After registering just a single minute on the field for FC Dallas in 2017, Reggie Cannon was second on the team in minutes played in 2018, with his 2,921 trailing leader Matt Hedges by just four minutes. The 2016 Homegrown signing was a stalwart at right back this season, taking over the vacancy left by Hernan Grana’s loan expiry after 2017.
He started 38 of the team’s 39 games across all competitions, scoring in one and assisting in two others. In league play, his 87.5 percent passing rate on 36 passes per game led the team, as did his 2.7 tackles per game. He also finished fourth on the team with 1.6 interceptions per game, just shy of Matt Hedges’ team-leading average of 2.0. Despite only being a second-year player and seeing first-team minutes for the first time, Cannon’s stamina was nothing short of spectacular. The UCLA product went the full 90 in every one of his 33 league matches — a mark that was only equaled by Matt Hedges.
Game That Best Sums Up Reggie
He perfectly encapsulated what we should expect from an Oscar Pareja fullback, effectively joining the attack throughout the game — especially in a season in which the winger positions were constantly in flux outside of Michael Barrios — and beasting anyone who dared to find work anywhere on the right side of the field. This was no better displayed than when he posted seven tackles (green), six recoveries (gold), three interceptions (blue), four clearances (purple) and a block (yellow) in one game against the Revolution.
While that April 14th game was probably Reggie’s best, we can’t overlook his wonderful account-opening strike against Vancouver a month later.
He coolly dekes his defender and drives his left foot onto the ball, giving Brian Rowe absolutely no chance as it sailed into the top left corner. It was a terrific first goal to have and, in my opinion, is the best goal he’s ever scored.
It also gave us the beautiful moment of Papi sharing in one of his own academy kids’ biggest career accomplishments. I’m not crying, you’re crying. I’m also crying.
Things are only looking up for the young defender and time is on his side as he’ll be under contract in 2019 and won’t even be able to legally drink until next summer. His 2018 performance wasn’t noticed just by Oscar and the FC Dallas faithful, either. He received his first-ever U.S. National Team call-up in October where he got saw first USMNT action, playing 84 minutes in a 1-1 draw against Peru on October 16. He’s already been called-up once more for the Yanks in their upcoming friendlies against Italy and England later this month — not a bad way to cap off your debut season as a pro.
Reggie should feature in this team for quite awhile, outside of any lucrative offers sending him to European clubs — an understandable loss to foresee when it comes to young talent. While the team’s left back situation is less clear going into next year, Reggie has already demonstrated his ability to play every day, deliver consistent performances and bring an attacking presence from the back. Outside of Matt Hedges, there probably isn’t a place on the field we should have more confidence in than Reginald.
As TLC once said, Reggie “don’t want no scrubs” and that’s the kind of guy I want on my team.