FRISCO, Texas — On Monday, FC Dallas defender Reggie Cannon spoke with the media during U.S. Men's National Team duty ahead of the Concacaf Nations League matches against Canada and Cuba within the next week.
Cannon spoke on the "revenge match" against Canada, Sergiño Dest's decision to represent the United States over Netherlands, and how the team can bounce back in its group. U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter also talked to the media, and he spoke on how the team is coming along with its development of style and comradery.
When you look back on that game against Canada, what needs to change?
"Obviously, we were disappointed after that loss," Cannon said, "First time that happened since 1985, and it kind of hurts. You can tell the guys — we weren’t ready for the challenge. Canada was just playing free, that had no hesitation, no fear, and everyone came out hesitant. And that’s coming from the bench included. It was a tough game but it’s time to respond. Going through this pre-camp with MLS players and now international players coming in, I think everyone has gotten a sense that it’s time to respond now. This is real, this is football, and things like this happen. It’s how you respond to them that really shapes our career and shapes this team as a whole."
On Weston McKennie's qualities on the National Team.
"I don’t think anyone is lacking [personality]," Cannon said. "I grew up with Weston, so I know him the best. He’s someone that always has your back, and if you lose the ball, he’s going to be the first one to run to the ball."
"He’s a leader, and that’s something that I can learn from, that everyone can learn from to up their game and to be one collective group instead of 11 individuals on the field sometimes."
Do moments of adversity help you guys create that feeling of brotherhood?
"Failure is the root of success," Cannon said. "Everyone fails before they succeed, otherwise it would mean nothing. Thomas Edison failed 1,093 times before he finally discovered the light bulb. Honestly, it’s important that we let [the loss] hurt for this next game. People can call it a revenge match, and that’s football but we’re going to be ready to respond."
On what Sergiño Dest and Alfredo Morales add to the roster during this international window.
"Both very high-quality players," Cannon said. "You can tell they play free, and that really helps the national team in all aspects. When you’re so focused on tactics, sometimes you need someone to kind of be that breakthrough, that individual bit of talent, that teams miss sometimes."
On Dest's decision to pick the United States over the Netherlands.
"It’s not an easy decision in any aspects, and he chose us over Holland," Cannon said. "That’s huge. That’s something that should be respected to the utmost degree. We love Sergiño, we all love him here, and we all know he’s a fantastic player."
On the strides he's made this year as a regular starter on the U.S. National Team.
It’s one of the best feelings ever from not really being in the National Team rotation to borderline starter to learning under Yedlin’s wing to challenging Nick Lima. I think all these aspects have kind of pushed me to go beyond my limits, especially after the January camp. After that Gold Cup breakthrough, I started to get the confidence I needed to get my game to the next level and push myself. I really admire all the fullbacks in this pool because we have such depth of talent here. I can always learn from everyone in that position. I think people like Yedlin, people like Nick, people like Sergiño always push me to be the best I can be.
How important is this window for where U.S. Soccer currently stands?
"I think for this group, it’s important," U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter said. "We’re a developing group, but we still have goals and we still have objectives and priorities. Along the way comes winning things, and this is an opportunity to win something. For us, we want to put ourselves in a position to do so. We can only do that with two wins in this window, and the group has been relishing that and looking forward to that challenge."