Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Eight games into his first full season with Wycombe, Oklahoma-born forward Jon-Paul Pittman has an eye on a successful league term, while also looking ahead to national team aspirations.
Unlike other well publicized cases such as Giuseppe Rossi and Neven Subotic, the young attacker would relish the opportunity to offer something to American soccer.
"You never know what opportunities come your way," Pittman told YA. "I would love to play in the US at some time in the future."
Despite having been born in Oklahoma City, the 22-year old has spent the majority of his life in England, even appearing in a friendly against Italy for the England C team, which is comprised of top non-league players.
While Rossi and Subotic are talking points, the likes of Edgar Castillo and Jermaine Jones must also be mentioned, with the players switching allegiances from their previously represented nations.
Having played against Italy for England's C team would put Pittman in the same boat, but the striker assured YA that he will do everything required to complete the switch.
"My agents said that I would still be able to play for the US," he explained. "Certainly I would make the necessary amendments [to register as a US international]."
The youngster made it a point to confirm that his national team aspirations lie with the Stars and Stripes, and remains aware of MLS as a useful path to earning a call-up in the future.
"My American heritage is something I am proud of, and the opportunity to play there is something I would enjoy greatly," he explained. "MLS is really taking off, and it would be a good place to showcase my abilities, which in turn may bring me to the notice of the coaches and selectors of the US National Team."
The one-time member of Aston Villa's youth academy is the son of an American serviceman and an English mother, moving to England at an early age when his father was transferred to Upper Heyford Air Force Base in Oxfordshire.
His play at non-league team Crawley Town, where he scored at a rate of almost one goal every other game, ultimately brought him to the attention of Wycombe, with the team snapping him up in the winter of 2009.
"Most people would say my speed and my acceleration are my strengths," Pittman asserts. "I want to impress [head coach Peter Taylor], and consolidate my position in the starting lineup at Wycombe."
"Once that is achieved I hope to set targets for a specific total of goals I would like to score in the current season."
For the season Pittman has scored twice in nine games.