Extreme Team Makeover: Home Depot Center Edition

The Los Angeles Galaxy will have a new starting goalkeeper when the 2008 season begins, as the team sent former MLS 'Keeper of the Year Joe Cannon back to the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for a partial allocation.It was just over a year ago when Cannon was acquired by the Galaxy in a trade that saw two budding stars - Herculez Gomez and Ugo Ihemelu - get dealt to the Colorado Rapids for the veteran netminder. With a makeshift defense in front of him for much of the 2007 season, Cannon never really stood a chance to shine, but still made his fair share of spectacular saves. He started all but one game for Los Angeles, posting a 9-13-7 record to go with a 1.59 GAA.

Cannon's return to the Bay Area comes four years after his first go-round with the Earthquakes ended; he started 101 games for the franchise between 1998-2002. He recently turned 33, but should still have a few good years left in him, if head coach Frank Yallop can do a better job constructed San Jose's defense than he did with Los Angeles.

"We are very excited to have Joe Cannon back in San Jose," Yallop said. "He has proven himself to be one of the top goalkeepers in the league."

Back in Los Angeles, the trade signals the beginning of a new era between the posts, as 24-year-old Steve Cronin appears set to become the Galaxy's everyday keeper. Having just six career regular starts through his first four seasons in the league, Cronin has still impressed when given the opportunity. His incredible 14-save performance, including a save on Jozy Altidore's 12th minute PK, helped LA defeat the New York Red Bulls in a U.S. Open Cup play-in game this past May. To boot, Cronin's salary of $42,228 last year was about 1/4 of what Cannon made in 2007 ($192,000).

Cronin is currently taking part in the U.S. National Team training camp being held in Carson, CA ahead of a January 19th friendly against Sweden.


The team facelift wasn't done there, as it was announced that forward Clint Mathis has agreed to sign with Greek club Ergotelis, according to the club's website. Mathis, 31, was acquired in November from the Red Bulls for a third-round pick in the upcoming MLS SuperDraft, but the Galaxy were apparently unable to convince the former national team star to resign at terms more reasonable than the $410,000 he was guaranteed in 2007.

No comments: