Playing indoors or out, Cameron Vickers can always be counted on to be a star and a fan favorite. He is a player known for his pace and creativity on the pitch, someone who makes the game exciting for fans and players alike.
“I'm a player that does well going 1 v 1 with defenders and creating opportunities for my teammates and myself,” Vickers commented.
Vickers, who played in USL PRO with the Dayton Dutch Lions, is now plying his trade indoors with the Tacoma Stars of the Western Indoor Soccer League (WISL). Vickers’ time with the Dutch Lions was not his first in USL PRO, having played for Phoenix FC in their inaugural season. However, last season was a milestone, contributing to the Dayton squad in a big way.
“Playing at Dayton taught me a lot. Any time you compete at the professional level you have to constantly improve day in and day out because any team in the league has the quality to beat you on any given day. It also taught me how to be resilient. We had a tough time finding our form in certain stretches of the season, but everyone in the club, from the front office to the coaching staff and all the players were committed to bouncing back, looking for the next opportunity to improve.”
Playing in the WISL has been a similarly positive experience for the Lake Tapps, WA native.
“It's been fun. Every team looks to compete, which makes for a great atmosphere. It's a good level. Where it may lack in the technical aspect of the game in comparison to USL PRO or MLS, it makes up for it in the passion for competition. Most players in the league are aspiring pros so the hunger to compete is great.”
Being from the area made playing for the Stars a no-brainer. The team was a big part of the soccer culture growing up and he was even coached by some of their former players. So when the call came, Vickers was excited and proud to represent Tacoma. And the team was glad to have an established player joining their ranks.
That’s not to say that playing indoors wasn’t an adjustment, but Vickers is a player that is flexible and can adapt. He’s been there before.
“The movement is a lot different. In outdoor you have set positions, in indoor a target forward could be rotated and end up standing next to the keeper. You always have to ‘stay switched on’ in indoor; any mental lapse can put your team in trouble.”
The speed and confines of the indoor game is a big change for any outdoor player moving indoors for the first time. But it also gives the players more tools for their game with many things translating to improved skills outdoors.
“My style changes a little bit from outdoor because of the confined space. I can't use my pace as much in indoor. So I have to find a way to be more creative with my passes and look for opportunities to make quick decisions to help my team link up.”
Who knows what the immediate future for Vickers will be now that the Tacoma Stars are sporting a team in the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL). But everyone realizes his tremendous talent outdoors will certainly result in a return to USL PRO or even something better, perhaps a move to Europe.
No wonder some big names are interested as Vickers has done some great things in Phoenix and Dayton and now Tacoma. And don’t forget about his spectacular play at Sonoma State and the Portland Timbers U-23s.
He is as close to a sure thing as anything in the beautiful game today. He’s that impressive. Fans across the WISL should enjoy watching Vickers while they can as it is only a matter of time before he is discovered and heads to the next big step in his career.
Photo Credit: Wilson Tsoi /TacomaStars.com