Cameron unavailable for Stoke opener

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

Geoff Cameron's Premier League debut will have to wait a week.

According to Stoke City's official website, Cameron won't be able to return to England until early next week while finalizing his visa, and he is unavailable for the club's opener against Reading on Sautrday.

"I am disappointed that we couldn’t get Geoff back from America in time, he’s going to be a great player for this club," Stoke manager Tony Pulis said. “He had a great game for the States in their historic win over Mexico, but now he has to complete a biometrics test as part of his visa application. We’re expecting him back early next week and then he should be available for our first home (match) of the season against Arsenal."

Cameron is coming off arguably his finest performance in a U.S. national team jersey, going 90 minutes as an anchor of the unit that shut out Mexico at Estadio Azteca in Wednesday's historic 1-0 U.S. victory. Stoke's match against Arsenal at Britannia Stadium is slated for a week from Sunday.

What do you think of this development? Disappointed Cameron won't be part of the action this weekend? Encouraged by Pulis' comments?

Share your thoughts below.

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59 Responses to Cameron unavailable for Stoke opener

  1. Raymon says:

    Baptism by fire. EPL debut vs. Arsenal. I’m conflicted over this one.

  2. UnionFan says:

    Cameron will be playing CL football by this time next year.

  3. Judging Amy says:

    They’ll be missing out on a heck of a defender. Cameron was amazing against Mexico.

  4. Joe+G says:

    A biometrics test? I hope Geoff has had time to study.

  5. Jon says:

    Yeah…I’d probably want to be sure he didn’t catch anything in Mexico, too.

    Smart move, England.

  6. Chris H says:

    Stoke does not have the offensive firepower to qualify for CL…not sure what you think is going to happen to get him to CL football

  7. beachbum says:

    best performance in a US uniform definitely, best on the team probably among many strong performances. He owned the area and did it late, especially in the air made more important because Mexico was forced to lob in crosses as their main attack thrust as the game wore on…not their favorite thing to do and Cameron studded out enforcing that when the crosses started to leak in

    I’m a Stoke fan now that’s for sure. Hope he can keep consistently doing this now that he’s had such a high profile performance in such a hisotric win

    Remember when Klinsmann talked about the missed opportunity for the showcase effect the Olympics could have had for all those players and that experience? The opposite just occurred for all those players like Cameron who siezed the day in Azteca

    still glowing after this one, I admit it :)

  8. NE Matt says:

    Lol all that consists of is a documenting of eye/hair color, height, weight, and fingerprints.

  9. Eric says:

    Because Cameron clearly didn’t handle his most recent baptism by fire well at all. =p

    If he can handle Chicharito and Mexico at the Azteca, he can handle an RVP-less Arsenal.

    I’m not saying he *will,* but he absolutely has the capability. After his display on Wednesday, I’m a believer.

  10. beachbum says:

    it’s like a springboard…new found confidence and belief

  11. Eric says:

    Yep.

    Even though Cameron is missing the opener, you gotta think Stoke was thrilled by the match and the fact that they landed Cameron beforehand, because his price would have only gone up after such a display on the international stage.

  12. beachbum says:

    earned in Azteca!!!

  13. Darwin says:

    Bwaaaaahhhhaaaahaa!!!!

  14. The Imperative Voice says:

    But that’s the stereotype, you sign in Europe, you immediately become 3X as good, they hand you a smoking jacket, a pipe, and whatever team you are on progresses to the CL. Stoke’s high water mark to date was making Europa for last year, which was a minor miracle.

  15. Darwin says:

    Aww c’mon, you don’t think that Cameron, Jones, and Palacios will rocket them into the CL this season? I mean, they’re CONCACAF stars!

  16. Darwin says:

    Good thing he doesn’t have to read Sokal and Rolf…

  17. The Imperative Voice says:

    Cameron is an instinctive, athletic player who rides the fine line between diving in and beating players to the ball. You look at Mexico he went right up to the edge but never quite made that big mistake. But if you look at like Berbatov in the ASG (with ManU, one of the teams they’ll play), he can be beat. So if he plays D, we’ll see which sides shows more often.

