This will be Eckersley's first playing gig since parting ways with RBNY at the end of the 2014 MLS season. He has had several trials - Elche, Southend United, Swindon Town - none of which has resulted in a contract offer. Until now.
Oldham is part of the Greater Manchester area: the same area in which Eckersley was born and brought up (he got his start in professional soccer with Manchester United). The player told BBC Radio Manchester joining the Latics was a homecoming:
This is my home. I live in the city centre, my family is all in Manchester so it's perfect for me
Eckersley is joining a club with work to do to prevent its 2015-16 season turning sour. Oldham is currently 20th in the 24-team League One (the third tier of English soccer), with seven points from its opening seven games of the season. The team lost its last league match, 5-1 - at home against Peterborough on September 12. It will next play Doncaster Rovers - one of the few teams below Oldham in the League One at the moment - away on September 19.
Oldham sacked manager Darren Kelly - who had joined the club in May - after the loss to Peterborough, appointing David Dunn as interim head coach. Eckersley is the first signing made as Dunn (himself signed by Kelly to play for Oldham) seeks to guide the Latics away from the relegation battle threatening to define their season.