Arriving in Charleston at the beginning of the 2019 season, AJ Paterson laced up his boots for his second full season in the Holy City. His first year with the club saw the attacking back have success domestically and on the international stage. Paterson captained Grenada to its first Gold Cup qualification in over ten years, coming up big for the Spice Boys in the CONCACAF Nations League. We spoke with Paterson during the postponement in this week's Behind the Black and Yellow.
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I was born and raised in Key Largo, Florida.
Q: What is one thing you have to have when traveling?
A: I’m a music junkie so I can’t go anywhere without my headphones.
Q: What would you be if you weren't a professional soccer player?
A: I’ve always loved the ocean and wildlife so if I weren’t a professional soccer player I’d be a Florida Wildlife Conservation Officer.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received?
A: The best advice I received was from my dad a few years back when I was going through a rough patch in my collegiate career with injuries and form. He told me not to worry about the things I can’t control and focus on the ones I can. Something so small has helped me immensely in soccer and everyday life as well.
Q: Who is the best dancer on the team?
A: Hands down the best dancer on the team is Leland Archer. He puts on an absolute show in the locker room after a good victory!
Q: If you had a superpower, what would it be?
A: I think the most realistic superpower that I could have would be the ability to speak to animals. I love the outdoors and all the little critters so being able to talk to them would be ideal.
Q: What is one thing that is overrated?
A: That new Tiger King documentary had so much hype, but it didn’t do it for me.
Q: What is the best purchase you have made so far this year?
A: I went to England early this year and bought a few meals from Nando’s, a very popular restaurant in England that I had heard so much about. They were by far the best purchases I’ve made. Arguably the best purchases I’ve made in my entire life let alone this year!
Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: I cannot stand when someone speaks down to me or other people in a patronizing or belittling manner.
Q: Who takes the most selfies?
A: Along with having the best dance moves, Leland Archer definitely takes the cake at selfie queen!
Q: Who has been your greatest inspiration?
A: Watching my mother raise my two sisters and myself while still going to school to achieve her dream job opened my eyes to the benefits of hard work and dedication so she’s been my greatest inspiration from day one.
Q: Who is your favorite soccer player of all time?
A: The same man who is the greatest soccer player to ever lace up his boots and step onto a pitch, Lionel Messi. There’s no other player on this planet that’s genuinely made me question the possibility of the things he does with a ball at his feet.
Q: What made you choose #20?
A: I’m going to be completely honest, it was the number given to me when I first signed but I will say it's grown on me the past year
Q: If you could be anywhere in the world, where would you be and what would you be doing?
A: Right now I’d love to be back home in the Florida Keys with my family out on the boat fishing and enjoying the beautiful weather.
Q: What would be your karaoke song?
A: This is a tie between “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson and “Love in this Club” by Usher. Those are the types of songs that you don’t just sing along to, you perform!
Q: What’s the best fish you’ve ever caught?
A: I’d say the best fish I’ve ever caught in terms of rarity and size would have to be a 35-inch Red drum.
Q: If you had to choose one teammate to survive on a deserted island with, who would it be?
A: 100% Dante would be my go-to if it came down to a do or die survival situation. He’s definitely got the smarts to keep us alive!