    That being said, I might be assuming a tad much because Pulis started him at mid in their Furth friendly then moved him back late, a bit of Kinnearesque indecision. If he is to be deployed as a CM (IMO, his worst position…he’s better on the right where his long strides and crossing ability are better used) then you can toss out the US game as meaning much of anything.

  18. AdamFromMich says:

    What would Cameron catch at Azteca? A few drops of “beer”?

  19. David St. Hubbins says:

    You underestimate Stoke’s secret weapon of scoring off throw-ins.

  20. Soccer Rules says:

    Good point about the price.

  21. euroman says:

    I think Tim Howard having a great game made everyone look much better than they were including Cameron. 3-5 clear changes for Mexico were erased by TH. Cameron’s inconsistency was pretty clear in this one where he made many wonderful plays with several errors sandwiched in that TH took care of. The real revelation was that we appear to have some depth at several positions now with the play of Beckerman, Castillo, Cameron & Edu that we really didn’t know before this match.

  22. The Imperative Voice says:

    (a) Stoke dropped to 14th last year.
    (b) The gap between the top 3-4 teams in England and everyone else is immense. Man U and Man City can just about punch their tickets showing up.
    (c) So you’re playing for 1-2 CL spots and Europa. I don’t think Stoke is the best of the rest, QED.
    (d) People are critical of MLS’ caps and salary discipline but in terms of the EPL you can often tier the teams based on spending before the season starts and give or take a few teams the table will play out as expected. Our product may not be the same quality but at least most teams here don’t start off aspiring for 4th or staying up at best.

  23. Yusef says:

    Love to see how high Pulis is on Cameron. Stoke put in work to get him and Geoff will have a fair shot. I hope the Gunners light them up though!

  24. Old School says:

    “he’s going to be a great player for this club,” Stoke manager Tony Pulis said.”

    Really love and appreciate hearing this kind of respect. Reminds me of David Moyes and the way he speaks of his players/American players.

  25. The Imperative Voice says:

    As a long term Fulham fan I find the whole ebb and flow of American fans to/ from EPL sides based on American signings amusing. I used to be a rare beast, then there were Lewis and McBride, then it became trendy with Dempsey, EJ, et al., now with Dempsey potentially gone a normalcy of indifference seems on the horizon. Same team, fickle Anglophiles. So now we’re all Stoke and Bolton fans? Stoke? Bolton? Be advised if you really buy in that’s where your pilgrimmage would be….Stoke, the Bolton-ish area of Manchester (I mean, if you’re going to be a fan of a Manchester team…..)….

    I exaggerate but it’s like maybe the teams need a team history test before you can buy a jersey, like you have to pass a similar test to become an American citizen…

  26. Brian says:

    Jozy had to be quarantined or something after the whole Landon swine flu thing.

  27. biff says:

    This is true, that we learned that we “have some depth at several positions now with the play of Beckerman, Castillo, Cameron & Edu.” And we would have never learned this without the absences of Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, and Clarence Goodson. It was a true blessing in disguise. I realize it is a sensitive topic, but after Mexico City win I think chances are high that the days are now numbered for two or three of those guys. I would like to see Klinsmann reward the guys who beat Mexico by calling in the exact same roster for Jamaica. I have no doubt those guys can also beat Jamaica–twice–and at the same time build on their success in Mexico City.

  28. Kevin_Amold says:

    I get your point, but many soccer fans are USMNT fans first, so they want teams our boys play on to do well to showcase yanks. I see nothing wrong with this.

  29. The Imperative Voice says:

    Yeah but given the mismatch of transfer windows Houston had to get the deal basically done by August 1 so that if they signed a foreign replacement he could be in by our window. Eventually we got Clark who could have come at any time on his free but the timing had to do with executing the “trade” the Dynamo were contemplating.

