Toronto FC signs veteran goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell


Goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell. (Bob Mack/The Florida Times-Union via AP)

Toronto FC’s off-season tweaking continued on Wednesday with the signing of goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell.

TFC acquired the rights to Patterson-Sewell from the New York Red Bulls in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. The move comes after the goalkeeper spent part of the Reds’ pre-season training camp in Los Angeles in January. He also travelled with the team to Mexico where it held the second portion of its camp this month.

Patterson-Sewell, a 30-year-old native of Tennessee, signed with the Red Bulls in 2008, but he never played with the club, which still retained his MLS rights up until now. The American goalkeeper went on a whirlwind tour after leaving New York, playing for clubs in Portugal, and a number of teams in North America’s lower leagues, including Miami FC and the Carolina RailHawks.

He spent the 2017 season with the Jacksonville Armada in the second-tier North American Soccer League where he tallied a club record 10 clean sheets, and posted a record of 10-8-13.

TFC now has three goalkeepers on its main roster, Patterson-Sewell joining Alex Bono and Clint Irwin. The club also picked Drew Shepherd at last month’s MLS SuperDraft, but he hasn’t been signed yet.

How does Patterson-Sewell fit in at TFC?

Bono is expected to remain the Reds’ starter this season, after playing a major role in the team’s run to the 2018 MLS Cup final. Irwin would be a starter at most other clubs in MLS, and if he’s tired of serving as backup to Bono, he could request a trade. If that’s the case, Patterson-Sewell would be the new No. 2 goalkeeper.

But it’s more likely that Patterson-Sewell will be the club’s third-string goalkeeper, a spot Toronto had to fill after cutting ties with Mark Pais in the off-season. If that’s the case, expect him to also turn out for the TFC II farm club where he’ll likely get regular playing time in the second-tier United Soccer League.

The announcement of the trade for Patterson-Sewell comes one day after TFC officially announced the signing of Brazilian defender Auro on a loan deal from Sao Paulo, one of the top clubs in Brazil.

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