For whatever reason, Jurgen Klinsmann seems resistant to the thought of Geoff Cameron as a right back.
Klinsmann certainly likes Cameron, who seems like a shoe-in for one of those golden 23 roster spots. But the U.S. manager apparently prefers the rangy right-footer as a utilty knife-type, a guy who can ably man the middle of the defense, who can back up at right back and even play holding midfield in a pinch. (And since Jermaine Jones is almost sure to get into yellow card or even red card peril this summer in Brazil, a “pinch” at the spot cannot be so very far away.)
For whatever reason, Klinsmann has others ahead of Cameron at the right back spot – which will be Steve Cherundolo’s if the longtime U.S. right back can get back to full health and fitness.
But we also know this about Klinsmann: the guy has an open mind. And perhaps Cameron can change that open mind.
Cameron delivered the telling, late assist on Peter Crouch’s goal in the Potters’ important 2-1 Premier League victory today over Aston Villa. (Too bad, by the way, that the game-winner had to be delivered against fellow U.S. international Brad Guzan. All we giddy riders of the Yanks-Abroad Express cannot have it all, I suppose.)
Cameron had a big day down the Stoke City flank, nearly scoring early, getting in on the first goal and then supplying the cross for his team’s winner.
Here’s the deal: playing right back this year for Mark Hughes is apples and oranges compared to playing as an outside back last year under defensive specialist Tony Pulis. Hughes told Cameron he would enjoy playing right back – and the big U.S. international certainly seems to be doing so, stretching those long legs regularly along the right flank.
If he keeps delivering, and continues to improve on his positioning and instincts on when to get forward and when to stay at home, he’ll make Klinsmann’s choice increasingly difficult. Even if Cherundolo gets healthy and fit.