich and the Spanish national team.
Des Moines Menace 2017 PDL Schedule
Wednesday, May 10 1st round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (Opponent and site TBD)
Wednesday, May 17 2nd round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (Opponent and site TBD)
Saturday, May 20 WSA Winnipeg 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Saturday, May 27 at St. Louis Lions 5 p.m. at Tony Glavin Complex
Sunday, May 28 at Saint Louis FC U23 3:30 p.m. at SLSG Collinsville Complex
Wednesday, May 31 3rd round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (Opponent and site TBD)
Saturday, June 3 ^Minneapolis City SC 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Friday, June 9 at Thunder Bay Chill 6:30 p.m. at Fort William Stadium
Saturday, June 10 at Thunder Bay Chill 6:30 p.m. at Fort William Stadium
Tuesday, June 13 at WSA Winnipeg 7 p.m. at Ralph Cantafio Soccerplex
Wednesday, June 14 at WSA Winnipeg 7 p.m. at Ralph Cantafio Soccerplex
Saturday, June 17 Thunder Bay Chill 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Tuesday, June 20 at Chicago FC United 7 p.m. at Lakeside Field
Saturday, June 24 Chicago FC United 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Saturday, July 1 Saint Louis FC U23 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Friday, July 7 ^Sporting Kansas City U23 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Saturday, July 8 St. Louis Lions 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Friday, July 14 Saint Louis FC U23 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Saturday, July 15 Chicago FC United 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
Friday, July 21 Premier Development League Playoffs
Saturday, July 22 Premier Development League Playoffs
Saturday, July 29 Semifinals, Premier Development League Playoffs
Saturday, Aug. 5 Premier Development League Championship
All games are listed in Des Moines time. ^ = Exhibition
ABOUT THE MENACE: The Des Moines Menace provides the highest level of soccer in Iowa. Preparing for 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 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.