    I’m still going to be interested how this all plays out for the Dynamo because I think a Cameron-less defense is prone to speed attacks. We might generally prosper from all the signings but I’m a little nervous we’re prone to the occasional game like this NY loss, and MLS playoffs are less designed to be a sort of “long-term” performance test.

  30. 2tone says:

    Uhm he played CDM, and CDM really isn’t much diferent than playing CB.

    But with Pulis might be encouraged to put him at Cb now.

    Even Cameron plays CDM for Stoke; he has the talent and intelligence to play Cb when called into the Nats as well.

  31. The Imperative Voice says:

    Right but like I back the US, Dynamo, and Fulham for specific reasons of the sort that won’t go away with time. I wave the flag enough for the US, and while I have found it neat when Americans come through the team, if I have a more lasting attachment to the team I don’t have to change loyalties every week. I mean, what are the Dempsey fans to do? Way he’s treating the club I’m inclined to say don’t let the door hit you in the butt fickle fans.

  32. beachbum says:

    Right on Imperative. I like Fulham too, because of Clint.

    I freely admit my allegiances ebb and flow in the EPL based on American players and/or players I like vs. the shield on the jersey, perhpas even proud of it

    When it comes to club, I’m a Galaxy fan and that’s my team, but I watch a TON of other teams, leagues, etc. because of the players on those teams, you Know? Americans and non Americans

    Happy to amuse you ;)

    GO USA!

  33. UnionFan says:

    Heh, I actually was insinuating that Cameron would play so well for Stoke he’d get a transfer on up (to a CL team) by next year.

  34. Mingjai says:

    “As a long term Fulham fan I find the whole ebb and flow of American fans to/ from EPL sides based on American signings amusing.”

    Having not grown up near any NFL team, I cheer for the teams that have players from my alma mater because I want to see my fellow alums succeed.

    I have no problem with Japanese baseball fans cheering for whatever MLB team their favorite Japanese players play for. They, like the American EPL fan, don’t have a local tie to any MLB team anyway.

  35. beachbum says:

    Howard does that, i agree. But also the others played well too. Cameron can be proud of his performance however it’s sliced

  36. Call Up Lichaj says:

    +1

  37. Call Up Lichaj says:

    “The days are now numbered for two or three of those guys” due to age alone. MB, Deuce, and Jozy shouldn’t be/aren’t going anywhere.

    Only Goodson should be nervous about the events at Azteca. Maybe he loses his starting spot with the rise (if we can call it that) of Cameron. Still, a proven CB in our thin rotation isn’t simply going to disappear.

    Dolo and Boca will only lose their spots to Father Time.

  38. The Imperative Voice says:

    Having played both the positions have different demands. The level of running and distribution a back can get away with is insufficient for a middie, and DMs tend to approach their defending from more of a team tactical perspective, ie, I need to be more in an area ranging after people while not abandoning my area, than pure marking like a back.

    IMO Cameron does fine in the back because you get wing-like space and a little bit of slack on distribution. But when you put him in the center of midfield you start to see the long turning radius, that he’s not a Holden-type tiki-taka guy, a little bit too much of turn and go upfield followed by a square ball straight downfield, attempted throughball that no one can catch. In short, he looks like a back playing midfield. He’s more effective than many would be, but does that make him an EPL CM….? I grumbled about him in MLS at the spot.

    I think he’s better off on the wing or the backfield where his directness is not such a liability and he can long-stride at people rather than having the defense under-foot as soon as he tries to fiddle with the ball centrally amongst quicker players.

  39. boosted335 says:

    If Hernandez finishes even half of the chances Cameron gave him we loose that game….did no body watch the game? not even the highlights?

    Even still it WAS his best game in a USA shirt and his best game as a defender in nearly 1/2 a year. ….

    and you all are excited about this?!? Didnt we go through this with Ream not that long ago?

