Quakes' keeper Cannon ends media blackout

Loquacious veteran calls Busch pickup a 'positive situation'

If there was
an award for “Most Loquacious Quake,” Joe Cannon would be the all-time trophy
winner.

So when San Jose’s starting
goalkeeper declined media entreaties immediately following the team’s
acquisition of Jon Busch, the 2008 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, plenty of folks assumed
Cannon had gone silent out of anger with the move.

Not so, Cannon told MLSsoccer.com.
He was merely angry over the way the Quakes opened the season, with a 3-0
defeat to visiting Real Salt Lake.

“I was disappointed in the loss,”
Cannon said. “I think it was just a week to shut up and work. I still think
that, but I’m not trying to avoid anyone anymore.”

If Cannon was also trying to steer
clear of controversy, it might have been a decision made from personal
experience. When he returned in the middle of the 2003 MLS season from a stint
in France’s top league, Cannon was cast on the opposite side of a new-vs.-old
keeper battle in Colorado.

Scott Garlick, then the Rapids’
incumbent in goal, responded to the team’s interest in Cannon by famously
telling The Denver Post, “I don’t
care whether they bring in Joe Cannon or Jeff Bazooka or Jim Tommygun ... I
don't need anyone to push me. I know what I can do in this league.”

Upon his arrival, Cannon responded
in kind, via the Post: “I don’t care
if it’s Scott Garlick, Scott Salt or Scott Pepper. I'm very confident in my
abilities. I can compete for the job anywhere, and may the best man win. It's
going to be fun.”

In this instance, both Cannon and
Busch have been careful to avoid saying anything untoward about the other,
instead playing up the party line of harmony.

Cannon has remained the Earthquakes’
No. 1 keeper, and both general manager John Doyle and coach Frank Yallop said
they only made the move because Busch was available at such a minimal
salary-cap cost.

“With Jon coming in, I think
sometimes, these things can work two ways, and just the way he is makes it a
positive situation,” Cannon said. “He’s a hard worker, he’s an experienced
veteran and he’s a guy that’s reliable. He’s a good pro. So I think in that
sense, it’s good to have him around.”

The nearest Cannon came to
criticizing the signing was to describe it as “an interesting move.”

As for the idea that Busch’s
presence will make him work harder, Cannon thinks it may do more in the way of
focusing his efforts only on things he can control.

“One of my biggest flaws in my game
is the mental part, in the sense that I worry a lot of times about things other
than goalkeeping, because I care so much about the team,” Cannon said.
“Sometimes it can almost work to the detriment, because I’ll focus on things
that really aren’t under my realm. For me, it’s important to just keep working
hard. . . .

“I think we have a playoff team
here. I think we have a group of guys that collectively don’t understand how
good they are yet. And it’s difficult to watch, because we are a good team. For
me, as an older guy, you almost want to shake them all and say, ‘Listen, you
guys are great players.’ But I think it comes from experience and time, and I’m
just looking to go into battle with these guys.”

The Quakes return to action on the
road Saturday against the Fire at Toyota Park.

Geoff Lepper covers the Earthquakes for
MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at sanjosequakes@gmail.com.
Follow him on Twitter at @sjquakes.