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Sports

Cannon has a blast during induction


ISI Photos/San Jose Earthquakes
Joe Cannon speaks to the crowd at Avaya Stadium during his induction into the San Jose Earthquakes Hall of Fame.

As Joe Cannon stood at midfield at Avaya Stadium, he still couldn’t believe it. The Los Altos Hills native, with his family by his side, was entering the San Jose Earthquakes Hall of Fame.

“Pretty surreal,” Cannon said in recalling the April 8 event, held at halftime of the Quakes’ game against the Seattle Sounders. “It was a very memorable night.”

The St. Francis High graduate delivered an emotional speech during the induction ceremony, with the near-capacity crowd watching in the overcast night. Cannon thanked the organization and spoke about his illustrious seven-year career with the Quakes.

“I don’t think I really could have imagined a night that was as special as that night,” the former goalkeeper said. “I give a lot of credit to the San Jose Earthquakes for really making the whole experience just incredible. Wonderful to share with family and friends, and then obviously the fans that have supported me my whole career.”

Cannon had two stints with San Jose, minding the goal from 1999 through 2002 and again from 2008 through 2010. He helped San Jose win its first Major League Soccer Cup in 2001 and twice made the all-star game.

“Those stick out in terms of my time here in San Jose,” Cannon said of winning the title and playing in the all-star game the Quakes hosted in 2001. “Like I said before, I couldn’t have written a script any better.”

Quakes President Dave Kaval, in a press release issued days before the induction, praised Cannon’s value to the team.

“Joe has been a tremendous ambassador for the Earthquakes organization on and off the field for the past 20 years,” Kaval said. “Whether he was helping the club win an MLS Cup championship or serving as an ambassador in the community, Joe has always had the highest integrity in his work. He is fully deserving of being named to the Earthquakes Hall of Fame.”

Cannon is still part of the first MLS team he played for – the Santa Clara University grad was recently named head coach of the Burlingame Dragons, the Quakes’ under-23 affiliate. Cannon said his role includes developing young players who may one day play for the MLS team.

This is just one of many roles that keeps Cannon busy. Along with being the father of one son – with another on the way – he is executive director of the Mountain View Los Altos Soccer Club, which he played for growing up.

“It’s always kind of been my home, this area,” said the Mountain View resident. “(I’m) very proud to represent (MVLA).”

Cannon added that he’s also proud of his work in the community. He is on the board of the Independent Peer Socialization Training Program, a nonprofit organization that helps children with autism and other neurological disorders.

Don’t be surprised to see Cannon in downtown Los Altos with wife Marisa (a Los Altos High graduate) and their 3-year-old son, Joey. One of their favorite hangouts is Peet’s Coffee & Tea on State Street.

“It’s definitely an area I’ve always felt close to,” Cannon said of Los Altos. “I want to mix the passion that I have for the area with the passion that I have for our local community with the passion I have for this sport … of soccer and kind of merge all those things together. For me at this time, that’s my focus.”

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