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Monday, August 27, 2012

Stoked: The Rise of Geoff Cameron

 Photo credit: NBC Sports

Geoff Cameron has had a swift change in his career during the past year. Once a defensive midfielder for the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer, he was switched to center back when his teammate experienced an injury. After that, his poise, versatility and style quickly caught the attention of Juergen Klinsmann and he cemented himself as an option at the center back position.

Klinsman's choice of Cameron as a center back was key in the development of the national team since the top choices Bocanegra, Onyewu and Goodson aren't getting any younger and Tim Ream was relegated to the League Championship in England. Orozco Fiscal also hasn't shown to be a reliable option and George John and Omar Gonzalez have seen their form drop due to injury or other distractions. In any case, Cameron's recent games since his first start versus Venezuela earlier this year haven proven that he's exactly the type of player that can succeed internationally.

One key match that finally sealed Cameron's appeal to US national team fans and his new employer, Stoke City, was the game against Mexico two weeks ago. There, Cameron paired up with soon-to-be-teammate Maurice Edu at center back and helped win the game for the United States in a location the had never been conquered in the past. Cameron denied Chicharito Hernandez on several occasions and had a superb saving header that could have ended as an own goal. It was a true Kodak moment. 

Both Cameron and Edu have similar qualities as versatile defensive midfielders that can also play in the defense. In the case of Cameron, he is a more withdrawn defender than Edu, which can be advantageous for a mid-table team like Stoke City.

Today, Cameron debuted for Stoke City in a game versus legendary Arsenal. And he succeeded. Not only did Cameron keep his poise, he also looked in control at all times, was never intimidated by the lights of the Premier League and had great tackles, passing and his trademark offensive throw-ins. Stoke City have won a valuable asset in this player and his being with the "Potters" at the world's best league can only further cement his position as a starter for the national team in the coming years.

Good luck, Geoff. We are cheering for you.

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