Meet the Team: Striker Pato Botello Faz
February 8, 2019
This is part of our series where we reach out to Lansing Ignite players and coaches in an effort to get to know them before the season starts. Today we talk to Striker Pato Botello Faz. Pato is originally from Monterrey, Mexico. Pato has earned multiple honors while playing for the St Mary’s University Rattlers, and has also previously played for USL League Two’s Corpus Christi FC.
Westen Shelton: What position do you play, and how would you describe the way you play? What do you think The Assembly Line will enjoy most about the way you play?
Pato Botello Faz: I play as the No. 9 or striker. I would say I hold up the ball very well, am good in the air and always find a way to put myself in good positions to score. What The Assembly Line will enjoy about my game is how passionate I am; I always go 110 percent every game, win or lose.
WS: Looking at your college career, it’s pretty cool how each year you seemed to take a step forward. Freshman year you had 2 goals, sophomore year you had 6, junior Year 13 goals, and then 18 in your senior year. Can you tell me a little bit about your time at St. Mary’s and what you did to improve each year?
PBF: My time at St. Mary’s University was the best time of my life so far. I learned a lot on and off the field. I feel like from my freshman year to my senior year, it was a complete 180. Every year, I added something to my game to make me a bigger threat. From my diet, to the work I put outside the field, I became stronger, faster and more clinical in front of goal, and I want to thank Coach Matt Barnes, Coach Johnny Clifford and Coach Isaac Sánchez for that because they helped me become the player I am today. I also think playing PDL (now USL League Two) in the summers helped me be more prepared for the season.
WS: With a striker like yourself, it is easy to get wrapped up in just your goals. What is something you are strong at on the pitch that you feel might get overlooked by the average observer?
PBF: Sometimes people tend to only look at a the striker’s stats, but it’s also the little things that matter. I think, besides scoring goals, I’m good at holding the ball up and playing with the people underneath me and the people on the wings, which is something huge in the game of football, but it’s definitely overlooked by the average observer.
WS: Playing soccer in the south for your whole life, do you have much experience playing soccer in cold weather? Do you think there will be an adjustment period at all, especially for some of those brisk early April games?
PBF:I have never played in an extremely cold weather, and even though I do believe it’ll take me a little bit to get used to the feeling of the cold, I don’t think it will affect my game.
WS: I’m assuming you have been able to talk to Nate at least a little about the high pressing/attacking style the team will be playing with. Do you have experience in these kinds of systems, and does playing like this excite you?
PBF:I am very excited with that style of play. I like pressing teams and making them make mistakes when they try to play out of the back. At Corpus Christi F.C., we played that style and also my senior season at St. Mary’s, we played most of the games pressing teams high. I’m very excited to play for Coach Miller and learn from him and my teammates.
WS: What was your favorite moment you ever had on a soccer field?
PBF:I think it would be my freshman year. It was my very first official game with St. Mary’s, and in my first shot of my college career, I scored a bicycle kick and beat West Texas A&M. Definitely a moment I will always remember, and I can’t wait to make more memories with Lansing Ignite.
WS: What hobbies do you have when you aren’t playing soccer?
PBF: I’m a very simple guy. I like to play FIFA, watch movies and TV shows on Netflix and watch soccer, especially my favorite team Tigres from Mexico and also the NBA, especially the Lakers.
Previous “Meet The Team” Interviews…