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Geoff Cameron ready for “fresh start” at QPR

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Geoff Cameron completed his loan move to Queens Park Rangers on Friday, with the U.S. national team veteran signing on loan until the end of the 2018-19 campaign.

The former Houston Dynamo star has spent the past six seasons at Stoke City in the Premier League but on transfer deadline day in the English Football League he has decided to freshen things up.

Pro Soccer Talk understands there is an agreement that if a club come in with a permanent move for Cameron, 33, in January then he can move on.

But until then he is focused on helping Steve McClaren‘s side climb up the Championship table after a tough start to the season in England’s second-tier, with the R’s conceding 13 goals in five games and losing four of their first five matches.

Speaking from QPR’s training ground in west London after being handed the No.5 jersey, Cameron revealed he is eager to start a new chapter in his career as he’s fit and available to make his debut at Birmingham City this weekend.

“It’s a fresh start, a new beginning for me. I was at Stoke for six seasons and I think I needed a new beginning and I am happy to be here,” Cameron said. “I had a tough injury last year with a concussion which set me back a little but, then with Stoke getting relegated it was a decision over the summer that I wanted a change and needed something new. I’m glad everything worked out. I know the boss, Steve McClaren, has been interested in me before and it always excited me to play for him.”

Cameron cited McClaren’s belief and long-term interest in him as one of the main reasons for joining QPR, as he also wants to play regularly after difficult times at Stoke over the past 12 months.

Cameron was asked if his experience will be helpful to QPR this season as McClaren’s young squad aim to push for a top half of the table finish.

After making 168 Premier League appearances since 2012 for Stoke, there’s no doubt he will be able to bolster QPR’s options in defense and become a team leader on and off the pitch.

“I look at it as a challenge to come in and use my experience, it is an opportunity to take my game to the next level in that aspect of kind of becoming a leader,” Cameron said. “I know we have four, five guys with experience, with us coming in we can help the team.”

Cameron’s first game for QPR will be against Birmingham City on Saturday, with fellow loaness from Premier League clubs Tomer Hemed and Nakhi Wells also bolstering their squad for the long Championship season ahead.

Geoff Cameron to complete QPR move

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Pro Soccer Talk understands that U.S. national team star Geoff Cameron is close to sealing a loan move to Queens Park Rangers in England’s second-tier.

With the summer transfer window for clubs outside of the Premier League in England closing this Friday, Aug. 31, the Stoke defender has been mulling over plenty of options in recent weeks.

Cameron, 33, is travelling to London on Thursday for a medical and will sign at QPR on loan for the 2018-19 season.

Per a source, it is believed Cameron will be able to leave Stoke permanently in January if a deal is arranged between now and then. La Liga clubs were interested in signing Cameron right up until the transfer deadline by rules over the number of non-EU players per squad hampered any move to Spain’s top-flight, for now.

Teams from Major League Soccer, Spain and elsewhere in Europe remain interested in Cameron but a loan move for the next few months is the best situation for him to play regularly.

Cameron hasn’t played for Stoke this season under new manager Gary Rowett after making it clear he’d like to move on following their relegation from the Premier League.

The former Houston Dynamo man, who joined Stoke in 2012, will offer QPR boss Steve McClaren plenty of experience and options in both midfield and defense with his versatility.

QPR currently sit third from bottom in the Championship with three points from their opening five games. If he signs in time Cameron will be available to make his QPR debut at Birmingham City on Saturday.

Amid European interest, Geoff Cameron close to Stoke exit

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USMNT veteran Geoff Cameron is close to leaving Stoke City following their relegation from the Premier League last season.

Cameron, 33, hasn’t featured for Stoke this season in the second tier. He missed the season opener at Leeds United due to flying home to the USA to be with his father who suffered a stroke, and he wasn’t included in Gary Rowett’s 18-man squad for their 1-1 home draw against Brentford on Saturday.

Pro Soccer Talk understands Cameron is getting plenty of interest from elsewhere in Europe and has a $9.5 million buyout clause in his contract. We understand Cameron has been eager to move on since the end of last season when the Potters were relegated from the Premier League, but is relaxed about the situation with a few weeks of the transfer window to go outside of the Premier League in England and across most of Europe.

A report from the Daily Telegraph stated that Cameron, Charlie Adam, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Giannelli Imbula are all allowed to leave before the end of the transfer window for Football League clubs which is on August 31.

Pro Soccer Talk understands that clubs from Spain, Germany and Scandinavia want to sign Cameron with Odense BK in Denmark, Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga and Rayo Vallecano in La Liga potential destinations for the holding midfielder, who can also play at center back and right back.

Cameron has spent the past six seasons in the Premier League at Stoke and was a regular under both Tony Pulis and Mark Hughes. He joined Stoke from the Houston Dynamo in 2012 after becoming an MLS All-Star and reaching an MLS Cup final during his five years in the league.

The versatile Massachusetts native has made 55 appearances for the U.S. national team as he played a starring role at the 2014 World Cup.

Cameron had previously been linked with a move back to MLS with the LA Galaxy, but the contract offer wasn’t deemed to be viable.

