Cameron Porter is a striker who was recently drafted by the Montreal Impact. He scored the biggest goal in club history in the 94th minute of the 2nd leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. The Impact advanced past Mexican club Pachuca with a 1-1 tie (3-3 on aggregate).
It takes great skill to bring the ball down, shrug off the defender, and calmly finish under immense pressure. Congratulations to Porter and Montreal, but what does this have to do with the New York Red Bulls?
Well, for one thing, he's a recently acquired striker from the collegiate ranks. Cameron Porter was drafted out of Princeton University with the 45th pick in the MLS SuperDraft. The Red Bulls drafted striker Stefano Bonomo out of UC-Berkeley with the 39th pick. Bonomo never showed up to preseason camp and is currently on trial with a team in the third division of Italy, his third overseas trial since being drafted.
Should the Red Bulls have selected Porter instead of Bonomo? Porter was certainly on head coach Jesse Marsch's radar.
In November Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch, who served as assistant coach with Princeton, spoke really highly of Cameron Porter. #MTLvPAC— Simon Borg (@SimonBorg) March 4, 2015
@SoccerByIves Should have included Princeton senior and leading scorer in the country Cameron Porter.— Jesse Marsch (@jessemarsch) December 31, 2014
Jesse Marsch, who played and coached at Princeton, had the opportunity to see Porter up close and in person on a daily basis during the 2013 and 2014 seasons as an assistant coach for the Tigers. He was clearly very high on Porter.
Something changed in his mind between the end of the college season to the SuperDraft. Marsch went from tweeting about Porter on December 31st (after the interview process for the head coach position had allegedly begun), to being hired on January 7th, to not drafting his hidden gem on January 15th. Maybe he thought Bonomo was a better player or was overruled in the "war room" at the draft. Decisions like this make one contemplate the "what if" aspect of alternate universes. Hindsight is 20/20, but the Red Bulls are very thin at the striker position (especially after Bonomo did not show up to camp) and could certainly use a player with the skill and composure to score against CONCACAF power Pachuca.
It seems like the Montreal Impact have a very talented, "Jesse Marsch approved" quality player in Cameron Porter, but the Red Bulls probably wish they had drafted him instead.