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Paterson, Francis get MLS invites

Stephen Paterson and Shaun Francis look like they might be moving on. Paterson, rock solid in net for the Thunder Bay Chill, and Francis, a midfielder who scored three goals in 2009, have each drawn the interest of the Major League Soccer ranks.
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Stephen Paterson and Shaun Francis look like they might be moving on.

Paterson, rock solid in net for the Thunder Bay Chill, and Francis, a midfielder who scored three goals in 2009, have each drawn the interest of the Major League Soccer ranks.

Francis, 23, was selected in the sixth round of last weekend’s MLS Super Draft by the Columbus Crew, and reports this weekend to training camp. Paterson, a Thunder Bay goal keep who led the Chill to the Premier Development League championship in 2008, has been invited to play a series of exhibition games with the Toronto FC.

A veteran of six seasons with the Chill, Paterson's coach Tony Colistro said is a well-deserved potential promotion for a player who had six shutouts in 15 games last season.

“It is no surprise that Stephen may get an opportunity to move up the ranks,” Colistro said in an a release issued by the Chill late Tuesday night.

“It is very rewarding to have Stephen play for this club, especially being our first local Chill player to be invited to the show. He will be difficult to replace.”

Both Paterson and Francis have indicated they will return to the Chill if their MLS ambitions aren’t realized this season.

Former Chill player Kosike Kimura is in his third season with MLS’s Colorado Rapids.