Sebastien Soto made his Scottish Premiership debut on Saturday as a late substitute for Livingston in their 1-1 draw with Motherwell.
Livingston is Soto’s fourth stoppage in the past 18 months after leaving Hannover 96 as a free agent following the 2019-20 season. He signed with Norwich City but was loaned out to Telstar in the Dutch Eerste Divisie, Porto B in the Portuguese Second Division and now Livingston, ninth in the 12-team Premiership after Saturday’s game.
Soto, 21, moved to Scotland after playing little in the fall at Porto B (one goal in 218 minutes). His debut for Livingston was delayed when he tested positive for Covid-19 on his first day at Almondvale.
Soto made a name for himself by scoring four goals for the United States at the 2019 Under-20 World Cup. He scored two goals in the last 13 minutes off the bench on his senior debut for the United States. United in their 6-2 win over Panama in November 2020, but their stock fell after going scoreless in the United States‘ failed bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
He told Scottish newspaper The National that finding a club where he can play and earn a spot in the 2022 World Cup picture influenced his decision:
“I want to play wherever I go. I know how football works and unfortunately sometimes loans don’t go well and you have to change your environment. But, of course, the upcoming World Cup is definitely a motivation – I guess, one more thing to add. Even if it wasn’t, no matter what happens, I want to play and I want to score. Sometimes things just don’t suit you. As a player, of course, I have to take responsibility too. But when things don’t go your way, you have to take it upon yourself to say, ‘Okay, maybe it’s time to change, to start over.’
Soto is grateful to have had the chance to switch mid-season.
“Luckily I was given that option, which a lot of players don’t have,” he told The National. “That’s why I don’t want to give it up. I’m not going to say it was easy to come here and have Covid on day one. It’s one of those things where you’re like, ‘Wow, you can’t make this up.’ So of course it wasn’t a dream start but what can you do But I feel good The team here and the staff have worked so well I take it day by day and I don’t don’t jump directly where I could potentially hurt myself.”