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Joe Cannon

05 February 5:36 pm

Hey friends and fellow GK's,
Sorry it has been so long but I was back in California for the offseason, went to a couple bachelor parties, made a few trips, and got married. Wasn't really in the mode to chat soccer, but now that I'm back in Vancouver, I wanted to write a few thoughts down.
Recently, I have received some emails asking what high school kids can do to play college soccer. Although it seems a fairly simple question, the answers are sometimes not so simple. The first thing one must do is to realistically view themselves. Do I have a chance at playing? If so, what level? Have I been contacted by anyone? Has someone ever recommended college? 
So you think you have a shot huh? Well there are a few basic things that all students should do to have the best options to play at the college level. First, you have to study. I look back on my high school days and wish I would have put a little more time and energy into my schoolwork. There were so many colleges where I did not have the opportunity to play because of my grades. Right away, I closed a few doors. Secondly, you have to currently be playing soccer at a competitive level. Of course there are always exceptions, but for the most part, coaches are looking at players from all over the country (sometimes the world) to fill out their rosters. Like everything else in life, the higher you go up in level, the more competitive the field becomes. To help yourself out, make a list of colleges you would like to attend. Dream colleges, back up schools, interesting places that you could see yourself going and being happy.
The next step is to simply write to the coaches of those schools. Let them know you are interested. This will go a long way. Coaches have no clue who to recruit at times and the last thing they want to do is waste time trying to recruit someone who is not even interested in their school. When I was younger, I had a lot of pride and waited for coaches to contact me. I look back and realize how foolish I was. Don't make the same mistakes I made. 
Also, make sure that you have on file a highlight tape that includes a few minutes of you in games. Be very selective with the highlights. Make them relevant to what you want to show. Try not to show you kicking the ball a thousand times and then making 3 saves. Coaches want to see you making good decisions and manifesting good technique. Ask a current coach or someone who has played in college to give you more direction. Or you can just send me a link to your videos and I can give a quick summary. You may have to wait awhile though..haha
The next topic I want to touch on is the offseason. For younger players, this is usually the summer, but nowadays, it's different all over. If you are really serious about your dream of playing soccer in college or professionally, the offseason is not a time to waste just vacationing and playing video games. Although I did my fair share of that as a youngster, I was also very keen on trying to find people to play with and find games. If you're a bit older, you can lift, do plyometrics and basically work on getting stronger. Ask your coach or trainer what they would like to see you work on and just do it!!
There was an old saying at the St. Francis High School weight room. It went something like this: "When you are not training, there is someone out there who is. And when you meet them, they will win." It pretty much tells you the story. You have to want it more than anyone else. Throw out skill and technique, and give me a kid with desire. It is easier to take these motivated kids and work out the other stuff. In saying that, these motivated kids tend to also be students of the game. 
Here in Canada, our younger players in the Whitecaps FC Residency program live and breathe soccer. They train almost daily in hopes of realizing their dreams to play soccer professionally. What will happen when you face these kids?? Your work ethic and determination are the only answers to that question.
Best Wishes and
may the posts be with you....
07 September 2:12 pm

OMG! I can't believe that just happened.....

Yeah, that's probably the first thought that crossed my mind. I do not like talking or dwelling on my mistakes, but my younger brother convinced me to go ahead and write. After giving up a bad goal, so many thoughts come into your head....

"What just happened?", "Why me?", "I can't believe this", and even the old "please get me out of here" all crosses your mind.

However, there is still a game going on and the last thing you want to do is let your thoughts cost your team another goal. The initial thing is to stay focused until the game is over. Only then, is it a time to reflect....

I can only imagine how difficult it is for goalkeepers to go through this a first time in their young careers. For someone like me, it is a tad easier, but in all honesty, nothing in life can prepare you for the isolated feeling in front of thousands of fans.

It even gets worse when family, close friends, and thousands of supporters have spent tons of time and money to come and watch a game. All these things come into play after making a mistake, but then you really have two choices.

Do you let this mistake get the best of you? Or do you make this another learning experience to grow and become a better person?

After making a big mistake, it is human to want to runaway and hide in a hole, pretend you don't care, or just start making excuses.

You can choose to do this, but a better way out, in my opinion, is to simply raise your hand and say "it was a mistake, and I will learn from this". There is a tendency to want to do more than you have been merely to "make up" for your mistake. STOP!

You don't have to do MORE. You just have to be YOU! Hopefully this means going back to being the hard working player you have been and concentrate on the only thing you can: this moment, the next play, your day to day habits as well as your attitude.

Do I have the mental capacity to come back and be better? Or will I sit and dwell about the past??

I think we all know which one is the correct answer.

For the young players out there, it's important to know that no matter who you are, you are going to make mistakes. However, it is your response to these mistakes that show the world who you are.

The most successful people in the world say that the biggest problems present the biggest opportunities. Well that's exactly what I'm doing. Bad goals are part of the position. Accept this and move on.

If you have a story you'd like to share or just want some encouraging words, please email me at

The advice I give to all younger goalkeepers is to go out and make mistakes. They are the best learning teachers and as Billy Joel says, they are truly the only things you can call your own. haha.

may the posts be with you....

04 July 3:27 pm

So the off-season has begun for so many goalkeepers out there. College, youth, and many competitive players find themselves with so much free time during the summer season. Well there's a quote I'd like to try and reiterate which I read in High School:

"When you are not training, remember, someone somewhere is training, and when you meet him he will win"

Now I could of hacked this up a little bit, but you all get the point. Right now if you're not doing the best you can to improve your game, someone out there is. When you go back to practice or tryouts or whatever, you want to make sure you worked harder than the other guy or girl. This is your new summer mission.

I have always thought that it is hard to really improve throughout a season. Of course you can make small gains week in and week out (both skill and confidence wise) but the off season is where you set the base.

This summer try to work on things you normally can't. If you need to improve your strength in jumping, then do some plyometric exercises to get your spring a little bit better. If your footwork needs some work, then get out and do some footwork drills. If you simply need to get better, call some older players who need a goalkeeper to shoot on and let them know you're available.

It is not the time to play Call of Duty and socialize with friends online. Trust me, I have enough 20 and 30 year old friends who do that to this day. It is time to set your goals and go after them.

"If not now, then when? If not you, then who?"

Take responsibility for your goals and dreams and get out there to make them happen. Summer is a great excuse for your competitors to relax and get comfortable in their free time. For the ones who are serious about achieving their goals, the time is NOW.

While other people are daydreaming, let's be proactive in trying to make ours come true.

May the posts be with you.....

08 June 10:20 am

So I chose my top 3 on Twitter last night, and I just wanted to give my insight.

Iker Casillas- Big game player. Has the experience and the athleticism to win any game. Already has a Euro and a World Cup to his credit. Has the fortunate pleasure of playing behind the world's best team.

Joe Hart- Playing in England is no easy task. Playing for Manchester City and leading them to the EPL title is even harder. He has proved he has got the mentality and pedigree to win big games. The only question is can he do the same for England. I think he can.

Manuel Neuer- a tough pick over Buffon and Cech, however he has a certain confidence about him that makes him seem older. Germans are very mechanical and methodic and Neuer fits this bill. The same questions come up with him as they do Hart. Can his International game live up to his club performances. Once again, I believe it can.

Others to watch: Buffon, and let's be honest, I'm writing this after the displays of Cech and Szczesny, so I don't have to include them now.