HOUSTON -- It took a little while longer than he probably hoped, but Geoff Cameron is now going to get his shot to show Jurgen Klinsmann what he can do.
Cameron, who spoke to MLSsoccer.com previously about wanting a fresh chance, was called up by the US national team manager for the January camp that culminates in friendlies against Venezuela in Phoenix (Jan 21) and away to Panama (Jan 25). Unlike his previous three stints with the national team, Cameron feels he has a chance to make his mark as a regular defender under a coach that is still implementing his system.
“I think I fit [Klinsmann’s] style well,” Cameron told MLSsoccer.com. “I know he likes to possess the ball and likes to control and build the attack out of the back. Watching the recent games for the national team I’ve seen they have more possession and that game fits my style. I like to initiate the attack and that’s one of the things I think I can contribute.”
That fit has seemed evident to on-lookers since Cameron returned to the back line in mid-September. His teammates and coaches have praised the 6-3 defender for an athleticism that allows him to play fast and precise defensively and be an added weapon in the attack.
There was some doubt about Cameron’s availability for the camp in the wake of the injury he suffered in last month’s MLS Cup final — a match Klinsmann saw in person. But Cameron was cleared to start training last Thursday. Plus, he had spoken with Klinsmann about the injury, and the US boss assured him that he wanted to make sure he was fully recovered.
“He’s been very helpful and seems like a nice, down-to-earth guy,” Cameron said. “When a guy’s a player’s coach and is easy to talk to, it makes it easier to have a good frame of mind going into a camp like this.”
On the path to full health and having a shot at a “clean slate” Cameron is ready to show Klinsmann that he has the skill-set to be an impact player on the international level.
“My goal is to be a regular with the national team,” Cameron said. “Jurgen’s been giving a lot of guy’s opportunities and that’s all you can ask for. I’m looking forward to getting in there and training and adjusting to his style and looking to show my ability to him and the staff.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.