The biography of USMNT player Jimmy Banks who was the left back at the 1990 World Cup and a stalwart on the team in the late 1980s.
Jimmy Banks was a member of the 1990 World Cup squad where he helped a team of young Americans rewrite the expectations for soccer in this country. A product of the Milwaukee soccer system, Jimmy represented his city at all levels, playing as a professional with the indoor Milwaukee Wave. After retiring, Jimmy coached the Milwaukee School of Engineering from 1999-2019. Jimmy died from cancer on April 26, 2019.
As a player, Jimmy set a standard at left back in the first appearance by the USMNT at the World Cup since 1950. As a coach, he was responsible for generations of players showing by example what was possible playing the game in the United States.
“I looked up to guys like Jimmy Banks and Desmond Armstrong. At the time, it was about just seeing them on TV and thinking that this is something that I can do too. It’s hard to express just how important that visual is for African-American kids.” USMNT defender Eddie Pope during his National Soccer Hall of Fame induction speech.
Started in the 1-0 loss to Switzerland at the Orange Bowl on Feb 1. Started in the 1-0 loss at Bermuda on Feb 21. Started in the 1-0 win over Jamaica on Sep 14 in High Point.
Subbed on at halftime for the 1-1 penalty win over Colombia in the Miami Cup on Feb 4. Subbed on at halftime in the 1-0 friendly win at Bermuda on Feb 13. Started in the 3-1 loss to the Soviet Union on Feb 24 at Stanford Stadium. Started in the 2-1 win over Finland in Tampa on Mar 10. Started in the 2-0 loss at Hungary on Feb 20. Started in the 3-2 loss to East Germany in East Berlin on Mar 28. Started in the 1-0 loss to Colombia in Miami on Apr 22. Subbed on in the 80th minute for the 1-0 win over Malta on May 5 in Piscataway. Played the second-half in the 3-1 win over Poland on May 9 in Hershey. Started in the 4-1 win at Liechtenstein on May 30. Started in the 1-0 loss to Italy in the group stage of the World Cup, seeing yellow in the 62nd minute. Started in the 2-1 loss to Austria in the World Cup group stage, seeing yellow in the 28th. Started against Trinidad & Tobago in the 3-1 friendly win in High Point on Sep 15. Started in the 3-2 win at Poland on Oct 10. Started in the 2-1 loss at Croatia on Oct 17. Started in the 0-0 draw at Trinidad & Tobago on Nov 18. Started in the 0-0 draw with the Soviet Union in Port of Spain on Nov 21. Started in the 1-0 loss at Portugal on Dec 19.
Started in the 3-0 win over Peru at Giants Stadium on Jun 4. Started in the 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Guatemala in New Britain on Jun 17. Started in the 1-0 loss to Colombia in Miami on Jun 24. Started in the 2-1 loss to South Korea on Aug 13 at LA Memorial Coliseum. Started in the 1-0 World Cup qualifying win over El Salvador on Sep 17. Started in the 0-0 World Cup qualifying draw against El Salvador in St Louis on Nov 5. Started in the 2-1 friendly win over Bermuda at Cocoa Beach on Nov 14.
Started in the 2-0 loss to Colombia in Miami on May 14. Started the 3-0 loss to Chile in Fresno on May 5. Subbed on in the 2-0 loss to Poland in Connecticut on Jul 13.
Started against Egypt in the 3-1 loss at the Presidents Cup in Seoul, South Korea on Jun 8. Started the 1-0 loss to South Korea in Pusan on Jun 12. Started in the 1-0 win over Thailand in Chonju on Jun 16. Part of the Pan-American Games beating Trinidad & Tobago on Aug 9 in Indianapolis. Drew 0-0 with El Salvador in the Pan-Am Games on Aug 12. Started the Sep 5 Olympic qualifier with the USA beating Trinidad & Tobago 4-1. Won the return leg 1-0 in Port of Spain on Sep 20.
Made his debut for the USMNT on Feb 5 in the 0-0 draw with Canada at the Orange Bowl.
Finished his pro career with the Wave, making a total of 136 appearances and scoring 31 goals. The Wave finished 5th in their division.
Finished 4th in their division.
Stayed with the Wave in the NPSL, finishing 2nd in their division and losing in the first round of the playoffs.
Finished 2nd and once again exited in the semifinals in the last season of the AISA.
Finished 2nd with the Wave, losing int he semifinals of the playoffs.
Joined the Milwaukee Wave in the American Indoor Soccer League as the #1 draft pick, finishing 3rd.
Youth and College
Played high school soccer in Milwaukee and then at the University of Wisconsin Parkside and later UW-Milwaukee where he was an All-American.