Editorial (June 14, 2018) – With Stoke City being relegated from the Premier League this past season, USMNT veteran Geoff Cameron may be looking to move on from the club. Major League Soccer and perhaps Minnesota United have been seen as possible destinations for the veteran defender/midfielder. Geoff Cameron would be an excellent signing for Minnesota United and could help them take the next step.
Should Minnesota United Sign Geoff Cameron in the MLS summer transfer window?
First off, it would be a good move from a marketing standpoint. Adding a Premier League and USMNT veteran to the fold could draw fans of the two association to MNUFC. Cameron, even though his international career is winding down, brings a USMNT flair you don’t get from the other USMNT players on the roster (Christian Ramirez, Miguel Ibarra, Ethan Finley). There is also a possibility some Stoke City fans might want to follow Cameron back to Major Lague Soccer.
With the USMNT missing the World Cup, Cameron’s international career is winding down. This unfortunate event, to some, could be beneficial to Minnesota United. He would provide excellent cover when Mike Boxall and Francisco Calvo are called into their respective national teams. This is due to him likely not missing any more time due to international duty with the USMNT youth movement after the World Cup. Although, one concern with Cameron is that he has been injury-prone the past couple of years with Stoke City. Instead of missing time to international duty, he could miss time to injury. Although missing time due to injury is nowhere as certain as missing time if he continues in the USMNT fold.
With Cameron’s versatility, it would greatly help the club deal with injuries along the back line/midfield, as well as give the club more flexibility with players and formations.
Geoff Cameron, the centerback:
Center-back is the position that most people think of as Geoff Cameron normal, and perhaps best, position. It is where he played the majority of his starts last year for Stoke City and is his second highest rated position according to Whoscored.com. One of the main scenarios that would benefit the club is having Cameron slot into the spot next to Mike Boxall at center back and move Francisco Calvo out to left back. This is where Calvo often plays for Costa Rica and would take more advantage of his speed, ball skills and cover up his possible aerial weakness.
Geoff Cameron, the defensive midfielder
As many people know, Cameron also played some central and defensive midfielder while at Stoke. He could deputize for Ibson or Ramus Schuller in their box-to-box roles when they need a rest. However, holding midfielder would probably be best of him at this point in his career and where he has performed well over the years. According to Whoscored.com, defensive midfielder was his highest rated position last year and where he made 24% of his starts. Perhaps he could give the kind of boost to the position that Sam Cronin gave last year. Unfortunately, Cronin has not been able to this season due to concussion issues. Brent Kallman coming in and playing well during the World Cup could make this scenario even more appealing for Minnesota United.
Geoff Cameron, the full back:
This move would also help the depth at the other fullback position with Cameron being able to slide over to right back pretty easily. Right back is actually where Cameron started the majority of his games at Stoke when he first arrived. With 67% of his starts being at right back the first three years there, that number has been steadily declining since then. The past three years that number has since dropped to 11%. Although, his last year he played 18% of his starts at right fullback, so he is more than capable than filling in at the position. This more of an emergency move with Eric Miller and Jerome Theisson playing well right now. As well as Tyrone Mears returning from injury and looking pretty good so far.
Minnesota United needs his experience:
The most important thing he would bring to the club is the Premier League experience, and just his experience in general, which is one thing the club could really use. It seems like a lot of the goals that the club has given up has been lack of concentration or being out of position. Cameron has made a few concentration mistakes(the one that stands out is the one in the 2014 World Cup), but he is not really known for being mistake prone. He could possibly captain the team when Calvo is at the World Cup, but Calvo should regain the armband once he returns. Calvo has been with the team since the beginning and has that fire a captain should have.
This would be a relatively safe move for Minnesota United, with Cameron already proving himself in Major League Soccer, even with this being five-plus years ago. Cameron would be a great sure thing signing for the club that needs one and some stability before it can take the next step to possible MLS Cup playoff contention.