Joe Cannon Snubbed for League MVP Award

DENVER CO (11-11-04) – Major League Soccer announced today that MetroStars midfielder Amado Guevara is the recipient of the 2004 Honda MLS MVP award.

Guevara who was the joint MLS Budweiser Scoring Champion this season with 10 goals and 10 assists for 30 points defeated fellow finalists goalkeeper Joe Cannon of the Colorado Rapids and forward Jamie Moreno of D.C. United to become the first MetroStars player ever to be named MLS MVP.

The MVP announcement was made on Thursday afternoon at the ESPN Zone in Anaheim CA and was broadcast live on ESPNews. Both Guevara and Moreno were present at the announcement in Anaheim while Cannon who was attempting to become just the second keeper ever to be named MLS MVP following Tony Meola in 2000 remained in Columbus Ohio where he is currently training with the United States Men’s National Team.

This was the third consecutive season in which a Rapids player had been named as a finalist for MLS MVP but as was the case with midfielder Mark Chung in 2002 and John Spencer in 2003 Cannon was defeated by the year’s Scoring Champion.

The 2004 season was Cannon’s first full season with the Rapids and he made an immediate impact by starting all 30 of the team’s regular season matches as well as both playoff games and setting a number of league team and personal records.

Cannon was the only 'keeper in MLS to appear in all of his team’s regular season matches and he led the league with 150 saves and 10 shutouts.

His 1.07 Goals-Against-Average was good for third in MLS and set a new Rapids record as well as being the lowest of his six-year MLS career. His prowess between the pipes was most evident at INVESCO Field at Mile High where he allowed just eight goals in 15 regular season games setting a new all-time MLS record of 0.53 GAA at home. In those 15 games Cannon never allowed more than a single goal in a game and recorded seven clean sheets.

On Friday afternoon the rest of the Major League Soccer year-end awards with the exception of the 2004 Radio Shack Best XI will be announced at the League’s annual Media Luncheon at The Home Depot Center Stadium Club.

Cannon is also one of three finalists for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year along with Jon Busch of the Columbus Crew and Kevin Hartman of the Los Angeles Galaxy. Cannon who won the award in 2002 will not be at the luncheon when the award winners are announced but teammates Chris Henderson and Ritchie Kotschau each of whom is up for different awards will be.

Henderson is a finalist for the U.S. Soccer Foundation's MLS Humanitarian of the Year award an honor that the Rapids gave him on the team level last season while Kotschau is one of three players up for the Kraft MLS Fair Play Award.

If any of the three aforementioned players are victorious in winning an award they will be among elite company as only a few players in Rapids team history have won a year-end league award:

-In 2002 Rapids midfielder Mark Chung was named the MLS Fair Play Award winner as the league's best sportsman that year.
-In 2000 Marcelo Balboa’s acrobatic bicycle kick goal in the 55th minute of the Rapids' 3-2 win over the Columbus Crew was immediately dubbed "The Greatest Goal in MLS History