Mississippi Brilla Hosts Mississippi College Night
May 14, 2014
Soccer fans are invited to the Mississippi Brilla’s seven game home season in Clinton, including the first Mississippi College Night on June 5.
The Magnolia State’s only pro soccer team, Brilla kicks off its 2014 season against the Panama City Beach Pirates on May 17. The action at Clinton High’s Arrow Field begins 7 p.m. that Saturday.
Part of the Premier Development League, Brilla attracts players from around the globe, including Kenya, Ireland, England, Brazil and Chile. Besides its international contingent, the squad includes a nice mix of local talent, including Mississippi College soccer players and alums.
The Mississippi College Night launches a new marketing tradition for the Brilla. All MC students, faculty and staff with a college ID will be admitted free. The game that Thursday evening begins at 7 p.m.
Seeking to boost attendance at Arrow Field, the special deal for the Mississippi College family makes sense for a variety of reasons.
“I am a Mississippi College graduate and appreciate our partnership with MC,” says Rusty Bryant, executive director with Brilla Soccer Ministries. “We look forward to hosting the MC faculty, staff and students on June 5.” The Clinton team battles one of their Texas rivals, the Austin Aztex, that evening.
After a rebuilding year in 2013, the Brilla begins its second season under coach Drew Courtney.
Fans of the successful MC Choctaws soccer squad coached by Kevin Johns will see plenty of familiar faces competing for Mississippi Brilla at Clinton High’s Arrow Field.
The list of current and former MC players includes Daniel Lang of Jackson, B.J. Williams, Graham Bobo of Clinton, Harrison Russell and graduate Phillip Buffington of Jackson. Bobo is a former standout for the Clinton High Arrows boys soccer team.
Several Mississippi College students or recent grads will serve as Brilla summer interns. The list includes Lee Prather, Datti Jinkiri and Hector Tanco.
Mississippi College-Brilla connections date back to the early days of the extraordinary pro team. The squad is affiliated with the United Soccer Leagues. Some former Brilla’s players have advanced to rosters of North America’s top pro teams, including Seattle that draws 45,000 fans to every home game.
An MC administrator and president of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce, Jim Turcotte is thrilled that Brilla games are a visible part of the town’s landscape.
“Brilla soccer is another jewel in the crown of the city of Clinton,” says Turcotte, MC’s vice president for enrollment services and dean of students. “We are blessed to host a pro soccer team which is something most cities cannot say.”
Mississippi College, he said, “is pleased to partner with the city and Brilla soccer to help make our hometown a great place to live, work, play and study.”
Other games on the Brilla’s upcoming home schedule: May 31 against the Houston Dutch Lions, June 7 against the Austin Aztex and July 5 versus the Laredo Heat. The games at Arrow Field begin at 7 p.m.
Tickets to Brilla home games are $5.
Photo: Mississippi Brilla player Phillip Buffington,, an MC graduate, is pictured in action for the Clinton pro soccer team.