At the beginning of the season we were asked who we thought could be a break out player. I'm sure I wasn't alone in suggesting Cameron Iwasa had untapped upside that might just meet real results in 2016.
While the beginning of the year made us all question whether the entire team might not score 12 goals, the offense finally found it's legs, Danny Barerra remembered he actually knows what to do with the ball at his feet, and Iwasa turned into a top-flight goal scoring threat.
The season having ended with a thud, the rising dust does not obscure some exciting questions leading into the off-season and the 2017 season. One of those questions has to be 'Does Cam Iwasa have a next level?'. I want to say yes. In fact, I want to say I believe he could become at least a poor man's Dom Dwyer.
Someone will want to immediately say, 'Whoa, there, Dwyer is a top flight MLS striker! There's no comparison!' Fair take. But DD has not always been what he is today. Factually, he emerged as fast-rising USL striker. Furthermore, Cam Iwasa may not be close to what he could become. This year he might have just taken the confidence leap of certainty that he can definitely score goals with regularity at a professional level.
Dom Dwyer has speed and athleticism that I'm not sure I've seen Iwasa possess in his tool kit. But Iwasa is not slow exactly or unathletic, and he does appear to have 90 minute fitness, so that he continues to be a real threat late in games. The leg heaviness that seemed to hit him late in the year could be attributable to repeated pointless runs chasing down long balls bombed with abandon over the top.
Perhaps more importantly, Dwyer possesses a hell bent for glory, lay it all on the line approach to sticking the ball in the back of the net in any way imaginable. That would be a very useful mentality for Cam to reach a next level.
As someone who played more basketball than anything else as a youth, the thing that intrigues me most is what we called court awareness. This is the set-apart skill that I, an admitted soccer novice, believe can take Cameron Iwasa from the terrific USL quality striker he is becoming to the terrific MLS quality striker he has potential to become. Let's call it pitch awareness - or whatever it is already called.
When Iwasa has the ball at his feet and is drawing the crowd, and then makes that sweet lay off for someone else's really open chance, and when he doesn't seem to wonder where to find his spaces at times, his lanes, and when and where to make aggressive runs, he'll then become, I'm saying it, at least a poor man's Dom Dwyer.