Armada Signs Midfielders J.C. Banks and Bryam Rebellón

Alhassane Keita has been released after two seasons with the Armada FC
Jan 25, 2017

Shane Biery, | Jan. 25, 2017

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Armada FC has announced the signing of Jimmy Christopher (J.C.) Banks and Bryam Rebellón to the 2017 roster, while the club parts ways with Alhassane Keita.

“J.C. and Bryam are two exciting additions to our roster,” said Head Coach Mark Lowry. “Both players can play a variety of positions throughout midfield. They are both what I would call an ‘Armada-type’ player: technically gifted, intelligent players who are very hard working."

Banks, 27, is a versatile midfielder who arrives in Jacksonville from Minnesota United FC where he signed in 2015. He played a total of 1,726 minutes, scored four goals and recorded three assists in two seasons with the Loons. He made one appearance in the NASL Team of the Week and also won vote for NASL Play of the Week for a strike in the 51st minute against the Tampa Bay Rowdies in October.

The former Loon played college soccer for University of Wisconsin­-Green Bay where he grabbed numerous awards including the 2009 Horizon League Player of the Year. The Rochester Rhinos signed Banks in 2011 and he went on to play four years with the team– tallying 17 goals in 89 appearances overall. He earned Rookie of the Year in 2011 and was voted the Rhinos’ MVP in 2012 and 2014.

Banks is a Milwaukee native and comes from soccer genes.  His father played for the Milwaukee Wave and was also a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team, competing in the 1987 Pan American Games and qualifying rounds of the 1990 World Cup.

Rebellón comes to the Armada FC from the LA Galaxy II.  The 25-year-old midfielder played one season for the Galaxy II in the USL after playing for the Llaneros FC, a club in his home country of Colombia.  He racked up 1,579 minutes in 25 appearances last season.  Rebellón tallied one assist and scored two goals on eight shots on goal during the 2016 campaign. 

“Adding JC and Bryam to the roster offer us great attacking options,” said Technical Director Nathan Walter. “We saw a lot of J.C. in the league last season and Bryam came very highly recommended by a very close friend and mentor. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Alhassane Keita for his services with Jacksonville Armada FC.”

Keita, a 33-year-old native of Conakry, Guinea, leaves the team as the leading goal scorer in the history of the Armada FC. He signed his contract with the club in 2015 and made an immediate impact. Keita totaled 3,199 minutes in 38 starts and 43 appearances in his two seasons with the Armada FC.  During this time he netted 13 goals on 76 shots attempted, recording the most goals of any player to play for the club.

Keita was named to the NASL Team of the Week four times and was honored as NASL Player of the Week once in his two seasons with the Armada FC.

Jacksonville Armada FC continues to build the 2017 roster and more player announcements are expected in the coming days.