Watson Had MLS Interest Before Landing With Wanderers
The Halifax Wanderers announced its acquisition of English midfielder Callum Watson last week, signing the Creighton University graduate to his first professional deal ahead of the 2023 CPL season.
As the youngster has now revealed to Suffolk News, his move to the Canadian east coast actually saw Halifax scupper a potential move to Major League Soccer heights.
“I had options to go into MLS clubs preseason like Real Salt Lake and Houston Dynamo,” the midfielder revealed, “but Halifax got in touch with my agent and put an offer on the table.”
The 22-year-old felt the club was a good match for his first step into the professional ranks, and he now finds himself preparing for a short visit out east before a more permanent move comes at the end of February.
The Canadian Premier League’s active season in terms of player exports proved to be another big selling point for Watson, who himself pointed out to the transfers of Ballou Tabla, William Akio, and Victor Loturi as good examples of what the league can do for its players.
“It is an opportunity for me to build and grow as a player and a person more so I’m looking forward to it,” he adds.
The English central midfielder turned heads with his performances for Creighton University, where Canadian Charles Auguste also played before inking a deal with the Dynamo.
Watson made 51 appearances for the side, contributing six goals and eleven assists during his time with the Blue Jays, before which he playing for Hastings College.
Born in Essex, Watson spent most of his youth career with Colchester United, but was let go at the age of sixteen after the club thought his physical stature was too small. Refusing to give up on his dream, he enlisted with the academy program at AFC Sudbury, staying sharp and landing his US soccer scholarship after impressing on two US tours with his team.
He had actually returned to AFC Sudbury after obtaining his degree in Nebraska, but now that his professional deal is signed he’s set to train with the first-team and academy to stay sharp ahead of his move to Canada.
“It’s really what started my journey, playing under Dave and Danny,” said Watson of his AFC Sudbury coaches. “They are the ones that helped me get over to the States. The club has been a massive part of my journey and two of the best years of my life were over at Sudbury.”
Watson’s first steps into professional football with see him land in a team under a big transformation, with new head coach Patrice Gheisar set to instill a new brand of attacking football to a club which has scored less than any other CPL teams for two consecutive seasons.
The Wanderers will kick off the league’s fifth campaign with an away trip to Atletico Ottawa on April 15, and will then play a cup game against them three days later at a neutral venue.
Watson’s deal with the Wanderers runs for one year with a club option for 2024.
Source: Suffolk News