USMNT pioneer Banks passes away from pancreatic cancer

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United States men’s national team defender Jimmy Banks died Friday, passing away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 54.

When the United States men’s national team made its return to the World Cup after 40 years away, Banks was there.

The left back earned two of his 36 caps at the tournament in Italy, where he was one of the first two African-American players to represent the U.S. in a World Cup squad.

Banks coached the Milwaukee School of Engineering from 1999 until his death, taking the team to a pair of NCAA Division III tournaments.

Banks’ sons all played college soccer. JC Banks played at Green Bay is a 2011 MLS SuperDraft pick of Toronto and continues a near-decade long professional career with USL League One side Forward Madison.

Demetrius Banks played at his father’s alma mater, Milwaukee, while Jordan played at the Milwaukee School of Engineering under his father.