Cameron Carter-Vickers hailed the “top-notch” dedication and consistency of former teammate Harry Kane ahead of the United States’ showdown with England.
Like Kane, Carter-Vickers came through Tottenham’s academy but, having spent most of his 13-year spell out on loan, he departed for Celtic on a permanent deal in July.
But the defender will be reunited with the England skipper on Friday, when the Stars and Stripes and Three Lions face off in Group B at the Al Bayt Stadium.
And Carter-Vickers heaped praise on Kane, who is three goals away from breaking Wayne Rooney’s all-time national goalscoring record.
He said: “Training with him, you can see every day how hard he works, his dedication not just on the field, off the field as well. It’s top-notch, and you can see how consistent he has been over the last so many years now.
“That only comes if you are doing the right thing day in and day out. You could say that probably coming from the academy at Tottenham, you look up to players like him and other players in the first team playing well and consistently performing.”
Focused on Friday.
— U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team (@USMNT)
An unused substitute in the 1-1 draw with Wales, Southend-born Carter-Vickers will hope to make his World Cup bow against Gareth Southgate’s side, who opened with a commanding 6-2 win over Iran.
The 24-year-old qualifies for the USA through his father – former basketball player Howard Carter – and has added motivation to achieve a positive result against the nation of his birth.
“Obviously, when I saw the group was drawn, and I saw we were in the same group as England, I was excited,” he added.
“They are one of the top teams in the world. To be able to play against them and match up against them to see where you are is a good thing.
“They’ve got a squad full of top players. So I think we all know that we have to put in one of our best performances to beat them.
“It’s a game that I really want to win, just like any other game in the World Cup. I’m not too sure how I’m going to feel when the game comes around. But I do know that I’ll be doing everything I can to try and help the team win.”
Carter-Vickers’ teammate Yunus Musah also grew up in England, the former Arsenal trainee representing the Three Lions at various youth levels before committing to the USA in March 2021.
The Valencia midfielder, who became the Stars and Stripes’ first teenage World Cup starter against Wales, is eagerly anticipating the clash.
“I have a lot of respect for them for everything they’ve done for me,” he said. “I don’t think I quite know how I’m going to feel that day.
“But it’s a special game, for sure, because I played on both sides. And to be able to be on the pitch with the same national team I used to play with is just special.”