Cameron Vickers is an American professional soccer who most recently played for the Philadelphia Fury of the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA). Vickers, a Washington native, attended Sonoma State University. He has since had a storied career, playing for many teams throughout the USL such as Phoenix FC, Harrisburg City Islanders, Reno 1864, Arizona United, and many more teams throughout the PDL, NPSL, and New Zealand Premiership. Vickers is a fast winger who is not afraid to take on a 1v1.
The Cameron Vickers Interview
2. How were you feeling after signing for Sonoma State University?
Signing for Sonoma State was a great day for me and my family. I knew it was the right choice for me on the field and fit my needs as a student.
3. What was your time at Sonoma like? What did playing college soccer teach you?
Playing at Sonoma State meant everything to me. The coaches and the organization were top in the country. I learned so much about soccer when I was there. I know in my heart that I would have never played a day as a professional if I didn’t go to Sonoma State and play for Coach Ziemer.
4. During your college career, you spent summers playing for the Tacoma Tide of the PDL (now USL League) describe your experience in the PDL?
The PDL was a great time for me. Typically, PDL teams are made up of the best players in the country, so playing with players like that everyday will always make you better. Many of my teammates now from the PDL went on to play professionally.
5. After college, you signed for the Portland Timbers u23 team of the USSF D2 (now defunct) how was your time in Portland? What was it like to get your first professional minutes?
MMy time in Portland was amazing. The u23 tea, I played with was unbelievably talent. So many guys from that team went on to play professional, it was amazing to be a part of that. Obviously that lead me to my time with the first team as well. I got to train with guys like Darlington Nagbe everyday which was crucial to my career.
6. What’s your biggest tip for college players looking to make an impact?
My biggest advice to college players would be to take advantage of your time and facilities you have available to you. Use the time you have in college to improve your game and get yourself ready for the next step.
7. Your time with Portland came to an end when the USSF D2 closed, you signed with Phoenix FC of the USL, how was your time in Phoenix?
Phoenix was really my first pro season. It was amazing for me. I met some life long friends, who to this day, I talk to on a weekly basis. I got to play under a coach who was a top player on the world stage in David Robertson. I also got to play along veterans who had Champions League experience. I really learned how to be a pro during my time in Phoenix.
8. You mentioned you were coached by David Robertson, a legend in the Scottish Premiership, what was it like to be coached by somebody with that resume?
Davey was great to me. I think playing for him was very critical for my career. He made me recognize my strengths as a player, and helped me capitalize on them as much as possible. We still have a relationship to this day.
9. In 2014 you joined the Dayton Dutch Lions, who were in the USL Pro division at the time. How did this opportunity come about?
Dayton came after my time in Phoenix/ During that time in the USL, there were no eatern or western conference, everyone played everyone. I think we played them away with Phoenix and I had a good game, so the call came in the off season.
10. What’s the coolest stadium you’ve ever played in?
So many teams have great stadiums now. There are a couple that stand out, Stubhub (LA Galaxy), Rio Tinto (Real Salt Lake), but nothing compares to Providence Park (Portland Timbers) the atmosphere there is unbelievable.
11. Who’s the best player you’ve ever faced?
I’ve had some quick camoes against amazing players like Landon Donavon, so much quality. For me, the best was Darlington Nagbe. Having to go against him in training everyday was an eye opening. People really don’t understand how good he is. Probably the most underrated US soccer player.
12. Do you have any hobbies outside of soccer, if so, what are they?
Off to the field I keep things pretty low. If I’m not in the gym I like to spend time with family, especially my nieces.
13. If you had to retire today, would you be happy with your career?
If I had to retire today I don’t think I would be satisfied. I think I am still growing and getting better. I think my best is yet to come.
16. You spent a season with Daton, before moving to Arizona United, now Phoenix Rising FC. What was playing for a young team like Arizona like?
Arizona was a bit of a disappointment for me. I feel like we had an amazing roster and we really under-achieved. I really think we had a roster that could have taken us to the final.
17. After yet another professional season, you jumped teams again. This time to the Harrisburg City Islanders (now Penn FC)
Harrisburg was probably my favorite time as a professional to date. We had a really talented group. Met some best friends on that team. Would love to go back one day.
18. Having been all around the country playing for different teams, what’s your advice for players who are trying to make an impression on their new teams?
I think when you join a new team you have to establish yourself. I think the best way to do that is to have a very high work rate Sometimes it can be hard to fit in style wise, but if you work hard there’s always a place for you.
19. What are your thoughts on promotion/relegation for USA?
I think there has to be promotion/relegation in the US. It keeps everyone honest. You can’t have losing seasons year after year and be safe.
20. Between your time with Arizona United and Harrisburg, you played in New Zealand for Lower Hutt City AFC, what was your experience playing on the other side of the world like?
New Zealand was an interesting one for me. An amazing place, amazing people. I was very lucky because I was placed with an unbelievable family who treated me like one of their own. If I didn’t have them I have no idea what my time would have been like. Soccer wise, it wasn’t really the best fit for me.
21. What’s your biggest strength?
My biggest strength would definitely be my pace and 1v1 ability.
22. What’s your biggest weakness?
My biggest weakness is definitely defending.
23. If you could be an animal, what would it be and why?
A wolf because they have all aspects of a serious predator.
24. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Vegamite, absolutely horrible.
25. If you could swap lives with one person for a day, who would it be?
26. Who’s the best player you’ve ever played against?
Landon Donovan or Darlington Nagbe.
27. Since 2017, you’ve played for teams such as Reno 1864 in the USL Championship, Atlantic City FC and FC Motown, both in the Keystone conference of the NPSL, describe your tenures with these three clubs.
Reno was a great organization. I had a great coach in Ian Russell. Had another great coach at Atlantic City in Kris O’Leary. Loved my time at Motown. From top to bottom that club is amazing. I really hope they continue to climb the professional ladder because they deserve it and I think they will do very well.
28. How was the level of play from the USL to the NPSL?
The level of the NPSL is roughly the same talent wise. I think in the USL there;s just more of a set schedule.
29. You just recently signed with the Philadelphia Fury of the Nation Independent Soccer Association (NISA) a new third tier league sanctioned by the USSF. What was it like to sign for the Fury, a historic team?
Signing for the Fury was a good opportunity to further my career.
30. What are your goals for the future?
My future goals are to get back to the USL/MLS or beyond. While I’m still playing I’ll always be pushing to be at the highest level I can be.
31. What makes you, you?
I think desire and commitment make me who I am. It guides me in everything do.
32. Any last words for the readers?
I would say to any readers please continue to follow your dreams no matter what anyone says. If I would have listened to all the people that told me I couldn’t, I wouldn’t be where I’m at now. Know that with that dream comes great responsibility. You have to be willing to sacrifice more and work harder than anyone else.
Founder of The Sports Court
Huge thanks to Cameron for the great interview! Class player and person. Good luck next season!
photo via http://www.infosportinc.com/soccer.html