American defender Reggie Cannon has claimed that Portugal’s Primeira Liga is “much more intense” than Major League Soccer. The 25-year-old right back previously played for FC Dallas before joining Boavista in 2020 for a deal worth up to $3.5 million.

The occasional United States men’s national team defender made the comments during a recent appearance on ESPN’s Futbol Americas.

“l’m just going to come out right out and say it: the Primeira Liga is much more intense and much harder to play in than Major League Soccer,” proclaimed Cannon.

American cites promotion and relegation as reason

“That’s no slight to Major League Soccer. It’s obviously grown. It’s obviously improved, but there’s nothing that will compare to having a life-or-death game on the line. When you’re in the last game of the season, your fans are surrounding the game and if you lose, it’s 1-1 in the 90th minute, you get relegated.”

“That type of intensity won’t be replicated because it’s so important for our players’ growth and development. And you can just see on the players that they have to give everything. It’s not just, ‘Oh, we didn’t make the playoffs, we have three months off and go on vacation.’ It’s real and it’s life or death over there.”

Reggie Cannon leaving Boavista due to unpaid wages

Along with discussing the differences between the two leagues he has played in, Cannon also announced that he is now a free agent. The defender claimed that Boavista has not made payments on time throughout the duration of his contracr with the club.

In fact, he revealed that he has been paid on time just once in three years.

Cannon has made 28 total appearances for the USMNT during his career. However, his last cap for the country came nearly a year ago in a friendly against Japan. The right back role is fairly crowded at the moment for the Yanks. Sergino Dest, DeAndre Yedlin, Bryan Reynolds, and Shaq Moore are among the competition at the position.

Photo credit: IMAGO / @guelbergoes