If the other players competing in the Foyle Cup in Ireland didn’t know who Cooper Banks was before, they do now. All they need to do is look at the front page of the sports section of this morning’s Belfast Telegraph.
Cooper, 12, scored six goals en route to leading his GPS FC Bayern squad to a 19-0 drubbing of the Bertie Peacock Youths from Coleraine, Northern Ireland.
GPS FC Bayern are a national squad made up of the top players in the Global Premier Soccer system, which operates all over the United States. Cooper’s club is GPS Florida West, who you may recall recently won the Florida State Cup.
Cooper is the son of Supervisor Doug Banks. We reached out to Doug Banks via text message after hearing about Cooper’s big day on social media. Doug Banks responded via text: “With 350 teams at this tournament, there is a wealth of elite competition. It’s been a unique cultural experience to interact with so many players. Cooper and his team have enjoyed the experience of playing in a country where soccer is by far the #1 sport. They closed downtown Derry for the opening ceremonies. The streets were lined with people, it was amazing to see how the local area gets behind this event.”
GPS plays Tristar FC today. Tristar are a team based in the Foyle Cup’s host city of Derry.
If Cooper keeps up this pace, European powerhouse soccer club FC Bayern might not let him come back to America – but rather sign him to their main youth academy in Germany instead! Sprechen sie Deutsch, Cooper?
By all accounts, Cooper is a soccer prodigy who seems on his way to landing a scholarship at a major university. Being selected for this GPS national team is an impressive accomplishment in its own right, and this tournament in Ireland is one of Europe’s biggest youth soccer events … which means it will be heavily scouted by professional clubs.
We’ll be rooting for GPS FC Bayern, and we hope the Banks family has a great time in Ireland.
(And in case you’re wondering, that is Cooper’s picture but the Telegraph apparently misidentified him as Jack Panayotou.)