Cannon pointing

Whitecaps FC savour test against defending Supporters Shield winners San Jose

VANCOUVER, BC – It’s early in the season, but this weekend, Vancouver Whitecaps FC are looking at their match with the San Jose Earthquakes as a measuring stick.

Joe Cannon, who played in San Jose from 1999-2002 and then once again from 2008-10, keeps tabs on his former team and feels it’s a good chance to find out where the ‘Caps are at.

“I’m excited to go down there and see what we have,” Cannon told reporters this week after a training session at the University of British Columbia. “I think it’s a great challenge for us and it’s going to be really telling, especially to see if there’s some type of response after the last two games.”

In those two games the Whitecaps fell 2-1 to the Houston Dynamo and and Chivas USA. Cannon echoed teammates by suggesting some players could dig a little deeper on the road.

“Everyone watches these games on TV if they’re not there in person,” Cannon said. “You can tell when a team wants it and when a team doesn’t. Our fans, especially, they appreciate that kind of effort. Our team, for whatever reason we’ve had great moments, and then we’ve had some spells that maybe it looked like we were a little bit off.

“With this group, I’m not too concerned about it. Going into San Jose, like I said, it’s going to be an awesome challenge. They’re a great team and I’m looking forward to it. They’re defending Supporters Shield champs and we’ve got to go in there and try and do our thing.”

While the Earthquakes ended 2012 as the league’s best regular season side, the ‘Caps held a winning 2-1 record against the side last season, although did lose their sole road game against head coach Frank Yallops’ men. Still, the ‘Caps are latching on to those home victories to build their belief ahead of this weekend’s encounter.

“We’ve started the season quite well and now we go and play the team that won the Supporters Shield last season,” Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie said. “A good team, but a team that we’ve matched up well against. We had a good performance there last season and two good wins against them at home.”