Houston Dynamo midfielder Geoff Cameron sweats the details.
He has watched the film of that 66th minute one-on-one chance that fell to him in last Saturday’s match against the New York Red Bulls, a play in which RBNY goalkeeper Greg Sutton came off his line to extinguish the danger. Cameron knows he should have scored.
“I should have finished a goal or two against the Red Bulls and I take full responsibility for that,” Cameron told MLSsoccer.com before Houston's 1-0 loss to LA on Wednesday. “Should I have taken that extra touch? It hopped on me. But if you give me that chance 90 times out of 100, I’ll put that in the back of the net.”
Developing a stronger finishing game is important to Cameron. So much so, that he spends hours after training sessions with manager Dominic Kinnear on finishing drills because he has to make up for lost time. It's been a few years since he's participated in these drills on a regular basis.
After a rookie season in 2008 which saw him play all over the field for the Dynamo, the 25-year-old excelled at center back in 2009 before a PCL tear ruined his 2010 season. Cameron says that Kinnear wanted him at attacking midfielder in 2011 because he felt that his characteristics were best suited for the position. He has both vision and a unique ability to get behind the opposing back line because few players can keep up with his runs.
“I like playing center mid, but I also like playing center back,” Cameron said. “It doesn’t matter where Dom puts me. We’ll be missing guys like Andre [Hainault] and Jermaine [Taylor] with Jamaica and I could be moving to center back. Who knows?”
Don’t judge him for his play in attacking midfield just yet. He’s not completely healed from a shin injury he suffered on April 29 after a wild tackle from D.C. United center back Dejan Jakovic that left Cameron writhing in pain under the fourth official’s table. He missed the following league game and still hasn’t reached 100 percent.
“With the swollen shin, I haven’t been able to strike the ball consistently and really hard because of the swelling in there, but I don’t want to make excuses,” Cameron said. “It’s hindering my training sessions and I haven’t been able to track as hard as I really, really want to. … But I’m almost there.”
Cameron has gone more than two full months without scoring since his strike against the Seattle Sounders at Qwest Field on March 25. But he’s not discouraged, since he and the Dynamo have been bringing confidence into each contest.
“We’re going to go in with the frame of mind to focus on our game, play simple and possess the ball,” Cameron said. “The energy is positive. Guys are buzzing a bit because we’ve been playing really well.”
Houston will need that positive attitude this Saturday when they take on FC Dallas (8:30 pm ET, Direct Kick, MatchDay Live). The Dynamo, despite the good vibes, have gone winless in May, while FCD are riding a 489-minute shutout streak and have gone unbeaten in their last seven.