Cameron secures UK work permit, ready to play for Stoke
Geoff Cameron is officially a Potter.
The US international, with testimonials from current USMNT coaches Jurgen Klinsmann and Houston Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear, won his appeal for a British work permit Wednesday to seal his move from the Dynamo and begin the Stoke City chapter of his career in the English Premier League.
“It’s surreal because it’s been a dream of mine since I was a little kid,” Cameron told MLSsoccer.com. “I think I ended my career with the Dynamo with a pretty good game. I thought that was one of my best games of the season against D.C. United [July 15] and now I want to go abroad and try the UK and get that experience and test my ability.”
Coming out of the University of Rhode Island in 2008, few knew who he was. After a strong showing at the player combine, Cameron was selected by Houston in the third round and immediately made an impact showing versatility beginning in his rookie year.
Nearly five years later, Cameron has gone from third-round pick to a international-level defender with legitimate World Cup aspirations and a chance to show his ability in what is widely considered the world’s top league.
“It’s been baby steps with my career,” the newest Potter said. “My first day with the Dynamo I wanted to just make the 18 and then it was to become a regular and then to make the national team and eventually make the World Cup and obviously going to play in the EPL.”
Cameron joined Stoke on July 27 to take part in their US preseason camp, but he was held out of training and matches due to the pending work permit. With things settled, Cameron can start his EPL career in earnest.
“They want to try me at center back and center mid as well,” Cameron said. “This is a new process and team and I’ve got to find my niche and work my way into the team again. My plan is to play anywhere that’ll get me on the field. I want to get minutes and then once I do that, the plan is to become a regular starter.”
While Stoke presents some different challenges, there are some similarities that Cameron believes will help him make a quick transition to his new club.
“I think overall, the Dynamo and Stoke are very similar in their work ethic and running hard and being physical and being hard workers overall,” Cameron said. “Obviously there’s going to be an adjustment period to guys and speed.
“It could be similar to the national team level so I think it’s going to be a little bit to adjust and get acclimated to the team and level of play,” Cameron continued. “I think my attitude and the way the Dynamo play is very similar to the way Stoke plays and because of that I think I’ll fit in.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.