THE American dream could become the Rangers reality. As loan moves go, it is fair to say Cammy Palmer has landed one of the better ones away from Ibrox.

The midfielder would spend the first half of the campaign with Partick Thistle as he was given the opportunity to gain experience in a first team environment. In California, he is learning off the park as well as on it.

When Rangers agreed a partnership with Orange County Soccer Club last year, Palmer couldn’t have imagined he would be one of the first to benefit. Within weeks, he, Danny Finlayson and Matthew Shiels were heading Stateside and Irvine is now home from home for trio as they have moved from the Development Squad into the USL Championship.

The move didn’t need to be sold. The attraction of life across the Atlantic was clear from the off but the main potential benefit was always a football one for Palmer.

“First and foremost, we didn’t want to lose our focus and look at the weather and the lifestyle,” he said. “The main reason we are here is to do a job for the team, improve as players and become more mature and independent.

“That is the focus and other things come with it when you are on a day off or outside of football. It is nice to be able to go and experience things that I wouldn’t be able to back home.

“We are just trying to make the most of the opportunity but really focus on the football part because that is what is going to help us in the long-term in our careers.

“They have the partnership with Rangers and part of that is to bring players over and send them to Rangers.

“All three of us were looking to go on loan and looking for something that would really challenge us and get us more prepared for playing for Rangers.

“Orange County needed players and they wanted us three to strengthen their team. It was something you couldn’t really say no to given the opportunity.”

Palmer made his County debut in the draw with El Paso earlier this month but he could now find his game time limited as the Coronavirus crisis hits the second tier in America.

It will give the 19-year-old more down time than he initially anticipated but he has always had a plan in place to ensure he was getting the most out life in Southern California.

“I am doing a Uni course on social psychology,” Palmer said. “So that has been good for me, it keeps me busy and gives me something else to focus on rather than football 24 hours of the day.

“At Rangers, they encourage you to keep up with your studies and not just have football. You could have a bad injury, you might retire or you might fall out of the game. So they encourage you to be academic as well and it gives you a backup just incase.

“It is something I have always been interested in, how people think, how people socialise, how they relate to people.

“That is something I would be interested in if football didn’t work out. It is something I wanted to pursue as a job right now but it is enjoyable and it gives me another focus alongside my football.”

Palmer would make 20 appearances during the first half of the campaign for Thistle and also turned out for the Rangers Colts in their Challenge Cup defeat to Inverness last month.

His latest challenge is very different, though.

The standard of player around him has been a welcome surprise, while the OC facilities offer the Rangers trio everything they need to improve and progress.

Palmer said: “Obviously compared to the Rangers first team it is very different but compared to the Championship it is probably a better level. You want to be playing at as high a level as possible to allow you to match the high standards at Rangers if possible.

“You are always in, always with the guys and doing something on the pitch or in the gym or video stuff. We can’t have any complaints about the training, the pitches, the coaches because it is all top class and they have helped us out, supported us and made it easier to settle into the new environment.

“They are trying to replicate some things from Rangers in terms of how they go about their business and that was a big part of why we came here. It is something that will really help us when we go back.”

The partnership between Rangers and Orange County will see information and ideas shared at first team and youth level and in commercial and sponsorship terms.

The most important aspect has to be on the pitch and the time in Irvine will give Palmer, Finlayson and Shiels the platform upon which to build as they look to establish themselves for Steven Gerrard’s side in the long run.

“Rangers have people watching our games, probably more than we think, and they get all the matches and the statistics to see how we are doing,” Palmer said. “For all of us, it is about making sure we are better equipped for going back to Rangers and really challenging the gaffer and making his choice that bit more difficult if we can.

“That has to be the aim for us and we have to get the most out of this time and not coming out of it thinking ‘we could have applied ourselves a bit more’.

“We are just excited about this because we know it is a really good environment and probably the best environment for us to grow and really develop.”