John who scored 26 goals to lead the MLS this year is expected to bolt for Europe later this year. According to newspaper reports, heading the list of teams is Charlton Athletic in the English Premiership.
Last week John was named as the league's best striker as part of the MLS's top eleven players. Also, in the November 9th issue of Soccernews, John comes up high in the overall ratings of MLS players. Out of a score of 10 John comes in third overall with a rating of 6.33 behind Peter Nowak (1st, 6.63) and Marco Etcheverry (2nd, 6.45). That ranks him number one among strikers in the MLS. Also on the list is his cousin Ansil Elcock who was ranked tenth among MLS defenders with a rating 5.56.
You can hear the game tonight by going to Brodcast.com tonight at 9:00pm Eastern, 10:00pm T&T time.
In the shooting range...
In the starting lineup...
In the English first division Clint Marcelle and Barnsley will play Wolverhampton.
In the Scottish first division, Rusell Latapy, Tony Rougier and Hibernian
will play Clydebank.
Marvin Andrews and Raith Rovers will take on Morton.
In Portugal, Leonson Lewis and Amadora play Farense.
The reviews are in and former national captain Russell Latapy made an impressive debut for Hibernian this weekend. Latapy, fresh from signing a two year £1 million free transfer, started for his new club versus Ayr United in what turned out to be a 3-3 barn burner.
According to one fan who witness the game: "Russell made an excellent debut yesterday looking calm and assured in everything he did. He didn't waste a pass all day." That was backed up by the Hibernian website: "Hibs man of the match was without question Russell Latapy, he did not put a foot wrong all game and was unlucky not to get on the score sheet himself. Every ball he played found the feet of a Hibs player..."
Hibernian had to battle back from 3-1 deficit after 71 minutes and came away with the tie with just five minutes left in the game on the strength of a header from Mixu. The well fought draw was completed just seconds from the final whistle.
At the contract signing Latapy stated that he decided to come to Easter Road because he loved Scotland and the people and that he had also heard about the size of the club and their aspirations from his friend Tony Rougier.
According to Latapy, he will put his Trinidad and Tobago duties on hold until Hibernian gets promoted into the Scottish Premier division. Speaking to the Scotsman Latapy stated: "Every player wants to play for his country and wants to be available but games in the Caribbean Cup, for example, are not that important international...My club football is very important to me at this stage and if we can agree a compromise, which may mean I go back for occasional warm-up games, we will do that."
Hibernian manager Alex McLeish stated that he would make arrangements
with the TTFF. He said: "I have already been in touch with the manager
of Trinidad and Tobago [Richard Braithwaite]
and as fellow managers we had a good chat. We don't want relations to break down and we want
players to be able to play if they want to."
Clint Marcelle was not listed as a starter in Barnsley's encounter with Portsmouth. Barnsley won the game 2-1.
In Switzerland, Jerren Nixon and FC Zurich tied Xamax 1-1.
In Portugal, Leonson Lewis and Amadora tied Beira-Mar 0-0.
The signing ends months of speculation of where he would end up playing
Russell who was pursued by Bolton, turned down deals from Luton Town and was left dangling by Aston Villa. Other clubs in the fray included Blackburn, Tottenham, Ipswich and Barnsley
All that is needed is for Russell to pass a mere physical in order for him to start versus Ayr United this weekend.
Latapy impressed management at the Edinburgh based club earlier this week in a closed door practice. According to team manager Alex McLeish: "In the trial match everything looked effortless for him. His passing and composure was excellent, and he has great experience. He is a play maker and his moves off the front players and link-up play is something I like in my teams. He is quality and the sort of player we want."
With Latapy joining Hibernian he should provide some relief for Tony Rougier who has been suffering from an ankle injury lately. Circle November 7th on your calendars. That is when the Scottish edition of the "Trinidad and Tobago derby" is scheduled when Latapy, Rougier and Hibs play Marvin Andrews and Raith Rovers at Starks Park.
It will also mark the first time Rougier returns to the place that gave him his first professional contract and where he was almost run out of town by fans who blamed him for there demotion into the first division two years ago.
For more information on Hibernian check out Erinweb.
There is one last time that Stern John will play in a Columbus uniform when he is expected to suits up for the US Open Cup final. The Crew will play Chicago at Solider Field in the "Windy City" on October 30th at 9:00pm.
After that game John is expected to head over to Europe on a transfer to Charlton Athletic. Also headed there is John's cousin Ansil Elcock, who is expected to tryout with the team. Also in the works is Marvin Raeburn's loan to Auxerre in France and a possible transfer to Europe for Mickey Trotman next year.
They defeated Denmark's top team 6-2 on the strength of three goals inside the first half hour. The win propelled them to the top of group D with five points, one point ahead of both Catalan giants Barcelona and German powerhouse Bayern Munich. However, Manchester United have a superior goal difference of +4.
The barrage started in just the second minute of play with a Roy Giggs score. He added his name again to the scoring sheet in the 21st minute. Dwight Yorke scored in the 61st minute on a header that slipped through the grasp of the hapless Danish goalie. It was his second goal in consecutive games easing fears that he could not score in European competition.
In other European action, Jerren Nixon and FC Zurich look in good shape to progress to the third round of the UEFA cup. They walked into Scottish giants Glasgow Celtic home ground and came away with a well fought 1-1 draw. The play the return leg at home on November 3rd.
