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Cannon confident he can stake claim to USMNT right back spot

Reggie Cannon saw his stock grow with the U.S. Men’s National Team in 2019 under Gregg Berhalter. Now the FC Dallas right back has reached 2020 confident he can win the starting job for the USMNT going forward.

With DeAndre Yedlin and Sergino Dest currently in the middle of their respective European seasons, Cannon has arrived in January camp with an opportunity to build on the momentum he generated in the second half of last year.

“I believe I can be the number one right back for the USMNT,” Cannon said. “I look at DeAndre and Sergino and whenever I play against them in training, we try to make each other better and they certainly push me. It’s good to play with guys like that who want to help you getter better and vice versa. I look up to those guys, but I want to take that starting job.”

“I think we get the best out of each other, they learn as much as I do. They are confident guys playing in the Premier League and with Ajax,
Cannon said. “They are role models of mine at the position. I want to push them out of the starting spot, and be the best version of myself I can be.”

The 21-year-old moved up the charts in 2019, not only with FC Dallas, but also with the USMNT. In MLS, Cannon made 29 combined league appearances, scoring two goals and registering one assist. He helped Luchi Gonzalez’s side clinch an MLS Cup Playoff berth, scoring in a 4-3 first round loss to the Seattle Sounders.

After earning two caps in 2018 under USMNT interim head coach Dave Sarachan, Cannon made eight appearances the following year under Berhalter. He was the final roster additional prior to the Concacaf Gold Cup, and went on to start three matches, including the 1-0 final loss to Mexico. He also appeared in three friendlies and two USMNT wins in the inaugural Concacaf Nations League group stage.

A year ago, Cannon arrived in January USMNT camp as a fringe selection. Now, Cannon has emerged in the current camp as a leader and vocal presence.

“This year is 180 degrees from last year in terms of Reggie and his status and role within the team,” Berhalter said. “He’s a guy that the majority of the team looks up to. They’ve got a ton of respect for how he carries himself, how he is as a professional, and because of that they want to follow him. It’s really nice to see Reggie step into that leadership role.”

“It speaks to Reggie’s maturity and his ability to take information in and act that way,” Berhalter said. “He’s a guy that’s relentless on the field and always wants to compete, and it’s great to have guys like that involved.”

Like USMNT veterans Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, and Yedlin have done for Cannon, the defender is now aiming to do the same for Bryang Kayo, Julian Araujo, Christian Cappis, and Ulysses Llanez. Those are just a handful of young players in the current January camp trying to make an impression. Cannon will try to pass off what he’s learned so far to the next generation of USMNT players.

“As an MLS player, it’s a hard camp to be away from your friends and family for a whole month,” Cannon said. “I feel a whole lot more ready in 2020 than I did in last year’s January camp. I can’t even imagine being 17-years-old like Bryang Kayo getting called into the USMNT. I want to be a leader for young guys like that, who maybe need someone to help them grow. I want to be that light for these guys who can look up to when things get tough.”

In addition to the USMNT schedule and the start of the 2020 MLS season in late February, Cannon is also eligible to represent the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team in what is also a busy year. The Concacaf Olympic Qualifying  tournament is slated to begin this March in Mexico, with two teams clinching a berth to the Summer Olympics in Japan.

“I think it’s going to be a very, big year,” Cannon said. “Olympics is something you always dream of playing in just like the World Cup, My focus is to start the season strong with Dallas and hopefully get even better because in six months we’re going to be playing the toughest teams in the World. We have a talented young pool of players, so it’s all about building off of each other and using the best of everyone’s qualities.”

Comments

  1. He has a great head on his shoulders…very mature. Imo, he is our best option defensively at RB…Lima is better up field, but Cannon is not bad on the overlap. Cannon’s mentality sets him apart…he checks more boxes across the board.

    I wouldn’t hesitate moving Dest into a flank mid role…with Cannon behind him.

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  2. Right now all of our outside backs are more attack minded than defensive. I don’t care which one you look at….Yedlin, Dest, Cannon, A. Robinson, etc….they are all better at attacking than they are a defending.
    If Berhaulter had a shred of common sense he’d move to a formation using 3 CB’s to allow our attack minded wing-backs more freedom to get up-field. We have a nice stable of CB’s that is growing & maturing (Brooks, Miazga, Alvarado, Long, M. Robinson, Richards, EPB, CCV, Zimmerman). Paired with 2 ball winning grinding CM’s (McKennie & Adams) Let them hold down the fort defensively and give the speedy wing-backs more freedom.

    ————————————-Sargent————————————
    ————–Pulisic——————————————-Weah———–
    —A. Robinson———————–TBD————————–Dest—-
    ————————McKennie——————Adams——————–
    ———–Alvarado——————Brooks—————-Miazga———

    TBD = Parks, Pomykal, Ledezma, Scott. If against a superior team use a more Box to Box CM….if a weaker opponent use a more attack minded CM (Ledezma).
    The wing-backs have the motor to get up and down the flanks. McKennie & Adams will clog the middle of the pitch. Allowing Weah & Pulisic room to find spaces as the play develops.
    Backups:
    Jozy for Sargent
    Reyna for either Pulisic or Weah. (still need another attacker option)
    Morales for McKennie & Adams (still need another back-up…Cappis?)

    devise a strategy/formation that plays to the strength of our player pool and not our weaknesses. We have a young group of players who are becoming contributors at some great clubs in some top leagues. Allow them to mature in a system that plays to their strengths…High Energy/press with speed and ruthlessness when the ball turns over.

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  3. I believe that athe the end of the day it’s going to be to put together our best team. We could have dest at left and cannon on the right this will be our best offensive threat from the wings moving up the field.

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  4. He sounds very mature for 21, good for him. I remember him giving us much more than expected in the Gold Cup, including defending well against some of the best attackers in the region, and even getting in some decent attacking runs and crosses. You have to think that Berhalter is going to need to use Cannon or Dest (or both) at left back since we literally have nobody that can play there. I don’t know which would make more sense, but until a true left back emerges, we have to use one of our right backs or play with 3 in the back. Can’t see Berhalter going with 3 in the back.

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    • Well Antonee Robinson has been playing consistent and is good enough for success at the Concacaf level and vs mid level South American and European teams if you ask me…more important is that he plays Left Back so it would be natural for him. I just read AC Milan are thinking of signing him, I PRAY he does and gets time…AC Milan are a shell of what they use to be, but with Zlatan they are only about 6 points away from getting into the top 4 and maybe fight for a Champions League spot again!

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      • Well thats just the thing, he hasnt been consistent at all when he’s been in camp with the USMNT. The AC Milan inquiry is a bit shocking considering he hasnt been consistent with Wigan and Everton seemingly doeant rate him as a first team player. But, I’ll be the first to congratulate him if that moves goes through

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