Image: Minnesota United
Minnesota United youngster Cameron Dunbar, 20, made his club debut in Week Five of the 2023 MLS campaign in a start against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Allianz Field. The match ended in a 1-1 draw with Dunbar playing 76 minutes in front of a sold-out crowd.
The 20-year-old attacker joined the Loons from the Los Angeles Galaxy this offseason and on the same day, promising MNUFC2 attacker Aziel Jackson left the MNUFC system to join forthcoming expansion side St. Louis CITY SC. The Loons lost a promising player but gained one just as quickly. Fast forward five months and the Loons are set to travel to City and it’s a chance for Dunbar to prove that MNUFC made the right call.
“I don’t think it just comes down to Saturday. I think it comes down to every day, when I step into the facility, my mentality going into training, how I walk into the facility… to whether it be in the gym, whether it be – whatever it is – I’m here, and I want to make sure that I’m always giving it my best,” Dunbar said. “And that obviously close into Saturday as well, whatever role I play on the weekend, I want to make sure I’m doing my best and contributing to the team.”
Dunbar’s club debut saw him get the start after the Loons were missing seven players due to international duty. The San Diego, CA native played on the Right Wing and helped contribute to earning a point against a Western Conference opponent.
“I felt pretty, pretty good. It was obviously nice to get underway here for Minnesota, and the fans were really great, obviously it gives us all a boost, so it was lovely playing in front of them for the first time.”
Dunbar hopes to “keep building off of that” debut in Week Five, but over time, hopes to “put some in the back of the net and get some assists” along the way. Head coach Adrian Heath has all the faith in the world that Dunbar will turn out to be the player they hope, and by doing so, has instilled confidence in the young attacker since his arrival to the club.
“It means a lot really, that he’s been giving me so much confidence. Each time I step into training, you know, I feel like I can improve and I can really showcase my abilities at each moment. I’m on the field knowing that he’s supporting me the whole way. So that means a lot.”
Heath’s praises for Dunbar included that despite being younger than Jackson, he feels as though that Dunbar has a higher ceiling and that they got a great player for a great price when he was available.
“Well, obviously, these are all decisions that you make, you know, everybody’s got a different opinion. You know, we actually thought that the trade was good for us. You know, Cam’s already played 20 games in this league. I don’t think AZ has started a couple of games or has he got on the field (off the bench), obviously Cam’s a bit younger… and a little bit further along, I think in his development, but the next few years will decide whether it was a good move or not.”
The MNUFC attacker will look to make an impact Saturday on the road as all eyes are on two of the remaining three undefeated sides in Major League Soccer.