Cameron Carter-Vickers is considered one of Tottenham Hotspur’s brightest prospects at present, and the emerging centre-back highlighted his promise last week while turning out for the US Under-20 national team.
A dual-national, US Soccer first became aware that the Southend-born defender was eligible for the stars and stripes through his American father in December 2013, before giving him his first call-up to the setup in August for an U18 tournament in the Czech Republic.
After going on to start for the U23s during their October trip to Brazil at the age of just 16, this month has seen him back in action for the US at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Jamaica, where his performances have been earning impressive reviews.
Scoring his first goal for the team with a powerful header from a second-half corner in Friday’s 1-1 draw against Guatemala, the Spurs product then proved his side’s standout player in the disappointing 1-0 defeat to Panama on Sunday evening, with fans and journalists alike moving to hail his strength and composure over the two outings.
Carter-Vickers is a wall.— Daniel Robertson (@DRobertsonFCD) January 12, 2015
Wow Carter-Vickers went beast mode on that track back— USAprospects (@USAprospects) January 11, 2015
Carter-Vickers has impressed me with his positioning and aerial dominance. #USAvPAN— Jon Townsend (@jon_townsend3) January 11, 2015
Playing well this weekend: Carter-Vickers, Hyndman, Thompson, Acosta. Not: Flores, Arriola, Gooch.— Will Parchman (@WillParchman) January 11, 2015
6 players in this US U-20 starting XI have made their pro debuts and Cameron Carter-Vickers looks more professional than all of them.— Kevin McCauley (@kevinmccauley) January 11, 2015
This is my first time watching Cameron Carter-Vickers. Even without the goal, really like that kid. #USYNT— John Wilkinson (@JWilks26) January 10, 2015
Cameron Carter-Vickers is a full grown man out there. Give him 5 years and he's starting for the U.S. at center back, no question about it— Dan Kalter (@dkalter18) January 9, 2015
Carter-Vickers has in fact had a Spurs colleague with him in Jamaica in Brad Friedel, who has been helping out on the coaching side, and the veteran goalkeeper isn’t surprised that his teammate is turning heads during the tournament.
"I know a lot about Cameron having coached him, played with him and trained with him here at Spurs,” he told the club’s official website.
“He went into the US fold not too long ago. They had him in his own age group and he did really well so they put him in older groups and he’s been extremely impressive.
“He’s playing above his age group again out in Jamaica, but physically and mentally I think he can cope with it.”
Having turned 17 on New Year’s Eve, Carter-Vickers’ undoubted promise is reported to have attracted the attention of north London rivals Arsenal in recent weeks, prompting Spurs to look to tie him down to a long-term deal as soon as possible.
A regular for the club’s U21s this season, the tall stopper nevertheless acknowledged in a recent interview with American Soccer Now that breaking into the first-team over the coming seasons will be a far from straightforward task, but he still remains adamant that White Hart Lane is the best possible place for his development.
“The coaches we have are some of the best in England,” he said. “It will be difficult to get into Tottenham’s first team because of all the money that they have.
“But with Mauricio Pochettino, there is definitely a pathway. If you can catch his eye, there is an opportunity.”
With DeAndre Yedlin arriving from the Seattle Sounders this month, there’s a real chance that Tottenham’s future could be built on a defence containing not one but two US national team starters.