Former Bronco Soccer Standout Signs With First Division Squad in France

Jan. 28, 2003

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - MLS 2002 Goalkeeper of the Year Joe Cannon has inked a six-month deal with Le Championnat side Lens, becoming the first Santa Clara player to sign with a first divison squad in Europe.

The erstwhile San Jose goaltender hopes to further the image of U.S. and MLS players during his time overseas.

"I am looking forward to proving myself and proving that a goalkeeper who was developed in Major League Soccer can succeed in Europe," Cannon told the Quakes' official website. "I think this will be a great opportunity to measure myself against some great players."

"This was probably the most difficult decision that I have ever had to make in my life," he added. "I am leaving my friends and family and the organization that has been great to me the past four years."

"The fans have also been very supportive and loyal, even during our lean years."

"Now I have to start fresh and prove myself again, which is exciting, but also not easy," admitted Cannon. "I had the best four years of my life with the Earthquakes."