Healthy competition in net

Ex-San Jose 'keeper is fit again

Joe Cannon Whitecaps FC training

Photo Credit: 
Bob Frid

Two games into the season and Whitecaps FC have used a different goalkeeper in each match. Who will return for game three is still up in the air.

“I don’t know yet,” head coach Teitur Thordarson said earlier this week of who his choice will be Saturday vs. Sporting Kansas City. “Joe Cannon did very well in Philadelphia and Jay Nolly is getting better, so on Friday, I will most probably have a good decision to make.”

Nolly has been the starter in Vancouver since the club’s time in D2 and got the win in the opening match, but suffered a shoulder injury during training last week.

That opened the door for Cannon to get the start. The veteran had a fine outing at PPL Park, making several saves, including a highlight-reel tip of a close-range Carlos Ruiz overhead shot.

WATCH: Cannon keeps San Jose in the game

“I felt great,” Cannon said. “Obviously, there are a couple parts of my game that I want to work on, but at the same time, I was pretty anxious.

"I was more nervous for that game than any game I’ve been in since probably [my time with the U.S. national team] when I was younger or maybe my first game in San Jose.”

Cannon had been out with a broken ankle suffered during training in August when he was still with San Jose Earthquakes.

“The initial diagnosis was six to eight weeks, so I thought, ‘Oh, okay, that’s not too bad,'” Cannon said. “Then, the more time went on, the more I heard about the injury and people said it takes even a whole year for broken bones to correctly heal."

“Mentally is the last part of the injury,” he added. “Trusting everything like you used to because the whole build-up from what I remember from the injury is that it was just a natural play and it was just a freak injury. That plays with you a little bit. It can happen anytime.”

Now that he’s approaching full health, Cannon said that he’s ready to compete for the starting position, a mind set that he learned at a very young age.

“I had a twin brother, four brothers [all together],” Cannon said. “We had to fight for everything being younger, whether it was cereal or attention from our parents.”

He admits that he was disappointed with the way things ended in San Jose, but he’s adamant that he’s ready for the season ahead in Vancouver.

“I was playing really well,” Cannon said. “I felt very confident and I just wanted my job in San Jose. It kind of came out of nowhere, but maybe it was something that brought me here. I’m so happy to be here and I really just want to work hard for the team, and work hard with Jay and Brian Sylvestre to make the goalkeepers here some of the best in the league.”