New Phoenix Rising player is living the dream

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(Source: Phoenix Rising) (Source: Phoenix Rising)

It is that time of year when many of us are thinking about football and the playoff season as the Super Bowl fast approaches.

But in most part of the world, it is a different football people watch, and kids grow up dreaming about. Those dreams have now brought the Phoenix Rising soccer team a new member, Billy Forbes.

“I was born in Turks and Caicos island which is by Jamaica and the Bahamas,” Forbes told us when we recently caught up with him at the Phoenix Rising stadium in the east Valley.

And on that small island, he says he was always dreaming big. “I love this game. I mean, early on, I really wanted to play for my national team which I achieved. I really wanted to come to the U.S., go to college, get a degree, and play professional, which I am doing right now.”

Like for so many kids, that dream started with playing street ball, something Forbes remembers well.

“And then the coaches from the national team kind of spotted me playing on the street and said, 'Hey you should come in and play organized soccer.'”

And at age 16, he did play for his national team. “Yes I had the chance when I was 16 years old to play in the World Cup qualifier for my country, which is the highest a player can play for their country, aside from a world cup,” he says proudly.

That led to a scholarship in Texas, and a stint with San Antonio FC, where he was a fan favorite.

“I just learned to get to know people. I like to get to know people, so when they invite me to their house after the game, I stop by sometimes and play a little game. So that makes me a little closer to the fans.”

But, when Phoenix Rising called, he couldn't resist.

“I think Phoenix Rising has a great organization. And for me to be able to play with one of my favorite soccer players, which is Didier Drogba, what else can a guy ask for?”

Forbes says he now hopes to win over Phoenix fans.

“The last time I played here I think the fans were really loud, so hopefully they are on my side this year,” he says, hoping fans will notice his dedication. "With me, it is my enthusiasm when I am on the field, whether I score a goal or get an assist, it is like I am always in 110 percent."  

It's an enthusiasm that shows why this "other football"  has always been such a beautiful game for Billy Forbes. “The game is something I love, something I grew up seeing my mom play, and something I grew up playing, so it is carrying in the family.”

Phoenix Rising plays its first pre-season game February 10 against New York Red Bull.

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