One of the bigger stories of the Republic’s 2016 offseason is undoubtedly Cameron Iwasa leaving Sacramento and the USL for Sporting Kansas City and the greener grass of MLS. We recently caught up with Iwasa during the Desert Diamond Cup in Tuscon, Arizona to see how things are going in the early days with his new team.
“It’s different,” he said about coming halfway across the country to SKC. “I’ve never lived anywhere other than California before so I’ve got to get used to the weather and stuff.”
As for the chance to succeed at the MLS level with one of the league’s more respected clubs, Iwasa was predictably positive.
“I’m really excited about it,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity. There are a lot of young players this year, so I’m going to have my opportunities. Just going to have to work hard and make it happen.”
Unfortunately for Iwasa, he sat out many of SKC’s played six Desert Diamond Cup games due to what he described as “a little hamstring strain.” His only time on the field with his new team during the preseason tournament was a 30 minute stint against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Despite the injury, Iwasa should have a chance to earn himself a place in the SKC’s plans.
“I think I’m going to have a similar role that I had with the Republic, playing up top,” he said. “Obviously we have Dom [Dwyer], but whatever other minutes are available, hopefully I get a shot. And also on the wing. I feel like I can play multiple positions, so hopefully I’ll get some chances.”
When asked who he is looking to and learning from the most, Iwasa pointed to SKC’s star forward, Dom Dwyer.
“Dom’s been great,” he said. “He’s a guy that’s kinda gone through the same path. He was drafted and didn’t play at first, went to USL and had a great breakout year... So having him, not only for the moral support, but obviously he’s a guy that’s been banging in goals. So I learn as much as I can from him: the movements, being competitive in training with finishing drills and stuff. So that’s been great.”
Iwasa also spoke highly of his time with the Republic, saying it played a “huge” part in the growth of his career.
“Obviously I was disappointed not to get a shot to stick in the MLS,” he said “But definitely over the past two years I’ve certainly grown as a player and become much better. I think those two years had a lot to do with the reason I ended up getting this opportunity. I’m definitely grateful for every minute there.”
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