U.S. players in the 2017-18 Premier League

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This post used to be more fun.

[ RECAP: Villa 0-0 (1-0 agg.) Boro ]

The United States only had three players hit Premier League pitches for more than a single match this season, and only two Americans are alive for promotion from the Championship (though well-traveled goalkeeper Chris Konopka signed a short-term deal late in Cardiff City’s promotion campaign).

Geoff Cameron
Stoke City

The soon-to-be 33-year-old had to be frustrated when his return from a concussion ended up with a stint on the bench under new coach Paul Lambert that cost him a chance to keep the Potters in the Premier League. Cameron played 20 league matches and one FA Cup match, spending time at center back, center mid, right back, and even a little more advanced as a right mid. Stoke was 3W-6D-8L when Cameron did not play, about the same pace as when he was available, but it notably earned points in four of six matches where he featured at center back (2-2-2). It seems likely he’ll move on this summer.

Cameron Carter-Vickers
Tottenham Hotspur

Went on loan to Sheffield United and then Ipswich Town, where he played regularly at center back. Still doesn’t seem on track to get in Mauricio Pochettino‘s mix, and another loan or permanent transfer feels on the horizon.

Emerson Hyndman
Bournemouth

The 22-year-old center mid played just four times in all comps for the Cherries, but Eddie Howe handed him a start in Bournemouth’s season finale. The Cherries won 2-1, though both goals came after he left the match. A candidate for transfer or loan next season.

Antonee Robinson
Everton

Went on loan to Bolton, where he managed four assists in substantial time at left back and left mid as the Trotters survived in the Championship. One of the great hopes to solve the long-held American need at left back.

Danny Williams
Huddersfield Town

There was a third very impactful American in the Premier League this year, and Huddersfield Town will be thankful that David Wagner brought fellow German-American international Williams to Town.

The 29-year-old played 20 league games and three Cup games with the Terriers, and was noticeably strong in his first season of top flight English football. Granted two of the wins came in substitute appearances, one at right back, but the center mid was good.

Terriers w/ Williams:  7W-5D-10L
Terriers w/o Williams: 2W-5D-9L

DeAndre Yedlin
Newcastle United

Soon to be 25, Yedlin had a strong return to the Premier League. The right back picked up two assists in 34 matches as Rafa Benitez really improved the American’s defensive acumen. Benitez would probably like to bring in better competition for Yedlin at right back, but the former Seattle Sounder should have every opportunity to continue to play a sizable role at St. James’ Park.

Elsewhere in England
Mix Diskerud – Man City (on loan at Goteborg)
Luca de la Torre – Fulham
Lynden Gooch – Sunderland
Duane Holmes – Scunthorpe United
Eric Lichaj – Nottingham Forest
Brendan Moore – Rochdale
Tim Ream – Fulham
Gedion Zelalem – Arsenal

Geoff Cameron, Bruce Arena with dueling USMNT comments

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While Stoke City was sorting out who’d be coming to town on transfer Deadline Day, one of its players was on the offensive regarding the most infamous night in his national team’s history.

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Geoff Cameron spared no blushes in a feature piece by the New York Time’s Marc Stein that was released Wednesday and details his career and the United States men’s national team’s dismissal from World Cup qualifying with the accomplished 32-year-old on the bench.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that, if Jurgen Klinsmann was still our head coach, we would have qualified for the World Cup. … I’m convinced if they would have kept Jurgen and not done such a drastic change, I think we would have qualified. I know we would have qualified. Instead we’ve gone backward.”

(Me, too, Geoff. Me, too, but that’s also because a coach and players would have to almost purposely screw up the Hex to miss out. Bruce Arena sure played his part).

Cameron said Arena told him before the United States’ last two matches of the Hex that he would not be starting the matches because of fitness concerns. Cameron was perplexed; He had just played 90 minutes for Stoke in the Premier League.

“But I would have more respect for a coach to say: ‘You know what, Geoff? I don’t fancy you today. I think this is a better lineup.’ I’d say: ‘O.K., no problem, you told me the truth.’ But if you tell me I’m not fit enough, that’s like an insult to me as a professional.”

Stein, being the fine reporter that he is, got Arena’s response to Cameron’s shots. Arena continued to display that he is not good at the quotes and stuff.

“Could Geoff have been in the starting lineup that day? Yes. But the problem with Geoff throughout 2017, at club and national-team level, was inconsistency and some injuries. … Geoff started five games starting in November 2016 through October 2017. Our record was 1-3-1 — that plays a role. I don’t think 2017 was that impressive of a performance for the player. When the stars and the moon and the sun are aligned properly, Geoff is a very good player. They don’t all align properly all the time.”

That’s a striking bit of ego, even for Arena. The “stars and moon and sun” line is a stunning bit of disrespect for a 55-times capped player with 163 Premier League matches under his belt.

More importantly, it’s wrong. The Yanks won two (Honduras home and T&T), drew two (Honduras and Mexico away), and lost to Costa Rica. That’s one loss in five. And going with the 1-3-1 when Arena’s entire career has been spent in a league that puts losses second seems worse (though we may be reading too far into it).