Jan. 18, 2011
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Loyola University Maryland men's soccer forward Phil Bannister will join the professional ranks after the Colorado Rapids selected Bannister in the second round of today's Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft.
Colorado, the reigning 2010 MLS Cup Champions, chose Bannister with its first pick of the supplemental draft, coming in the final pick of the second round and the 36th pick overall.
"I am excited for Phil to get this opportunity as he has enjoyed an outstanding career here at Loyola," said Loyola Head Coach Mark Mettrick. "Phil has been a model student-athlete here at Loyola gaining Academic All-American honors while leading the nation in many offensive categories. We wish him the best of luck in Colorado."
Bannister becomes the latest Greyhound to make the jump to professional soccer, following in the footsteps of 2010 graduates Jamie Darvill (Real Maryland, USL 2nd Div.) and Tennant McVea (F.C. Lahti, Finnish Premier League). He also becomes the first Loyola player drafted by a Major League Soccer team since D.C. United selected goalkeeper Milos Kocic in the second round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft.
The senior missed the MLS Combine before the SuperDraft earlier this month due to family reasons.
Bannister and fellow supplemental pick Javed Mohammed of South Florida will join Colorado's SuperDraft picks Eddie Ababio and Colin Givens for preseason training in late January.
In 2010, the senior scored 10 goals and notched an assist in nine games before a knee injury sidelined him for the season. Bannister finished his Loyola career with 40 goals and 109 points, vaulting him to eighth all-time at Loyola in goals and sixth in assists. His 29 career assists also tie him atop the assists ledger.
Bannister led the Greyhounds in nearly offensive category and ranked first in the NCAA Division I points per game ledger midway through the season.