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Birmingham signs experienced defender AJ Paterson

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 12/12/23, 1:01PM EST


Grenada international has made 99 regular season appearances in Championship during career

Birmingham Legion FC has signed defender AJ Paterson, who currently sits on 99 regular season appearances in the USL Championship during his career. | Photo courtesy Henry Taylor / Charleston Battery

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Birmingham Legion FC announced on Tuesday the club had signed Grenada Men’s National Team defender AJ Paterson for the 2024 USL Championship season. The transaction is pending league and federation approval.  

Paterson most recently played for USL Championship Eastern Conference title holders, Charleston Battery, where he spent the past five seasons. During the most recent campaign, Paterson made 25 appearances, registering 62 clearances, 19 interceptions, and two goals for the Battery. He has made 99 regular season appearances in his career overall, recording seven goals and five assists and logging almost 7,500 minutes of action.

“We are very excited to bring AJ to Birmingham. He is a player we identified to help our team as both player and leader,” said Legion FC President and GM Jay Heaps. “He has experience in the league along with the versatility to play multiple positions across the backline and midfield.”

“I’m most excited about working with a group of talented individuals as well as an organization that truly cares about their players,” said Paterson. “I really enjoy the play style and identity the team plays with. They play some really good football and I’m eager to be a part of that.

“My goal is to help bring a championship to Birmingham. That’s a highly ambitious goal but with a good core group returning, and some new faces, I believe it’s a realistic achievement.”


AJ Paterson’s move from the Charleston Battery to Birmingham Legion FC gives his new club a reliable back-line option that – as Legion FC President and GM Jay Heaps points out – provides great versatility. Paterson has been a steady performer over his career with the Battery, at times wearing the captain’s armband, and can play as both a left-sided center back or left back on the back line.

With Birmingham already set to return veterans Alex Crognale and Phanuel Kavita, it’s not hard to envision Paterson lining up on the left side of a three-man back line, while providing cover for the LCB position if Head Coach Tom Soehn elects to move to a four-man line. The 27-year-old has also shown an ability to strike from distance if given the opportunity when stepping into the attacking half.

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