Several MLS teams have expressed interest in the 32-year-old, though talks have not yet progressed to a serious stage with any team. If he does sign with an MLS club, the sources said it’d likely be as a Designated Player.
Cameron is coming off a difficult year that saw Stoke finish 19th in the English Premier League and suffer relegation to the Championship. He made 20 EPL appearances, the second-fewest in his six seasons with Stoke, and he dealt with various injuries that kept him out for several different stretches during the season.
The 2014 World Cup veteran has 55 career caps with the US. He played in five of the USMNT’s 10 matches in the final round of their failed World Cup qualification campaign, though he was notably benched by Bruce Arena for the last two games, including the fateful final qualifier at Trinidad & Tobago in October.
If he moves to MLS, Cameron would be subject to the league’s allocation process. The LA Galaxy currently hold the top spot in the allocation order, meaning they’d have first priority to acquire Cameron – or any other player on the list – should he return to the league. D.C. United are second in the allocation order; the Colorado Rapids are third.
A Boston-area native, Cameron spent the first four-and-a-half years of his career with the Houston Dynamo, recording 11 goals and 15 assists in 116 regular season appearances with the team from 2008 through July 2012. He’s been a major part of Stoke ever since, totaling 168 EPL appearances before the club were relegated earlier this month.
The New York Times’ Marc Stein reported last week that Cameron, who is under contract through June 2020, has a relegation release cause in his contract that mandates that Stoke sell him this summer if an interested club meets the required price. Stein reported in January that English Premier League club Crystal Palace tried to land Cameron before the close of England’s winter transfer window.
The sources weren’t sure if Stoke would be willing to let Cameron join an MLS club on a free transfer or if they’d demand a fee. One source thought it unlikely that any MLS team would pay a significant transfer fee for Cameron, who will turn 33 this summer.
If he signs with an MLS team, Cameron wouldn’t be able to play until the Secondary Transfer Window opens on July 10.