Soccer Standout Returns to Phoenix Sidelines
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Former Green Bay men's soccer All-American JC Banks (Milwaukee, Wis.) has had a busy year since his college career with the Phoenix came to a close. His travels around the world have now brought him back to where they started, Green Bay. Banks returned to Green Bay to finish his History degree and serve as a student assistant with the Phoenix.
"I remember when I was here, previous players would come back and help out, so I'm looking forward to doing the same," said the former Horizon League Player of the Year.
Banks spent six weeks in Sweden trying out for professional teams followed by a trip to Toronto for two weeks before signing a contract with the Rochester Rhinos which is part of the USL Pro League.
"Coming back to Green Bay I think I can help out of a lot of young guys," said Banks, who attended his first practice with the team on Wednesday.
Head coach Kris Kelderman and the Phoenix are off to a solid 1-0-1 start in the young season, and with Banks lending a hand in any way he can, Green Bay is hoping to keep its momentum going as it faces another tough challenge in this weekend's UNLV Tournament.
"Any time we can surround ourselves with winners like JC, it's a good thing," said Kelderman. "He's a great example of what it takes to be successful at the next level in this game."
Banks will not only be able to help the Phoenix strategically on the field but serves as a role model off the field.
"He's going through a path a lot of our current players are hoping to go through after their college career," Kelderman said. "I think it's a really good thing that he's around us."
ON DECK: Green Bay (1-0-1) will head west to participate in the UNLV Tournament Sept. 9-11 before heading back home to host the Green Bay Soccer Classic which kicks off Sept. 16. Green Bay's first game in the UNLV Tournament will be against Cal State Fullerton (2-0-1) from the Big West Conference. Kick off is set for 6:30 p.m. CT Friday, Sept. 9.
THE MATCH UP: Both teams enter Friday's contest with impressive starts to their seasons. Green Bay is in the midst of a four-game road trip to start its season while playing solid against two nationally ranked opponents. Green Bay shut out SIUE 1-0 in 104 degree field temperatures before battling Bradley University to a 1-1 tie in heavy, rainy conditions.
Cal State Fullerton is also off to a solid start recently including picking up a 5-1 win over Green Bay's next opponent UNLV, and beating Hope International 1-0 in its season opener. The Titans' 0-0 tie on the season came against defending national champion Akron (2-0-1) on Sept. 1.
SERIES: Friday's game will be the second meeting between the Phoenix and the Titans. The first resulted in a 3-2 Green Bay loss in the UNLV Tournament on Sept. 7, 1991.
FOLLOW THE ACTION: Fans can follow Friday's game action live here.