On to the next one

Despite bye week, Cannon focused on next challenge

BURNABY, BC — Vancouver Whitecaps FC were back training on Wednesday after head coach Martin Rennie gave the squad a few days off ahead of a bye weekend.

With the squad returning as a group for the first team since last Saturday’s 3-1 loss to San Jose, the break helped players like Camilo and Eric Hassli who have been playing through injuries. However, veteran goalkeeper Joe Cannon suggested getting back on the horse sooner rather than later is the best way to bounce back.

SAVE: Cannon tips it around the post

“I feel this team is playing really well,” Cannon told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. “There was just a couple of distinct mistakes, and I don’t think [Saturday’s loss] was characteristic of us. It doesn’t matter to me whether there’s a break.

“We have a great coaching staff that’s going to put together a great game plan. We have guys injured who probably appreciate the rest, so that’s always good when we can get guys healthy. But historically, I’d much prefer to get over a game quickly, especially a loss.”

Cannon insists that Saturday’s defeat, during which the team let an impressive first-hour performance slip away by conceding three goals in 10 second-half minutes, was a blip. The ‘keeper also said the defeat was a result of isolated errors – but that there’s still things the team can learn from the result.

“It’s not something we can ignore,” Cannon said. “We have to look at it and learn from it. We get paid to play this game, and I don’t think it’s smart to just throw anything under the rug, even if you win. We’re still in the early going here and I think we just have to look at that game for what it is and move on.”

At 37, Cannon regularly jokes about his age in relation to his teammates.

The Bay Area native has put in a number of eye-catching displays this season and has looked as good as ever, helping the ‘Caps to an MLS shutout record to start an MLS season.

But now Cannon is casting an eye to the future, recently starting a blog (Goalkeeping 101 & beyond) which he hopes will give young goalkeepers tips to improve their performance and develop their skills.

“It’s a new venture, and I’m excited to start down that direction,” Cannon said. “I’m glad to be writing again and I think there’s some bigger things for me in the future. Right now I’m focused on playing, and on my off time I’m focused on giving back and maybe it will even help me focus on my game and things I can improve on.”

Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.