The Missouri Comets announced that they signed free agent Stephen Paterson to a one year contract. Paterson will likely be in goal for the Comets Friday night when they face the St. Louis Ambush after starting keeper Danny Waltman suffered an ankle injury in the win over Tulsa.
"Steve has practiced with us for a few months and he knows our style very well. He reminds me a lot of Boris Pardo (former Comets backup), very technical, very skillful and very good with his feet," Comets Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski explained.
Paterson is from Thunder Bay in Ontario, Canada where he played several seasons with the Thunder Bay Chill of the Premier Developmental League (PDL). He also helped lead the Western Illinois Fighting Leathernecks to two conference tournament championships and later was an assistant coach as well.
After moving to Kansas City, Paterson started training with Sporting Kansas City during their stretch run to the MLS Cup in 2013 and stuck with them through 2014. Sporting KC normally keeps a couple goalies around that are not on the roster to use in shooting drills, they would not want a starting keeper or backup facing point blank shots from Dom Dwyer and other MLS starters. This resulted in Paterson facing lots of high powered and quality shots from close range and distance.
"I had fun, I love doing that," Paterson smiled. "They're blasting shots at you from real close and you're doing anything you can to get your body in front of it. Actually that is what indoor is. It's saving the ball but controlling the rebound in the sense you ate not going to be able to catch a lot of the shot but you need to put it somewhere that's a safe place. You can't save it and let it drop in front of you and let some guy just standing there clean it up and score on you."
Andonovski noted Paterson's willingness to put his body on the line to stop shots in both Sporting KC and Comets practice. "He is a warrior in goal, he does the same for us, when we are shooting from five feet away he puts his face right in front of the ball and doesn't care."
The Comets backup keeper Brendan Allen is also unavailable while he is trialing with a team in Europe.