Former US international and now-U20 head coach Tab Ramos believes Cameron Carter-Vickers is destined for big things.
Speaking to ESPN FC, US Under-20 national team head coach Tab Ramos has hailed Tottenham Hotspur defender Cameron Carter-Vickers after his starring performances at the recent CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Jamaica helped his side seal qualification for this summer’s World Cup.
Having turned 17 on New Year’s Eve, Carter-Vickers proved one of the revelations of the tournament despite his tender age compared to his teammates, with the US conceding just two goals in their six matches thanks to his centre-back partnership with New York Red Bulls starlet Matt Miazga.
Getting on the scoresheet in the opening 1-1 draw with Guatemala with a powerful second-half header from a corner, the Spurs prospect would go on to demonstrate his pace, power and skill over the course of the tournament, and Ramos is now convinced that the setup has a real gem on their hands.
"Carter-Vickers is definitely the center-back with the most upside that I've seen come through the national team program in the last six, seven years," he said.
"He's excellent on the ball, he reads the game very well, and he's second to none in the air."
Carter-Vickers’ time in Jamaica was in fact his first experience with the U20s, with US Soccer first discovering he was eligible for an American passport through his father – a former NBA shooting guard – in December 2013.
After completing all the paperwork, the Southend-native would go on to get his first taste of international football for the U18s in August, before earning a surprise start for the U23s during their October trip to Brazil.
A regular for Tottenham’s U21s this season, a recent feature from the Guardian named him the club’s top prospect, while third-choice goalkeeper and compatriot Brad Friedel, who was part of the US coach staff in Jamaica for a brief period, has also sung his praises in recent weeks.
“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 last month.
“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 been playing above his age group again out in Jamaica, but physically and mentally I think he can cope with it.”
On Tottenham’s books since the age of 11, Carter-Vickers’ enormous potential has attracted the interest of north London rivals Arsenal of late, according to the Daily Mail, with the club attempting to tie him down to his first professional contract as a result.
In a past interview with American Soccer Now, the promising defender admitted that he faces a battle to break into the Spurs first-team over the coming seasons, given their resources, but remains adamant that White Hart Lane is the best place for his development.
“It will be difficult to get into Tottenham’s first team because of all the money that they have,” he said. “But with Mauricio Pochettino, there is definitely a pathway.
“If you can catch his eye, there is an opportunity. The coaches we have are some of the best in England.”
Carter-Vickers saw fellow American hotshot DeAndre Yedlin join him at Spurs last month but, while the ex-Seattle Sounders right-back is the one who has received most of the fanfare in recent times, there’s a strong argument to make that the former has the brighter future.
Regardless, there’s a good chance that, at some point down the road, the club’s backline features not one but two US international starters.