Cameron ready to fill in at center back

Former center back able to fill in for Gold Cup call-ups


Photo Credit: 
Wilf Thorne/Houston Dynamo

Houston Dynamo midfielder Geoff Cameron sweats the details.

He has watched the film of that 66th minute one-on-one chance that fell to
him in last Saturday’s match against the New York Red Bulls, a play in which
RBNY goalkeeper Greg Sutton came off his line to extinguish the danger. Cameron
knows he should have scored.


“I should have finished a goal or two against the Red Bulls and I take full
responsibility for that,” Cameron told before Houston's 1-0 loss
to LA on Wednesday. “Should I have taken that extra touch? It hopped up on me. But
if you give me that chance 90 times out of 100, I’ll put that in the back of the

Developing a stronger finishing game is important to Cameron. So much so,
that he spends hours after training sessions with head coach Dominic Kinnear on
finishing drills because he has to make up for lost time. It's been a few years
since he has participated in these drills on a regular basis.

After a rookie season in 2008 which saw him play all over the field for the
Dynamo, the 25-year-old excelled at center back in 2009. In 2010, Cameron moved to the attacking midfielder role and showed promise before a PCL tear forced him out for four months of the season. Cameron says that Kinnear wanted him at attacking midfielder in
2011 because he felt that his characteristics were best suited for the position.
He has both vision and a unique ability to get behind the opposing back line
because few players can keep up with his runs.

“I like playing center mid, but I also like playing center back,” Cameron
said. “It doesn’t matter where Dom puts me. We’ll be missing guys like Andre
and Jermaine [Taylor] with Jamaica and I could be moving to center
back. Who knows?”

Don’t judge him for his play in attacking midfield just yet. He’s not
completely healed from a shin injury he suffered on April 29 after a wild tackle
from D.C. United center back Dejan Jakovic that left Cameron writhing in pain
under the fourth official’s table. He missed the following league game and still
hasn’t reached 100 percent.

“With the swollen shin, I haven’t been able to strike the ball consistently
and really hard because of the swelling in there, but I don’t want to make
excuses,” Cameron said. “It’s hindering my training sessions and I haven’t been
able to track as hard as I really, really want to. … But I’m almost there.”

Cameron has gone more than two full months without scoring since his strike
against the Seattle Sounders at Qwest Field on March 25. But he’s not
discouraged, since he and the Dynamo have been bringing confidence into each

“We’re going to go in with the frame of mind to focus on our game, play
simple and possess the ball,” Cameron said. “The energy is positive. Guys are
buzzing a bit because we’ve been playing really well.”

Houston will need that positive attitude this
Saturday when they take on FC Dallas (7:30 pm CT, KHOU 11.2, FOX Sports Houston, Direct Kick, MatchDay Live). The Dynamo, despite the good
vibes, have gone winless in May, while FCD are riding a 489-minute shutout
streak and have gone unbeaten in their last seven.