The path to pro is a very difficult one to navigate but to those that make it professional at any level find it a blessing and with Patricio Botello there is no exception. From his youth in Mexico, to attending high school and college in San Antonio, to playing with Corpus Christi FC and now is in his first season with the Lansing Ignite of USL League One. Patricio “Pato” as he is known plays along side San Antonio FC’s loan Alex Bruce. Botello currently has 3 goals for a Lansing team sitting in second place and in a tight battle with North Texas SC.
Tell us a little about yourself, where were you born and raised, how long you lived in San Antonio, what was it like growing up and what high school you attended?
I was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico. Growing up in Monterrey was something I will always remember, I loved it. I was always playing soccer in the streets, at school, at the park, etc. Then I moved to San Antonio when I was a sophomore in High School and I went to Brandeis High School for 3 years.
How old were when you started playing soccer and when did you start liking it?
I started playing soccer when I was about 3-4 years old, and i never stopped, i fell in love with the game right away
How did you get the nickname “Pato”?
My real name is Patricio and in Mexico they use Pato for short for Patricio.
Who did you look up to in the soccer world as you were growing up?
Ronaldinho and Ronaldo (R9) they were unbelievable.
Was or is there still a club you grew up rooting for?
Tigres, until I die.
Besides high school were there any academies or clubs you joined to play as a youth?
I played for Alamo my first year here and then I moved to Lonestars.
You stayed local and had a successful career at St. Mary’s. Were there other schools you were interested in before you made the decision to attend St. Mary’s?
I had it clear that I wanted to stay in San Antonio for college and I was lucky and blessed to receive an offer from every school in SA (UIW, St. Marys, OLLU and Trinity) and I was interested in all of them but when I visited St Marys, I just fell in love with it and it felt like the right fit right away.
What advice would you give to a high school soccer player looking to play college soccer?
If you are serious about playing college soccer then don’t give up. Train hard every day and play every game like there’s a college coach watching because you honestly never know who is watching you.
What has your professional experience been like so far?
It’s been amazing. I love waking up every day and go to training with my friends and play in front of great fans. I am definitely blessed and lucky to be able to do this for a living.
What has been the best and difficult parts of playing professional?
The best part definitely being able to do this for a living, because I just love the game, I get to wake up and go train and just work on my game and improve every single day. The most difficult was definitely adjusting my game to the pro level. It is faster and more physical and I had to get used to that but I’m used to it now, even though I am still learning something new every day from my coaches and my teammates so I’m very grateful for that.
How’s life in Lansing so far? Any good Mexican restaurants up there? People of San Antonio are always ready to compare who has the better tacos!
Lansing is very different from San Antonio, it’s a very small college town but it’s a very nice city. At first it was very cold, I wasn’t used to it but now in the summer is beautiful. And San Antonio has definitely the better Mexican food, I still haven’t had authentic Mexican food here, it’s hard to find.
With SAFC’s Alex Bruce on loan with the Lansing Ignite, people want to know. Who has the better goal celebrations? You or Alex?
I feel we both are the same when it comes to celebrations, we don’t do anything too crazy, we like to keep it simple!
How has being friends and teammate with Alex Bruce helped you in your professional career?
Alex became one of my best friends in the last 6 months, we are very close and I have learned so much from him, even though he is a little bit younger than me he has a professional season under his belt so he has given me some advice. We also train every day on our finishing and make it competitive, so that makes it entertaining.
We always like to finish with our Rapid Fire Questions section and Go!
EPL or La Liga?
MLS or Liga Mx?
Barbacoa or Fajitas?
Tejano or Reggaeton?
-Reggaeton, especially Ozuna and Anuel AA
Rafa Marquez or Hugo Sanchez?
-I watched Rafa growing up so I’m going to have to go with him.
Landon Donovan or Clint Dempsey?
Netflix or Hulu?
In-n-Out or Whataburger?
Better summer weather, San Antonio or Lansing?
-Lansing! San Antonio is way too hot in the summers.
We’ll have to agree with Pato on San Antonio summer’s being too hot. You can catch Pato Botello, Alex Bruce and the rest of Lansing Ingnite in USL League One matches on ESPN+ this season. Pato, we wish you the best of luck on the remainder of the season!