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2019 FC Dallas player recap: Reggie Cannon

His 2019 was a spitting-image of his 2018, solid in every way.

MLS: Minnesota United FC at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

My favorite part of Reggie Cannon’s young career is that in 2017, after signing a homegrown deal, he appeared in just one minute of league action. In the past two seasons, he’s amassed over 5,000 minutes of playing time and has missed only seven MLS games, five of which due to international absence.

It’s a testament to his consistency and quick-adaption to professional soccer, something that has certainly contributed to his rise with the national team as well, earning a start in the 2019 Gold Cup Final against El Tri.

Stat Breakdown

Reggie is not only a strong outside back, able to win the ball from attackers and distribute up the field to the tune of an 84% completed pass rate and 1.7 tackles per game, he’s also continuing to evolve on the attacking end of things — something his counterpart Ryan Hollingshead has excelled at for the duration of his career and specifically this past season.

Despite playing almost 700 fewer minutes this season compared to last, we saw increases in shots from within the penalty area (seven), total dribbles (56) and crosses (46). Obviously a factor in this was the change in tactics under Luchi Gonzalez, but it’s also something we know Reggie has been working on and the fruits are no doubt beginning to reveal themselves.

Game That Best Sums Up Cannon

In the biggest game of the season, Reggie was asked to start in a brand new position on a brand new side of the field.

All Cannon did, of course, was score a technically-precise goal that vaulted FC Dallas back into their MLS Cup Playoffs quarterfinal against Seattle Sounders, which they ultimately lost 4-3 after extra time.

Nonetheless, playing as a winger for the first time in his career — on an unfamiliar side of the pitch — he looked like a natural as he corralled Michael Barrios’ cross with his right foot, reacted well to a deflection off the hand of Seattle defender Romain Torres, then calmly slotted the ball to the right of a sprawling Stefan Frei to put his team back in contention in after nearly taking a 2-0 deficit into the break.

This play obviously doesn’t highlight Cannon’s best ability, his defending, but when you have 21-year-olds step up to play different, unfamiliar roles in the biggest games of the year — and find this kind of success — it can’t go unnoticed.

2020 Outlook

FC Dallas picked up Cannon’s 2020 option last month, so he’s officially on the books for another year. Beyond that, though, is tricky as he’ll obviously warrant a sizable new contract all while undoubtedly attracting foreign suitors. As one of the more well-developed homegrown players on the roster, Reggie could very well be the next promising youngster to make a move overseas — but only for the right price.

If he does end up making a move, he’ll leave a gaping hole not only in defense, but also in terms of competitiveness and a fiery spirit on the pitch. If the club can somehow keep him in Frisco for the near future with a new contract, he’ll be a cornerstone within what Luchi is trying to build here.