FC Kansas City

FC Kansas City’s newest addition eager for fresh start

Updated: 2013-06-30T22:43:02Z

By TOD PALMER

The Kansas City Star

Just in time to welcome the Portland Thorns’ league-best defense, FC Kansas City bolstered its already potent attack Wednesday by adding Canadian international forward Tiffany Cameron.

Cameron — who hails from Mississauga, Ontario, on the shores of Lake Ontario — was released this month by the Seattle Reign FC.

“It’s a breath of fresh air for me,” Cameron said. “If you look at all the teams in the NWSL, I think that Kansas City plays the best soccer. Their possession is really good. It impressed me when I played against them back when I was with Seattle.”

Now, she hopes to augment an offense that includes midfield star Lauren Cheney, who is tied for the league lead with seven goals, and fellow forward Renae Cuellar, who is tied for third in the NWSL with five goals.

“I am excited for this opportunity,” Cameron said. “As an attacking player, I’m anxious to add onto their attack. We keep the ball and we play soccer, so I’m looking forward to being with a team that connects and has great team chemistry.”

Cameron — who scored 21 goals last season at Ohio State, including an NCAA-best nine game-winners — prefers to play on the wing, but she’s capable of playing as a center forward as well.

“I can play both positions and my coaches have been able to move me around, so either or,” Cameron said. “But I personally love to play on the wing, because I’m a player who loves to make runs in behind (the defense) with my speed. I love dribbling at players and combining with the center forward. That’s my strength.”

Blues coach Vlatko Andonovski can’t wait to see how that speed makes his squad better.

“You can’t buy speed, so anytime you can add a fast forward who is skilled with the ball, it’s a plus,” Andonovski said. “Tiffany was a great college player and scored a lot of goals, so she definitely brings that goal-scoring ability. Besides that, she brings more competition to the team, so now everybody here will have to pick it up and work even harder within the team.”

Cameron, the Buckeyes’ all-time leader in career goals (40) and points (96), made seven appearances, including four starts, with the goal-challenged Reign but failed to net a goal or assist in 372 minutes.

Still, it wasn’t just Cameron. Seattle has scored a league-worst seven goals in 12 games.

“With Seattle, we had very good players. But the chemistry was just not there, and our possession wasn’t very good,” Cameron said. “With Kansas City, people are comfortable on the ball, so I see myself playing better here, working more off the ball and creating more chances for myself.”

She’s also looking forward to winning an NWSL match for the first time. The Reign was winless in its first 11 games and didn’t pick up its inaugural victory until after Cameron had been cut.

“I was so used to winning at Ohio State,” Cameron said. “The constant losing in Seattle hurt, so I’m excited for the change. Seattle is a great team, though, especially with (Megan) Rapinoe coming back into the mix. But this was a blessing in disguise that I got released and was able to have this opportunity to play with (FC Kansas City).”

Andonovski didn’t expect Cameron to start when FC Kansas City, 6-4-2, hosts the Thorns, 8-2-2, at 3:10 p.m. Sunday at SM North District Stadium, but he said she might be used off the bench.

“If we need a spark, hopefully she can provide it,” Andonovski said.

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/todpalmer.

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