Damian Paulette has been a fan of San Lorenzo de Almagro his entire life. Paulette’s love for the legendary Argentinian club was embedded in him by his Grandfather. Thus when the opportunity to play for Los Santos came around the Los Angeles native could not turn it down.
Paulette’s roots have made his transition to a career in Argentina a bit easier than most youth yanks abroad go through. “Well its not that different; the people don’t make it hard at all besides my father is Argentinian and he made me fan of San Lorenzo since I was a baby,” Paulette told OWTY when asked the differences between football in the US and Argentina.
The ’95 Paulette, a natural left sided player, has worked his way up the San Lorenzo Academy over the last few seasons. Paulette’s play has seen him graduate into the reserve team. He has been a consistent starter for the reserves at both holding and left midfield roles.
However, Paulette has reached a point in his career where first team football is now more important than representing the club he loves. “My goals this year are to sign a contract with a First Division side, even if that is someone other than San Lorenzo. I would love to start having some minutes on the San Lorenzo stadium as a professional, but I will be looking at all options if I cannot come to an agreement with Los Santos.” Paulette went on, “there are a few First Division sides interested in signing me, I would say there is a 70% chance I sign elsewhere.”
Paulette’s success has begun to reached the States, with a few top NCAA programs getting in contact with him. Paulette told OWTY that the University of Tulsa has been in contact and offered him a scholarship.
For now the ’95 Paulette is focused on his club career but Damian has made it clear to OWTY that his international heart lies with the US. Paulette has been lovingly nicknamed ‘El Yankee’ by San Lorenzo players, media and fans, for his love of the United States. “For me Argentina is one of the best soccer countries in the world and that makes me happy that I am representing the United States down here.” Like many players we cover it has grown increasingly difficult for the USSF to find, scout and follow the progress of Damian. “I haven’t has any contact with US Soccer, although my hopes aren’t over.” Paulette continued “I would really love to be able to wear my countries jersey and represent it, I think that is one of my biggest dreams.”
Paulette is eligible for the 2015 U20 World Cup pool, and hopes Tab Ramos and his staff make it down to Argentina soon.