[MLS] In addition to spending some time at the family home near Boston during the holidays, Houston Dynamo midfielder Geoff Cameron is getting ready to visit another cold-weather locale -- Nottingham, England.
“It’s not a trial or anything like that, so I can just go over there and train and get a pretty good experience,” he says of a pending two-week training stint at Nottingham Forest, which is managed by Bill Davies, brother of Cameron’s agent, John Davies.
Forest is trying to sign another American, Real Salt Lake striker Robbie Findley, who is a free agent.
After the training stint, Cameron says he should be eager to start preseason.
"My goal is to get some experience playing in a different environment and start strong when I get back," he added.
If all goes according to plan, Cameron will leave right after New Year’s Day and get back about a week before Dynamo players are scheduled to report for preseason physicals. The Nottingham trip will mitigate somewhat his disappointment at not being called for the U.S. training camp and friendly against Chile Jan. 22 at Home Depot Center.
He missed nearly one-half of the 2010 MLS season after rupturing his posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) in late April; it was feared he’d not return during the season, but he got back in time to play a SuperLiga game in early August and ended up scoring three goals in 16 league appearances.
After moving from midfield to defense and earning All-Star and Best XI honors as a center back for the 2009 season, Cameron was invited to the January 2010 camp. Though he didn’t make the roster for a game against Honduras, he was recalled a month later and debuted as a second-half sub against El Salvador. His first training-camp callup came in January 2009 following an excellent 2008 rookie season playing midfield, but he suffered a hamstring pull on the second day.
This winter, as the national team gathers in Southern California, Cameron will be in the East Midlands, working on his craft rather than bemoaning his fate.
“No, I did not get any,” he says of contact from U.S. Soccer or head coach Bob Bradley. “It’s disappointing but I’m not focusing on that. I have an opportunity to go with Nottingham Forest for a couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to that.
“I just want to get a fair opportunity and I think I can play at that level and show my stuff. Obviously, there’s a Gold Cup coming up and hopefully I can be a part of that. Everything happens for a reason and my goal is to go into preseason, get in good shape and play well and strong, and hopefully I’ll get a call. That’s the only thing I can do.”
Cameron will also enter the 2011 season with a new contract. Terms haven’t been disclosed, but suffice to say he’ll be no longer earn a salary anything close to the league-minimum $40,000 he picked up last season.
“I was happy to get it done,” he says. “It was a long process and it’s over now and I can just focus on playing soccer.