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UA club soccer prepares for exhibition match vs. Phoenix Rising

Posted at 6:51 PM, Apr 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-28 21:59:34-04

You wouldn't know it by looking at him....A 39 year old starting goalie for Arizona’s club soccer team, Chase Van Bibber, a graduate student at the U of A.  “I don't know, soccer makes me feel young,” says Van Bibber.

 His passion for the beautiful game started at an early age.  Van Bibber came back to school as he considered a career change, switching from consulting, and now working towards a dual masters in marketing.

 “I did have dreams of playing wherever I went back to school,” says Van Bibber.  “I have a new appreciation for the game, especially at my age because I know my time is kind of limited.”

 Head coach Eric Rhodes says he noticed his ability on the soccer field first.  “Well really, to his credit, I didn't know he was that age, says Rhodes.  “I watched him play a little bit and I thought hey this kid's pretty good and I got closer to him and thought wait he looks my age!”

 Not every day do you see a 39 year old college goal keeper...even more?  This goalkeeper gets to play on the same pitch with some of the greatest in the game, as Arizona will face Phoenix Rising this Saturday.

 “I’ve invited a lot of my MBA program out and I think a lot of them are coming,” says Van Bibber.  “So it'll be great for them to see a part of my life that, people that haven't grown up with me that are not part of my life, get to see something that is really my favorite thing to do in the world.”

 “This doesn't happen every day, says Rhodes.  “You're going to be 15 feet away from world cup players."

 Arizona will play in the 2nd half of Saturday’s game. And while its unknown if newly signed Didier Drogba from the premier league's Chelsea, will play…“He doesn't seem to get rattled, says Rhodes on Van Bibber.  “Literally going to throw him out there against the best.” 

 “I’m real excited, I am. I've been working real hard this week. If we play to our potential, I think it'll be a competitive game.”

 Game time for Saturday’s match is 7:30pm and will be played at Kino North Stadium.