About an hour before MLS Cup 2008 kicked off at Home Depot Center last month, San Jose keeper
Now that the official deadline passed on Monday for teams to notify the league of such decisions, negotiations can begin in earnest. If the two sides cannot reach an agreement, the Quakes can retain the right of first refusal indefinitely if it attempts to re-sign him, regardless of the terms -- salary, bonuses, length of contract, etc. -- it offers.
Although San Jose still holds Cannon's MLS rights, he is free to negotiate a deal with a foreign club, and so could leave the league for the second time in his career. Following the '02 season, Cannon's contract expired and he spent six months in France with Lens, before returning to MLS via a trade by San Jose which, in the interim, had signed
Cannon's former coach in San Jose,
Cannon was due to make about $225,000 in '09 and, while a source said the team does want him back, it wants him at a salary commensurate with other MLS keepers, who don't earn much in most cases. Until
Despite his experience and accomplishments -- two Goalkeeper of the Year awards and an MLS Cup -- teams may balk at picking up Cannon's salary. Yet the Quakes are risking a backlash from fans, most of whom appreciate his fearless play and genial personality, if they lose him to save $50,000 or $75,000.