NICK LEYDEN - Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Compiling seven shutouts in just twelve starts in Portugal's Liga Orangina has earned Caleb Patteron-Sewell the attention of bigger clubs as well as US Soccer.
After moving to Atlético CP in Portugal's second division this past summer the former New York Red Bull blanked Belenenses in the season's opening week and never looked back.
Patterson-Sewell went on to backstop Atlético to six wins and two ties in their first nine games, catapulting the newly promoted team to a surprising first place in the standings.
While disappointing results in the last three weeks have seen Atlético slide to second place, the impressive start to the season has the Lisbon club primed to make a run at promotion.
For Patterson-Sewell personally, his strong performances have also resulted in admiration from those at the next level, including one of Portugal's giants, Sporting, who are rumored to be interested in his services.
"To be linked with such a big club is flattering and it's not something I take lightly," the 24 year old goalkeeper recently told YA. "They are a huge club and they are in a great moment. But I let my agent handle all that sort of stuff. I just keep my head down and work hard. We have been approached by a number of clubs, without naming names, that are very interested and like I've said all along, we will cross that bridge when and if it comes," he added.
Despite the interest from outside the second division, Patteron-Sewell is not necessarily in a rush to leave Atlético.
"I'm delighted to be at Atlético. It has been a perfect club for me and I love it here so it would have to be a great opportunity for me to leave," he said. "However, I'm like any player. I want to test myself at the highest level possible so we will see what the future brings."
Another prospect that excites the Australian-American is the chance to play at the international level, and his recent success in Portugal has at least piqued the interest of US Soccer.
"Actually my agent had a phone call with the US team a week or so ago, just asking that we send some info to them and videos, etc," Patterson revealed. "So it's nice to know that I'm somewhat on the radar so to speak."
Patterson-Sewell, or simply Caleb, as he is known in Portugal, has the option to represent either the USA or Australia and he has not ruled out either one. But he knows neither opportunity will materialize if he allows himself to be satisfied with his achievements so far.
"It is the ultimate goal for any player to play for your country. But I am young and you don't get anywhere near the national team unless you are performing week in week out," he said. "So I will just keep working hard and I hope one day that I will be lucky enough to play for USA or Australia."