Cam Weaver: The Next Big Thing in American Soccer?


Weaver in his USL days

Dom Kinnear has done it yet again. The player I predicted in the offseason would be one of the biggest signings in MLS has come through with flying colors in the last two matches- unfortunately for San Jose it’s not for the team that initially signed him. (Okay, I admit that I did say Weaver would lead San Jose to the playoffs on a podcast but I do feel somewhat vindicated by his play the last games)

Kinnear’s acquisition and quick turnaround of Weaver matches the feat he’s accomplished with three previous castoffs from other MLS teams in mid season. Joseph Ngwenya, Nate Jaqua and Kei Kamara all turned their seasons and ultimately their careers around in Houston.

Weaver is a proven goal scorer. Many MLS fans that don’t follow USL but insist we should all “support MLS (I’ve called these people MLS snobs on more than one occasion) would hardly know how Cam Weaver set USL on fire in 2006 with the Sounders. Had it not been for Miami FC’s loan deal to bring in Brazilian world football legend Romario for a season, Weaver would have topped the USL-1 scoring charts.

I thought at the time Weaver was a national team prospect. Tall (6’4”) but good with his feet and able to play in more than a target role I was hoping he’d get called in for Bob Bradley’s first camp in January 2007. But the last USL-1 based player to be called in for a senior national team camp was Clyde Simms in 2005 (while with Richmond who was then in USL-1), and Bradley didn’t give Weaver a look.

Weaver was then snapped up by Fotballklubben Haugesund where he became only one of a handful of Americans who could score goals with any regularity in Europe. Signing with San Jose before the 2009 season, Frank Yallop should have had the goal scorer he needed to turn the Quakes around.

But much like Kamara a year ago Yallop couldn’t get the forward to find his scoring touch and he traded the player to his old Tampa Bay Mutiny team mate and San Jose assistant Dom Kinnear. Now Weaver has found his form and must be once again considered a national team prospect because he can play as a target forward and is very good technically compared to most American attacking players.

Keep an eye on Cam Weaver. He could be the next big thing, literally in American soccer.

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About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the World Soccer Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the books 'Blue With Envy' about Manchester City FC, and 'Soccerwarz' about the MLS, USL and NASL infighting.
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