As you think about Geoff Cameron’s move to Stoke City, where the rangy center back has a chance to start in perhaps the globe’s best league, let’s take a quick look at the Cameron Timeline – improbable as it’s been.
- Jan., 2008: A whole bunch of guys you’ve never heard of were picked before someone finally got around to the long-legged fellow from Rhode Island University, the last pick of the third round, No. 42 overall.
- Nov. 2008: Not a bad season at all for a rookie, whose real asset proved to be versatility. He played all over the midfield and even a little at center back in 23 league matches (8 starts) and a handful of appearances in Champions League and Open Cup.
- 2009: A real breakout year, mostly owing to a move from midfield to center back, a position he picked up quickly. Cameron still made a few appearances in midfield, but he excelled along the back line. His defensive work at Robertson Stadium earned Cameron an MLS Defender of the Year candidacy, an MLS First XI honor, an MLS All-Star appearance and decoration as Dynamo Defender of the Year.
- 2010: A setback in more ways than one. Cameron’s roaming ways came back as Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear, in need of more midfield push after Stuart Holden’s departure, moved his versatile fellow up to attacking midfielder. Cameron never got a prolonged run at the spot, however, because an April knee injury sidelined him for about four months.
- 2011: He spent enough time at center back to catch Jurgen Klinsmann’s eye; the U.S. national team coach (who came on in August) was looking for defenders equipped with his skill set, adept at passing and attacking out of the back. Cameron was also on patrol along the back line as the Dynamo made it all the way to MLS Cup 2012, where they lost to the Galaxy.
- January, 2012: Cameron spent time in Klinsmann’s MLS-heavy January national team camp, impressing the boss enough to earn starts in both friendlies that month.
- May-June, 2012: He’s in camp with the big boys, earning one start (vs. Scotland) and appearing as a halftime replacement in the gritty, important World Cup qualifier down in Guatemala.
- Early July, 2012: Reports circulate of interest from several European clubs, including Stoke City, which finished mid-table.