Patterson-Sewell looking for redemption after lost 2012-13 campaign

The American-Australian goalkeeper had a disappointing season with Vitoria Setubal after winning the starting job, and now hopes for redemption with Gil Vicente.
If Caleb Patterson-Sewell was a vindictive man, the list might read: 1. Vitoria Setubal; 2. Benfica; 3. Axel Witsel.

Patterson-Sewell has something to prove against the first. He owes the second five goals, and Witsel the final word. But the American-Australian goalkeeper is not vindictive, and there are several items on his to-do list after signing at Portuguese Primeira Division club Gil Vicente, his fourth club in as many seasons.

"Since last year was a bit disappointing, you've got to see all aspects and see what's the best place for me and how can I fit in and have a chance to play," Patterson-Sewell told Goal.

"You want to get matches under your belt and be settled. Coming here it is definitely looking for a bit of stability, but in football you never know.

"At the moment, it's just thinking about staying here, getting some games, getting confidence."

That 'disappointing' 2012-13 season was one that had promised much for the former New York Red Bulls understudy.

The Tennessee-born shot-stopper won a move to Setubal on the back of his superb 2011-12 with Segunda Liga side Atletico Clube de Portugal, during which he kept 12 clean sheets.

Patterson-Sewell began the season as Setubal's No. 1, but a 5-0 thumping by Benfica two matches in saw him lose his spot.

The 26-year-old maintains he was 'quite happy' with his performance that night. Indeed, with Setubal losing a defender to a seventh-minute red card and with Benfica firing 25 shots at Patterson-Sewell, the damage could have been much worse.

But something had shifted in the mind of Setubal manager Jose Mota, and Patterson-Sewell played just two more games that season.

Seeking first-team football, he asked to be released from the remainder of his two-year deal.

Offers came in from Spain, eastern Europe and several other Portuguese teams, but the hiring of former Atletico mentor Joao De Deus at Gil Vicente in May was enough to convince Patterson-Sewell.

"Once Joao called, for me it was basically a no-brainer. Not in the sense that you're just going to walk in and play games - they've got quite a capable goalkeeper [Adriano] here," he said.

"But I think just to play under him and what he did for me last time and listening to what he said and that sort of thing… It made my mind [up] for me.

"… It's better to go with something you know than you don't."

Patterson-Sewell still harbors some disappointment from his final months at Setubal, having watched on helplessly from the bench as the side lost 10 of its last 11 matches and shipped 20 goals.

"It's not sour grapes by any means - it's the nature of the beast, but you just want to make sure you have a fair shot. But I didn't think it was quite a fair shot."

He acknowledges, of course, football is seldom fair. While holding no real malice, he admits he would like a chance to face his former side during a league encounter in September.

"… Definitely, I'd love to play against Setubal… And not seeking revenge or anything like that. Just to show a friendly reminder that with a bit of confidence, maybe I could have been the guy they were looking for," he said.

Another opportunity to face Benfica - the club Patterson-Sewell most admires in Portugal - would also be one Patterson-Sewell would relish. Belgium international Witsel departed to Russian club Zenit St Petersburg soon after the trouncing of Setubal, and Patterson-Sewell was the target of one of the midfielder's parting shots.

"I've seen a few boys in the restaurant after the game [against Benfica] and Witsel was quick to remind me they put five behind me, but all in good fun," he said.

"You don't want to end up in the same spot as the other boys as soon as they've just beat you around 5-0. He had the balls to tell me that too, so good on him.

"It's a bit of fun and games… If we got it this year, I'll make sure I send him a tweet or two."