TREBBY: Pothast-a-Plenty for MU soccer

I’ve always had a good relationship with my brother.

If you know both of us (as few of you probably do), you’d know we’re complete polar opposites. He is a pretty quiet guy, and I’m loud, on the annoying or obnoxious side a lot of the time (as many of you probably know).

We would always spend time together, whether it was going to Brewers or Marquette games with our parents, or playing the newest edition of “MLB: The Show” on Playstation 2.

Nowadays, it isn’t rare to find a pair of siblings at the same college. Obviously, having a brother or sister go to a school means you would be more familiar with it and, possibly, more prone to going to that school. Usually, the only time siblings would see each other would be on weekends or for lunch once a week. Unless there’s a very close relationship, they usually don’t see too much of each other.

Imagine if you had to see your brother or sister every day at school, not only socially, but playing a sport, and happened to get recruited by the same school. Could you and your sibling handle that?

I don’t know if my brother and I could handle training every day, whether it be competing with or against each other. I’m confident we would find a way to become frustrated with each other.

Well, the Pothast brothers will be embarking on that journey this fall, both playing for the men’s soccer team.

Eric, a sophomore, has been a big part of the renaissance of the men’s program. He came in his freshman year, quickly establishing himself as a top defender. The composure and skill he displayed from day one was quite impressive.

A leader by example, Eric was named a co-captain this past season, becoming the first sophomore captain under coach Louis Bennett since assistant coach Steve Bode was a captain back when Bennett coached at Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Now, enter younger brother John Pothast.

Probably the highest rated recruit the program has gotten, John, like his brother, is a defender, and is expected to compete for playing time immediately next season.

Ranked No. 54 among the class of 2012 by CollegeSoccerNews.com, John brings to the team much of what his brother does. Bennett said they both have that “Pothast toughness,” which is no doubt a positive.

Eric believes there are more similarities than differences, but he points out he’s about three inches taller than his brother (Eric is 6-foot-3 and John is 6-foot). He admitted, though, John may be a bit more athletic than him.

As both Pothasts are defenders, there is a good chance that they could be playing next to each other in the near future at Valley Fields.

Bennett views John as a right back who is also capable at center back. But the latter is Eric’s position. He may be established as one of the best in the Big East at his position, but Eric doesn’t want to think about his brother taking his spot in the team.

“I would hope it would never come to him competing for my position because that would just be terrible in more ways than one,” Eric said. “But the opportunity to play with him is what I’m looking forward to most.”

Saving their parents the distress of that sticky situation, the more likely scenario is that in 2012 and 2013 the two Pothast boys will be playing together.

John isn’t just Eric’s brother, though. He’s a recruit that’s symbolic of the program’s ascension and will surely turn out to be a great signing for Bennett, who is already thinking about the brothers’ potential.

“Eric’s name is Batman,” Bennett said. “Hopefully John becomes Robin.”

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