CHRISTOPHER MCCOLLUM - Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Caleb Patterson-Sewell has been rewarded after enjoying a strong season keeping Atletico CP afloat despite their woeful offense.
The Tennessee-born, Australia-raised goalkeeper Patterson-Sewell became the first American on the move this summer as he signed with Vitoria Setubal in the Portuguese top flight after spending the 2011-2012 season with second division Atletico.
With Atletico, he started in 29 games, posted 12 shutouts, and had a 1.17 Goals Against Average. These stats rated only behind Tim Howard and Brad Friedel among American goalkeepers this past season. After securing Atletico from the Liga de Honra relegation zone, Patterson-Sewell sat out the final game of the season, which would be the only game he did not start.
Patterson-Sewell was the saving grace for an offensively weak team that managed only 27 goals in their 30 games, finishing with a tie for the worst goal differential in the league. In moving to the Primeira Liga's Vitoria Setubal, he will find himself in a similar situation. Like Atletico, Vitoria finished 11th in the league, scored only 24 goals in their 30 games and posted the second worst goal differential in the league.
The 25-year old will hope to work his same magic on Vitoria that he worked on Atletico and keep them in the middle of the table, and perhaps with additional player transfers even moving up the table into the top 10.
Vitoria Setubal is a team with a long and rich history, founded in 1910 in the city of Setubal, on the west coast of Portugal. The team has enjoyed runs of success through the middle of the 20th century and early 2000s, reaching the finals in over a dozen domestic cups and earning a spot in the UEFA Cup as recently as the 2006-2007 season.
Patterson-Sewell will be the third American in next season's Primeira Liga, joining Oguchi Onyewu with Sporting Lisbon, and Tony Taylor who was just promoted with Estoril Praia after winning the Liga de Honra.