AJ Paterson joins the Legion

My Precious! My Precious!


After Tommy Soehn hinted at some new signings coming on board in an interview with Caleb Turrentine of ABC 33/40 earlier this week, it didn’t take long for the Legion make its first incoming player announcement of the offseason. 27-year-old midfielder/defender AJ Paterson, formerly of the Charleston Battery will be joining the team.

First off, you should know that his middle name doesn’t begin with J; his full name is Arthur Precious Paterson, Jr. So: we definitely need to get him that championship ring the Battery couldn’t come up with this year, right?

AJ is from Key Largo, Florida but plays internationally for Grenada and has 21 caps and 4 goals to date. His college career was at Wright State (in southwest Ohio) before being drafted but never signed by NCYFC of MLS in 2018. He made one appearance with Bethlehem Steel that year before joining Charleston in 2019. Over 5 seasons he played 110 games for the Battery, logging 7 goals and 8 assists. Last year he played 28 total games with 2 goals and 1 assist. He played against the Legion in only one of the three meetings this year, the regular season closer. He appeared in all 3 US Open Cup games for the Battery, including their exit from the competition against…Inter Miami. He played 1 minute in the USL Cup loss, being substituted in right before the PK shootout, taking and scoring on Charleston’s first attempt from the mark.

Through the first 17 league games of 2023 AJ was not just a regular starter but also the team captain, an honor he had earned in late 2022 (a good chunk of which he missed with knee surgery). He was in the XI in 16 of those games, but after that appeared only from the bench for reasons that are unclear.

Described as both a midfielder and defender, AJ is yet another player who shows positional versatility, a development at the Legion that seems to be ongoing. That being said, he played a fair amount of the time this past season at left center back. Obviously, in a 4-man back line that slot is already occupied by Phanuel Kavita. If Jake Rufe also renews, that will give the Legion 4 center backs and screams loudly that the team could play with 3 at the back more frequently, something the Forge has been calling for since…well, forever. This was also hinted at by Coach Beers in that interview. It’s also possible that he could serve in part as the Anderson Asiedu replacement. We shall see.

With that, welcome to the Magic City, AJ!

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