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North Vancouver's James Cameron to play for Canada in FIFA U-20 World Cup qualifier

The Vancouver FC midfielder heads to Trinidad and Tobago this week for the 2024 Concacaf U-20 Championship Qualifiers
James Cameron, 19, got his start playing for North Van FC, Blaise Soccer Academy and Mountain United. | Vancouver FC

One North Vancouver soccer player’s first season as a pro is going from hot to hotter.

After standout performances as a rookie midfielder for Vancouver FC that saw him nominated for the Best Canadian U-21 Player in the Canadian Premier League for the 2023 season, James Cameron has been called up to play for the U-20 national team.

Now, the 19-year-old will fly to Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago this week, ahead of the 2024 Concacaf U-20 Championship Qualifiers, where Canada will be looking to advance to the next stage in qualifying for the 2025 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Chile.

At the tournament, six separate groups of four or five teams will battle for a chance to advance, with the group winners advancing to this summer's 2024 Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship. Canada has been drawn in Group D, where they will face Dominica, St. Vincent & The Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago. The team will begin the group stage against Dominica on Feb. 23, followed by St. Vincent & The Grenadines on Feb. 25 and concluding against Trinidad & Tobago on Feb. 27. 

Cameron said it’s an honour to be called on to represent his country.

“With this being my first national call, it’s very exciting,” he said.

With high-humidity and temperatures above 30 C in the Port of Spain forecast, Cameron said that he’ll make sure to bring some sunscreen.

“That’ll definitely take a little bit of adapting,” he said of the hot weather.

Cameron is hoping Canada does well in the qualifiers, which would push the team to the next stage.

“That’s always a great opportunity to show yourself and get exposure internationally,” he said.

After the tourney wraps up March 2, Cameron will head home and head straight into training and exhibition games for the next season.

Vancouver FC kicks off its 2024 regular season with a home game against Valour FC on April 14.

In his inaugural 2023 season, Cameron lead Vancouver FC in total tackles with 70 (second in the league) and duels won with 129 (fifth in the league).

Cameron scored his first goal in the Canadian Premier League on Sept. 9, 2023.