Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rapids All-Time Team: Goalkeeper

I'm starting a new feature for View From the Couch, the Rapids All-Time Team. Through the course of the season I'll roll out a starting XI of, IMO, the best Rapid player at each position. I've decided to go with a 3-4-3 over a 4-4-2 but it was close. There will also be a 7 man bench/honorable mention and a coach. There won't be any schedule for this, it will be a feature that I'll use to fill the down times in Rapids news. I'll start from the back and work forward.

The starting goalkeeper for the Rapids All-Time Team is Joe Cannon.

How Acquired: Traded 3 draft picks to San Jose for his rights.

Years In Colorado: Late 2003 through 2006

How Departed: Traded to LA for Herculez Gomez and Ugo Ihemelu.

There's a good deal of competition for this position as the Rapids have had a number of good keepers over the years. Adin Brown, Bouna Coundoul, Marcus Hahnemann, and Matt Pickens were all considerations. Joe Cannon stands above them all though. His 2004 season, his first as the Rapids #1, was hands down the best ever by a Rapids keeper. He played every minute of the season, facing a league high 187 shots and making 150 saves, only allowing 32 goals in 30 games with 10 shutouts. He single-handily kept the Rapids in multiple games. He was awarded the Goalkeeper of the Year (the only Rapids keeper ever to win the award) and was a MVP finalist.

Cannon continued as the #1 keeper in 2005 and 2006, starting 55 of the 64 games over the two seasons. Those seasons were notable for our elimination of FC Dallas in the first round of the playoffs each year, each time on a shootout in Dallas. In the 2005 shootout he saved Roberto Mina's attempt which allowed Jean-Phillpe Peguero to step up and win the series for the Rapids. In 2006 he broke up the post-game melee between Dallas keeper Dario Sala and Mike Petke. Overall Cannon had a 1.21 goals against average as a Rapid and one of the best personalities in team history.

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