Soccer star is a big hit in States
MOVE over David Beckham, there’s a new star of America soccer.
Elliot Goodwin from Macclesfield has just completed his first season with Nashville FC.
The 19-year-old proved such a hit with fans he earned the nickname ‘Cheshire Cat’ because of his home county and massive grin. The teenager is hoping the experience will be a platform to play in Major League Soccer (MLS), the American national league where Beckham ended his illustrious career.
As well as playing for Nashville, Elliot is on a sports scholarship at Cumberland University.
Elliot, of Birch Road, Macclesfield, said: “I have just finished my first year of four and want to stay out here and build a career but it will take a lot of grind and hard work.
“It was a difficult adjustment for me being so far away from home but I have had great support. Obviously I miss my family and friends but they are all very supportive of what I have come out here to do.”
Elliot went to Upton Priory Primary School and Fallibroome Academy.
He played for Macclesfield Boys, Prestbury JFC and Wilmslow Boys as well as in youth teams for Stockport Town and Macclesfield Town.
He was selected for the Cheshire School Boys team and had trials for the England Schoolboys.
During his first year at Cumberland the team got into the play-offs.
Instead of coming home in the summer Elliot was selected to play for Nashville, a new club in the National Premier Soccer League.
Playing in front of crowds of up to 2,000 Elliot quickly became a favourite of the Nashville Roadies, its vocal band of supporters, who host pre-match tailgate parties before home games.
Elliot, who chose the shirt number 23 in homage to David Beckham, was named the club’s Offensive Player of the Year and hopes to return for next season.
He said: “The fans are great. They have drums, flags and smoke flairs at every game. When I was younger it was almost a dream to go and meet one of the players but now that people want to come and ask me for a picture is a great feeling but strange at the same.”
Elliot’s family – including mum Judith, 53, and dad Steve, 55, and brother Marcus, 21 – recently flew out to see him in action.
Steve said: “Elliot has suffered a few disappointments, getting released by Macclesfield Town at 16, then missing out on selection for the England schoolboys’ team last year.
“But this opportunity to study and play in America has been great for him and he’s making a real success of it.
“As parents we were a bit anxious about him being there on his own, but he’s doing fine and loves it there.
“We’re very proud of him.”
●● Dad Steve, mum Judith, Elliot and his brother Marcus
Fans make a sign for Elliot, pictured in action, righ