The Kokomo Mantis FC concludes its first home stand Monday, May 23.

Tied with the Des Moines Menace atop the Heartland Conference of the Great Lakes Division of the United States Soccer League Premier Developmental League, the Mantis host WSA Winnipeg in a 7:00 p.m. kickoff at Kokomo Municipal Stadium. Winnipeg makes the southern journey coming off a 4-0 loss at St. Louis Sunday, May 21.

ABOUT KOKOMO MATIS FC: The newest member of the United States Soccer League’s PDL’s Great Lakes Division is coached by Marcelo Santos. A full-time assistant at NCAA Division I Marquette University and former assistant coach of the USL PDL’s Thunder Bay Chill, Santos leads a 20-man roster. The 2016 captains are Arjan Mostafa, Jason Svensson and Bryan Cieslulka. Mostafa has playing experience overseas, as he’s been on the Iraqi Premier League side Zahko FC and also played for his home country in international competition; Svensson plays collegiately at NCAA Division I UW-Milwaukee where he started all 15 matches as a freshman last fall along the back line for the Panthers; and Cieslulka played for Santos and Marquette University leading them to the 2011 Big East Conference title. He was selected by the Chicago Fire in the MLS Superdraft in 2014 but was released before the season and then worked his way on to rosters for the Swedish professional side Gimo IF FK and also St. Louis FC in the USL Pro division.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES NIGHT: The Kokomo Mantis ask fans to wear their green and portray their favorite character from the Hollywood hit movie Monday. Tickets can be purchased at

HOME, FRANCHISE OPENER A SUCCESS: The history books will record the names of goalkeeper Kyle Ihn and forwards Grant Owens and Mitchell Hopkins for perpetuity at Kokomo Mantis Football Club’s offices.

The trio proved to be the winning combination for the club in their inaugural season home opener Friday, May 20. Owens got a pass from captain Bryan Ciesiulka right in front of the Lions’ net and got his foot between a scrum of four players to net the eventual winning goal in the 41st minute. Hopkins added another tally for the home side, in front of a loud crowd of better than 500 at a rainy Kokomo Municipal Stadium, in the 72nd minute, taking an assist from Owens, who ended with a three-point night, to strike the ball into the right side.

Kokomo Mantis FC’s two goals were part of a 16-10 shots advantage over the Lions. The two goal scorers paced the shot chart, too, as Owens ended with four, and Hopkins tallied three. The offensive output was more than enough for goalkeeper Kyle Ihn who turned in a solid 90-minute clean sheet with two saves.

“Our plan was to attack and be aggressive … We told the team we wanted to get going fast,” head coach Marcelo Santos said. “The first half we were going fast, but, in the second half, they had the run of the play a little. It’s always good to score goals, especially from different people … having guys like Grant and Mitch come off the bench to contribute tonight was great for the first night.

“It was a fantastic night,” he added. “The people that came out were great, evening coming out on field in end. We love them, and we’re here for them and the city.”

“This was great on an individual level but also from the team standpoint,” Ihn added. “I honestly didn’t have to do too much, as my defense was very strong in front of me. This clean sheet is for all of us.”

FIRST ROAD TRIP: After a training period following the home clash with WSA Winnipeg, the Mantis take a three-match visit to Des Moines, Iowa; Chicago, Ill.,; and St. Louis, Mo., June 4-11. They play the Menace June 4, the Fire U-23s June 7, and the Lions, in a rematch of the USL PDL opener, June 11. Kokomo Mantis FC returns home June 18 to take on the Dayton Dutch Lions.