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To Be A Sounder: From Norway to Texas and back with Seattle native Cam Weaver

CamWeaverTBAS

Very few professional athletes get the chance to end their careers the place that it started.


Recently retired Sounders FC forward Cam Weaver is one of those athletes.


A native of Kent, Washington, Weaver broke in the USL Sounders team in 2006. After returning to Seattle to don the Rave Green for the 2014 season, he decided that it was time to call time on his career earlier this month.


“It’s something I had in the back of my head for a few years, just knowing that my career was coming to an end at some point and I’d need to transition to the next phase of life,” Weaver, 31, told SoundersFC.com. “But I’d been thinking about when, and what things were important in making that decision.”


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Weaver took the Sounders by storm in his first stint with the club nearly 10 years ago, scoring an impressive 18 goals in 27 appearances for the USL side.


This goal-scoring record caught the attention of Haugesund of the Norwegian First Division where he continued his success up front with 21 more goals in 51 appearances from 2007-09.

To Be A Sounder: From Norway to Texas and back with Seattle native Cam Weaver -

“I’m just happy I was able to play for as long as I did,” said Weaver of his career. “There were some great experiences along the way. I got to go over and play in Europe for a few years and got to witness that. It wasn’t one of the big leagues or anything, but it was European soccer and we got to travel around and just experience that, which was awesome.”


After deciding a return to the States would be his best move, Weaver signed with MLS and began playing with the San Jose Earthquakes before being traded to the Houston Dynamo shortly thereafter.


Weaver spent the majority of his MLS career (2009-2013) with the Dynamo, where he was coached by now San Jose Earthquakes Head Coach Dominic Kinnear.


“I really enjoyed having Cam around. He's a good, honest guy,” said Kinnear of his former player. “Good guy in the locker room, hard-worker on the field. Did a lot of great things for us when we competed in CONCACAF. He seemed to score quite a few goals for us in those qualifying rounds. He had a great attitude and came to work every day, and off the field, I really enjoyed his company.”


Despite only coaching him for one season, Sounders Head Coach Sigi Schmid had similar sentiments to Kinnear on the type of person Weaver was, and how valuable he was in the locker room.

<blockquote><em><strong><span style="line-height: 20.7999992370605px;">“I really enjoyed having Cam around. He's a good, honest guy.”</span></strong></em></blockquote>

“The one thing that’s very evident about Cam is that he’s a complete professional,” said Schmid. “His year with us was very good for the young players on the team. He approached practice with a very professional manner and was ready whenever his number was called. Those work habits are what has helped him to be successful and what made him a great addition for us last year.”


Throughout his travels across MLS and after two years in Europe, Weaver always knew where home was: the Seattle area. Raised just south of the city, the 6’4” forward attended Skagit Valley College for two years before transferring to Seattle University, where he was coached by Sounders FC broadcaster Pete Fewing.


Weaver knew when he was finally ready to hang up his boots, he’d want to settle back in the area that he grew up in.

To Be A Sounder: From Norway to Texas and back with Seattle native Cam Weaver -

“When I was playing in Houston, people would ask me about Seattle,” Weaver remarked. “I would tell them I’m super proud that this area and all the people around here have embraced the team. So that was cool to see, even though I was playing in a different jersey for a while.


“I was always following everything that was going on, and I always knew that I wanted to try to make it back at some point. I tried to come back a few times before last year, but it didn’t quite work out. Thankfully, at least I was able to come back for one year.”


Weaver was signed by Sounders FC at the beginning of the 2014 season, an easy decision for him at that stage in his career. It was more than just picking his next team to play for however - seeing what the Sounders had become was something bigger than that.


The growth of the organization from when he was with the USL side in 2006 to the MLS powerhouse it had become in 2014 was something that struck home with Weaver, both literally and figuratively. His passion for the game and his hometown were fused together into the form of Sounders FC. Being able to bookend his career with stints with two different incarnations of the club is something that he’ll always cherish.


“It was awesome being back in Seattle,” said Weaver. “I feel very fortunate to start my career in Seattle and end it in Seattle, since I grew up watching the Sounders. I’m very happy about that. To be able to win a couple of trophies last year with the team was a great way to go out. For me, to see the progression from the 2006 USL Sounders to the Sounders today, is absolutely incredible.”

<blockquote><em><strong><span style="line-height: 20.7999992370605px;">“I feel very fortunate to start my career in Seattle and end it in Seattle, since I grew up watching the Sounders."</span></strong></em></blockquote>

Now entering the retirement phase of his soccer career, Weaver was prepared for the transition, though that didn’t make it any easier.


“It feels a bit bittersweet ending my career,” Weaver noted. “I’ve done it for so long – if you go back all the way to college – something I’ve been doing year-round. It’s not an easy transition. Thankfully I had a plan in place, and that made it easier to land on my feet. It’s been a great ride. I was never a guy who was going to light up MLS and lead the goal-scoring charts, but I’m certainly proud of what I was able to do.


“I was always a guy who gave everything he had and was a good teammate. You could ask any one of the teammates I’ve ever had, and I know they would say that I earned my respect and helped all of my teams be successful. So that’s one thing that I can be happy with as I look back on my career, now that I get the chance to do that.”


Weaver has settled locally with his wife Estrella and their newborn son, and he’ll spend his days working for his family’s construction business. Being back in Seattle permanently will allow him to keep doing something he’s done since he was a child: support the Sounders.


“My first big soccer experience was going down to Memorial Stadium and watching the Sounders play there,” said Weaver of his early soccer memories. “I knew some of the players, and I was playing soccer as a kid. I’ll definitely always be a Sounders fan. I was lucky enough to play for them, and I will continue supporting them for sure.”

To Be A Sounder: From Norway to Texas and back with Seattle native Cam Weaver -
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