Q&A With Stern John

Date Published: 
1999-07-10
Source: 
mlsnet.com

Besides the scoring crown and the MLS title, what are your long term goals and motivations as an international players? What do you hope to achieve?
Simon Borg, Sunnyside, NY

To play at the highest level in the world and to help Trinidad qualify for the World Cup.

My name is Kyle Trimble, I live in Columbus and am a big Crew fan. I wanted to tell you how great I think you are. I do have one question, though. Why did you decide to to come to America to play in MLS instead of playing in Trinidad & Tobago? Thank you for taking the time to read this, I'm a big fan.
Kyle Trimble, Columbus, Ohio

I am fortunate to have the chance to play in the United States. It is a great league that continues to get better. In the U.S. you're able to get recognized for your play more than in Trinidad.

Being from Barbados, I was really excited to see a fellow West Indies native as part of U.S. sports. Do you think that the West Indies players will continue to be a force to reckon with and what do we need to do in order to keep that up? Keep up the awesome job at Columbus, my favorite team.
Annabelle Gittens, DeLand, FL

As long as the Caribbean players we have playing in MLS continue to play well, it will open up doors for other Caribbean players. There is a lot of undiscovered talent in the Caribbean.

I first saw you play in the 1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup with the Trinidad & Tobago National Team. You have made several appearances with your national team this year. I was wondering, how does playing for your national team affect your play in MLS?
Michael Gonzales, San Jose, California

Playing for my national team is an honor. Playing a lot of games keeps me sharp and fit. But also the travel can be tiring and at times it's frustrating when you have to miss games for your club, which is my main priority.

How does soccer in Trinidad & Tobago compare with soccer in the United States (popularity, quality, etc.)?
Keenan Nietmann, Huntingtown, MD

I am definitely more recognizable back in Trinidad than in the U.S., especially from the recent success of the T & T National Team.

Please compare your game to T&T's other stellar striker, Manchester United's Dwight Yorke. Also, how often do you two get paired on you national team, and to what degree have you developed a chemistry with each other?
Clint Nunrberg, Springfield, MO.

Our styles are very similar. He just has more experience than me at this point, playing at such a high level. We don't play together that often because of club commitments. The last game that we did play together (versus Jamaica, a 2-0 win) we played well together. I had a goal and he had an assist.

Do you think there's a distinct Caribbean style of play? If so, do you thing the Crew's four Caribbean players have had a special impact due to the style being different?
Aaron Brown, Brooklyn, NY

Our style is definitely geared towards the South American style of play: Very skilled and focused on short passes and controlling the ball. It has helped the Crew open up the field and create more scoring chances.

Does having a relative on your team affect your game in a positive or negative way?
Karen Roman, Monroeville, NJ

Last season Ansil (Elcock, Stern's cousin) and I lived together. Not this year though. I have an older brother in Miami and I didn't need another one in Columbus. Ansil has been great though. He really helped me out in my first year in Columbus.

If you could play with any other player in the world who would it be and why?
Anonymous

I am very fortunate because my idol is Dwight Yorke (fellow T & T National Team player and star forward at Manchester United). It is great to get to play with him on our national team. He is a great player and a great friend.

As a 10 year old player, should I play all positions, or should I focus on one position so that I can get better at it? Do you mind signing autographs? I will try to come to the next game at the Wizards to see you play.
Shane Byrnes, Kansas City, MO

As a young player you should be able to play any position so you can learn the fundamentals of soccer. As you get older you should focus on the position you enjoy playing the most. I enjoy being a role model, and seeing how happy signing autographs makes a little kid makes it all worth it.

How often did you practice as a kid?
Tariq Hamami, Howell, NJ

I practiced as often as I could. I was always knocking the ball off the wall and trying to get better. Practice makes permanent, not perfect, because no one is perfect.