Macon's Darvin Ebanks, last year's Georgia Revolution captain, signed this week with the Harrisburg City Islanders of the USL. "My goals for this season are to embrace my first season as a professional and to soak up all of the valuable information and knowledge. I also hope to earn a starting position and make an impact to help my team win as many games as possible. My long term goal for my soccer career is to play at the highest level possible," Ebanks told Dirty South Soccer.
Coming from Macon's Mount de Sales Academy, Ebanks also played for teams at the Central Georgia Soccer Association and Cobb FC. "My biggest influences growing up that helped mold me into the player I am were a few of my coaches: Tom Melville, Steve Gummer, and Carlos Somoano," Ebanks said. At CGSA, Melville brought Ebanks from the recreational level to select and he played two years up against older kids. "I had to learn to play the game much faster than I would have if I played in my own age group. I was at a physical and mental disadvantage being younger than the kids I was playing against, it made me to develop my technical skills to keep up with kids much bigger," said Ebanks.
Ebanks played with US National Youth teams, making him one of the first players from Macon to ever achieve that honor. He attended the University of North Carolina.
Last year, Ebanks played in the NPSL with the Georgia Revolution. The time with the Revolution was important to Ebanks' development: "It helped me prepare for the next level in giving me quality training by Coach Robin Dixon with quality players from colleges all over the country. Also, it provided me with games every week against great players in the NPSL in front of other great coaches. I was also invited to represent the Revs in the NPSL combine in Fort Lauderdale, where a lot of professional coaches watched the top 80 or so players of the NPSL."
Dixon helped Ebanks connect with an agent that led to the opportunity in Harrisburg. From there, Ebanks hopes to make it to MLS, "Some of the best players I've played with include Jack McInerney who now plays for the Portland Timbers. We both played on the Cobb FC Chiefs team where we became close friends. I've also played with the likes of Walker Zimmerman of FC Dallas, Jordan McCrary of New England Revolution, Mikey Lopez of NYCFC, and Boyd Okwuonu of Real Salt Lake."
As a left back, Ebanks will definitely have opportunities to get noticed. "I try to model my game after the best outside back in my opinion and that is Phillip Lahm. He always finds space and time in the most intense and high paced games. He always has a sense of calmness about him and seems to slow the game down and make hard plays seem easy," Ebanks said.
We'll be watching Ebanks' development this year with Harrisburg and wish him well in his career!