Inside Soccer Radio's Q+A With MLS 2004 MVP Candidate Joe Cannon

From – U.S. National Team and Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Joe Cannon recently had a chance to appear on Inside Soccer Radio with Brian Halliday and former U.S. National Team player and San Diego Sockers head coach Brian Quinn.

Here are some of Joe’s selected comments from the show:

On his place with the U.S. National Team:
Joe Cannon: "Obviously after the big three I really feel with all the work I have put in the game and I have done a lot of things this year I feel like I am right there. Even with those guys I feel like I can compete. Tim was in our league for a while and obviously now game in and game out he’s definitely playing at a better level. In that sense there is going to be a little gap between us.
I feel right now I am playing as well as I have ever been. I am confident. I don’t think there is anyone in the league I can say my game can’t compete against."

On whether he wants to back to Europe again:
"My attitude about that now is to go back to Europe again I don’t want to do it on the basis of me going over there and trying out for teams like I did last time. When you go over there and try out they take you on as the number two. That’s what happened in France. They had never heard of me. They don’t follow MLS over there.
At the time I don’t think I had any caps. There was nothing really going for me. My attitude about it now is I am going to play in MLS and if a European team comes and they want me you know what they are really going to have to come after me. That means they want me to play there. At this point in my career I can’t spend any game on the bench. I have to be playing. That’s how I feel about it."

On how American players differ from European players:
"When I think of MLS I think it is more athletic than technical but that is changing. The players this country is producing are getting so much better and better. You see it with the younger kids that come into your training. They are doing moves that you saw on TV in Europe and you think to yourself that I have not seen a guy do that in the States in a while.
When you go to Europe everyone is very technical. Everyone knows how to strike a ball. The level individually is much higher than in MLS when I was in France. The team I was on was in the Champions League. They were one of the better teams in Europe at the time.
However saying that Americans being so athletic I really think psychologically we have an edge. When I went to France I noticed there was not really a push to be the best you can be. There was not that drive that you see in the American player. That’s why we are able to level the terms. With some of the younger kids that are coming up with the skills added to our psychology then you are going to see an amazing run at the next couple World Cups."

If the Rapids can win it all this year:
"The year (with San Jose) that we won it I really didn’t think about if the team could go all the way. For us to go all the way we just need to take it one game at a time and find ourselves in the MLS Cup. For us to say 'Can we go all the way?' Sure we have beaten every team in the league this year so far. Based on the parity in the league there is no reason why one team can’t go all the way.
However I see for our individual team that that can’t be our focus. These next four games are so important for us to try and establish some home field advantage during the play-offs because we are such a better team at home. If we can get into the MLS Cup it is one game and anything can happen."

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