Former Caley Thistle midfielder Nick Ross hopes his move to American second-tier side El Paso Locomotive can be a lucrative stepping stone to Major League Soccer.
After ending a short stint with Brora Rangers, Ross sealed a move to the newly-formed Texas outfit on Tuesday on a one-year contract with the option of a further year.
The 27-year-old will report for pre-season with El Paso in January, as the club prepares for its 2019 debut in the USL Championship.
Although no promotion to the ring-fenced MLS is available, former Scotland under-21 international Ross hopes impressing for his new club can help him to catch the eye of clubs higher up the American ladder.
Ross said: “I’m just looking forward to getting over and seeing how the year goes.
“If I play well over there the target is to get into the MLS, but that’s everybody’s target so it’s not that easy.
“There are a lot of good teams at this level. Before he retired recently, Didier Drogba was playing at this level for Phoenix Rising.
“There’s no promotion, which is maybe the only downfall. But if you can get yourself into an MLS team, with the way it’s going and the money they are putting into it, it’s going to be huge.
“With David Beckham getting a team, in the next few years it’s going to be really big.
“To get over and see it for myself is what I’m wanting to do.”
After ending a brief stint in Romania with Sepsi Sfantu Gheorghe last summer, Ross joined Brora on a short-term deal in October, however the Inverness-born player says the idea of another move overseas always appealed.
He added: “In football you are so fortunate, you can try and go anywhere in the world and play football. For me, it’s the best job in the world as you are paid to do what you love.
“It’s a short career. If you are not right at the top, you can be stuck in the same old every year, year-in, year-out.
“I just thought I would try something different. That’s why I ended up in Romania, and now I’m going to America.
“I know I can still offer a lot to a lot of teams. To get back playing regularly will hopefully help me kick on.
“I’ve still got a lot of years left in me.”
Ross made five appearances for Brora, netting once, and he is grateful to Cattachs boss Steven Mackay for the opportunity, adding: “I really enjoyed it at Brora. I will probably continue training there to keep my fitness up, but in terms of games they knew going into it that I would play a couple of games, but if something came up that would be the end of it.
“I appreciate everything they have done for me.”