Stars And Stripes In His Eyes
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Queenslander Caleb Patterson might be overshadowed by Hollywood United's Anthony LaPaglia as Australia's other US 'keeper...but he is a headline act for USL Division side, Cleveland City Stars
Never heard of him? Patterson is no newcomer, he’s had a stint with Sheffield Wednesday and has even trialled for Liverpool.
“I was at Sheffield Wednesday in the youth team," he reveals.
"And when Wednesday offered me a pro contract, it was around the same time we had spoken to Liverpool who were looking for a youth keeper. So I had a decision to make - and ended up going to Liverpool.
“I could’ve played through a loophole, I guess. You can play only youth level games on a trialist form and then after the six weeks you have to sit a week out.
"Then you sign a youth form again and play another six weeks. I started against Manchester United in my first game there and it was a blast.
"But my passport ran out and that’s when I went back to Australia.”
Patterson has now been in the USA for the past 18 months, and while he retains an Australian accent, he still dreams of a return to England.
But he says the USL provides good competition: “Just under the MLS there are two divisions. One is more east coast which is the one that I’m in and the other is more coast to coast.
"The league is quite good - a lot of teams in the league have beaten the MLS teams in the cup matches.
"If I were to compare it to a league in England, I would say it’s about League Two. The top four teams are maybe around League One - and we are second in the league at the moment.”
Patterson lists Aussie players Jon McKain, James Downey, Dario Vidosic and Tom Willis as friends and still maintains contact despite being on the other side of the world and in the relative unknown of the USL.
He would also be interested in an A-League spot should one ever arise.
“I have a few mates that played or are playing in the A-league and I follow how they are going," he says.
"I look out for Queensland a little bit as I have had a few mates play there and that’s where I’m from.
“I’ve spoken to a few people back home and if something came about I would definitely consider it.
"At the moment I’m just focused here and then we will see what comes about after that. I have spoken with the Columbus crew about next season and I’m also keen to look at Europe again as well.”