    How about we wait until he can put in a FULL 90min of mistake free work and do it at LEAST two games in a row before we name him as a lock for our #1 CB come Brazil

    Get some sanity folks

  40. boosted335 says:

    With that said I look forward to seeing him at stoke. Their coaches have sense enough to know he is a CDM not a CB. If you yourself are not sure about what his best position is then you didn’t watch Houston the first half of the season.

  41. Nick says:

    Standard line last weekend when the roster was announced: “Why is Cameron on the roster if all these other players who are getting settled at new clubs can’t be? It’s proof that Klinsmann is making it up as he goes along. Blah blah blah blah blah blah…”

    Oh, you mean he had to come back to North America anyway so that he could get his visa finalized? Hmmm…how odd. It’s almost as if people assumed they had all the information when they, in fact, had none of it.

  42. Peaton says:

    I am a huge Cameron fan, but I thought he let a few balls and players through against Mexico at the end.

  43. The Imperative Voice says:

    One of the things that concerned me was where he would be like diving in for position aggressively, contact, and the the ball would keep going downfield, and Howard would swoop in a half-second before Chicharito could do anything about the opening. That can be how you win tough games — for all the after-fact “not our best team,” Mexico was trying to win this one bad, and it took high effort to ensure that didn’t happen — it can also be risky, how Berbatov shields you off and goes in and scores like the ASG a few years back.

    I don’t think the Ream comparison is fair. To me Ream is like a complete myth who would make howlers in MLS, much less for Bolton. Cameron is a better player it’s just sometimes he feels like an athlete playing soccer. But the right coach could probably keep working on the rough edges, which is not something I see from Ream. Ream is more like Bobby Boswell, a limited but decent player once similarly elevated above his depth because he looked real good in the right situation.

    I think people are all excited about Cameron because it’s a defense clearly in transition. Dolo and Boca are the literally Old guard, Gooch was a mixed bag pre-op but is now questionable, Chandler can’t make up his mind, Lichaj looks promising but can he stay healthy, some Germans are getting a look, Edu filled in, Orozco will probably ride that goal for a while, Castillo has looked awful before but didn’t trip over his feet this week, etc. Some people would toss Ream and Gonzo and Spector and such in here.

    It’ll be interesting to see who emerges, but with two strong games recently Cameron is probably edging towards a spot by something like default. There’s not really much of a set pecking order so maybe a few flashes of quality is all you need….you’re thinking long term and that’s fine but we have to run out a lineup of the most trustworthy 4 still and that might favor some upstarts in the present climate.

  44. The Imperative Voice says:

    He played back the first half of the season! He was a back in the MLS XI a little while back!

    So, yeah, he also played some d-mid, but it was on Dynamo teams not nearly as good as this one, as make-do. His tenure there began the year of the one team we’ve had not make the playoffs, that’s not a selling point to me. He started out as a RM and did his best work as a CB, and those are the two places he has played for the Nats, who generally position you properly (eg, Holden as a wing instead of a CM).

    To me, one key quality of a central midfielder is the ability to get and release the ball fast, to play in tight spaces without tripping over your feet, and that is so not Cameron. Cameron is someone you want playing a ball from space, into space. In short, a back or a wing (I’m surprised no one’s given him a RB go).

  45. Todd Marsch says:

    I get your point too, but I think it’s more amusing when Americans fans more or less randomly pick some EPL team to root for, despite having no organic connection to the team. I know guys who are “die-hard” Arsenal, Spurs, Man U, etc. fans, but have never been to England, have no English relatives, or any other discernible reason for being so attached to one club.

    I find it more authentic to let your club loyalties ebb and flow based on which clubs your nats play for than trying to force real, long-term support of a single club.

  46. boosted335 says:

    I know he played CB the first half of 2012 for Houston…poorly. He only played 2-3 games in the midfield right before his transfer and he played great

    I do have an issue with him loosing possession (by getting stripped / ball caught under his feet) but feel its a bigger issue to get stripped of the ball as a CB (where he’s the last line of defense) than when he’s a CM

    However, like you, if I was the stoke coach I’d try him at RB but only after allowing him a chance to step up at CDM

  47. Kenny_B says:

    All he has to do is play perfect. Got it.

    The best defenders in the world get beat to the ball on occasion by the best attackers in the world. It happens. Players that survive and thrive in the EPL win their fair share and apply pressure when they don’t. The standard isn’t perfection.

    As much as I hate the man, John Terry is a terrific CB. But he still gets beat on occasion.

  48. GW says:

    “they hand you a smoking jacket, a pipe,”

    English teams have gotten more sophisticated now about fitness. They discourage smoking.

  49. Kenny_B says:

    Why are you a Fulham fan?

    Not speaking on behalf of all American fans, but the US player would be our most logical connection to a club. I grew up a Cincinnati Reds fan because I was born near there and went to some games as a kid. It’s impossible to have that home town connection for an American born Yank supporting an EPL club.

    Even with Dempsey last year, to be honest Fulham’s games were frequently boring. I like Danny Murphy a lot but he is past his prime, as is Duff. I doubt I will be watching many Fulham games this season. Fickle it is I guess.

  50. GW says:

    What about haircuts?

    I sure hope Cameron spends a little time with his buddy Stu when he gets over there. It would help his hair.

  51. Kenny_B says:

    Agree somewhat. He definitely fluffed a clearance.

    I’m not sure he deserves all the blame when there was virtually no pressure on the wide players as they crossed the ball. Chicharito did get loose, but I don’t think he is particularly easy to mark and the service from out wide was spot on.

  52. GW says:

    Fans tend to confuse a player-club relationship to a marriage. They talk about loyalty and owing the club/player something. If the terms of the contract are fulfilled then no one owes anyone anything.

    Fulham and Dempsey have had a business relationship that now appears close to termination. Both sides are maneuvering for maximum advantage. All these criticisms about how one party is screwing over the other seem misplaced to me. I haven’t seen anything in that situation that appears abnormal. I would expect some sort of resolution one way or the other in fairly short order.

    These guys are professionals so this stuff is just business, however unpleasant seeming it may be at times.

  53. GW says:

    It seems you wish to punish the guys who did not play in the Mexico game but that is impractical and treating your players like wayward children is rarely advisable. The USMNT will need just about everyone in the player pool sooner or later.

    This display of depth was important. We have four more WC qualifiers this year and the grind will only increase next year as JK has indicated he is planning a heavy schedule.

    Given the vagaries of injuries, club responsibilities, losses of form, and so on, chances of having in the exact same lineup for all these qualifiers are pretty slim and not really desirable.

  54. GW says:

    Lets just hope Pulis backs up his talk and treats his American players like Moyes and Owen Coyle treat their American players.

  55. GW says:

    Nick,

    Many of the criticisms I’ve seen of the USMNT in general tend to make it seem as if the critic has a level of information that they usually do not, in fact, possess.

    One of the biggest things that JK proved with this Mexican game was that he has a very good handle on where all of his players are psychologically speaking, unlike most of his critics.

    First string not available? Okay, let’s coach up the second string to do the job. Knowing the makeup of all your players and when and how to use them is the mark of all the good managers.

    It is really one of the first times I’ve seen tangible evidence of actual coaching ability, beyond the motivational aspects, from JK.

  56. Russell says:

    Agreed. However he was also the reason Hernandez didn’t score. Ream would have gotten torched by chicharito. Plus Cameron won many balls in the air and has an edge. I was skeptical on him but for me Cameron and Edu are firmly challenging for starting spots

  57. Henry says:

    Houston > Stoke City, but get that money

  58. Sadaharu Oh says:

    Japan has a league with local teams though. I would have a problem with Amero-snobs…

  59. Benfica says:

    Defense is not the problem for USA…It is the creative leadership in midfield/around goal that will come as the domestic league grows and learns from experienced foreigners.