T&T are ranked behind Mexico(11th), the USA(17th) and Jamaica (32nd) in Concacaf.
Shaka Hislop and West Ham face Charlton Athletic.
In the English first division Clint Marcelle and Barnsley face Portsmouth.
In Scotland all eyes will be on Easter Road as Russell Latapy will be looking to make his return to competitive action when he along with Tony Rougier and Hibernian face Ayr United.
Marvin Andrews and Raith Rovers are off this weekend.
In Switzerland, Jerren Nixon and FC Zurich face Xaxmax. In Portugal, Leonson Lewis and Amadora face Boavista.
John playing his last game before the Columbus crowd before heading to Europe, was on the receiving end of a long kick from Polish international Robert Warzycha. He out jumped two tight marking defenders to seal a 4-2 win for the Crew.
Action know shifts towards Washington on Wednesday night at RFK stadium. At stake is a place in the MLS cup scheduled for the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California this Sunday. The winner of the game will play expansion team Chicago Fire.
You can hear the game on Wednesday starting at 8:00pm on Broadcast.com.
Craig Demmin and the Rochester Rhinos are the 1998 A-League champions. They did so with a convincing 3-1 win over Minnesota at home. A hat trick by Darren Tilley made all the difference in the game.
Demmin the former Trinidad and Tobago national defender, along with Scott Schweitzer A-League defender of the year, form the league's best defense. They have allowed a league record low of 15 goals all season.
The championship win is not the only thing to be proud of for Demmin. Late last week he was named to the A-League All Star team as a first team starter in just his first year in the league. Another Trinidad and Tobago player also on a All Star team is Gary Glasgow, also in his first year. He was named to the second team.
The question now is whether Demmin will get a chance to play in the MLS. Two things running in his favor is that Rochester is on a short list of places suitable for MLS expansion. However, that is at least two years away. The other, a more direct approach, is the moving of the troubled and poorly attended Tampa Bay Mutiny to the upstate New York city.
Dwight Yorke added his name to the scoring book with his fifth league goal of the season. Yorke scored on a nice turn and had a chance to put away another but his shot was cleared off the line.
Yorke is now third in scoring in the English Premiership behind Alan Sherer of Newcastle with six goals and Ricard of Middlesbrough with seven goals. Yorke and Manchester United now play Brody of Sweden in Champions League action on Wednesday.
In the English first division, Clint Marcelle and Barnsley tied Sheffield United 1-1. Barnsley faces Tranmere on Tuesday.
In Scotland, Tony Rougier and Hibernian are sitting pretty on top of the Scottish First division. They completed a 2-1 win over Greenock Morton.
Marvin Andrews and Raith Rovers continue there bad run with a 3-2 lost to Hamilton.
In Switzerland, Jerren Nixon and FC Zurich prepared for this week's UEFA cup encounter with Glasgow Celtic on Tuesday with a 1-0 win over FC Basel.
John and the Columbus Crew fell to the DC United 2-0 last Sunday. Two goals in the second half sealed the fate of Columbus against the league's best team. It was the first game of the MLS Eastern Conference finals. The winner of the series gets a place in the MLS Cup.
The return encounter will be carried live on ABC on Sunday at 4pm.
Stern John may be the Rodney Dangerfield of the MLS, getting no respect at all. For the second time this year he has been snubbed by the MLS. Despite leading the league in scoring, hatricks and other categories he has been excluded from the list of the league's MVP list. John may be his own worse enemy.
He does not fit the demographic that the MLS is pushing for. The league, by it's own admission, is looking to expand it's reach into the large Hispanic market. The MVP list is a who's who of what the league is aiming for. Marco Etcheverry, US national Cobi Jones and Polish international Peter Nowak all appear on the list of finalist. That may just be the cue that John needs to bolt to Europe
In the English first division Clint Marcelle and Barnsely will look to bounce back from 2-0 lost to Port Vale when they face Sheffield United.
In Scotland, Tony Rougier and Hibernian face Greenock Morton. Marvin Andrews and Raith Rovers face Hamilton.
In Portugal, Leonson Lewis and Amadora face Boavista.
In Switzerland, Jerren Nixon and FC Zurich face FC Basel on Friday.
In the USA, Craig Demmin and Rochester play Minnesota in the A-league
final on Saturday in Rochester, New York. Demmin anchors the A-league's
Earlier this week ABC televsion network agreed to broadcast the game live for a national audience. The game is scheduled to start at 4pm on Sunday.
John will not be the only one in the spotlight. His cousin and national defender Ansil Elcock will be center stage. Along with the Trini duo, Jamaican Andy Williams will gain the spotlight . He will be the man to step into the shoes of John when he leaves for Europe at the end of season.
It will be the first time that Nixon will make his return to the country that gave his professional career a start. He started his career at Dundee United before his transfer to FC Zurich.
In Scotland, Tony Rougier and Hibernian take on Stranraer. On Sunday Marvin Andrews and Raith Rovers look to progress up the table when they face St Mirren.
In Portugal, Leonson Lewis is off this weekend. The same is true for
Jerren Nixon and FC Zurich.
Folks, I will be headed down to Miami on Saturday morning for my birthday. I will also be checking out the Miami carnival. "Trinis don't live by one carnival alone but by a series of carnivals throughout the year." TTFOL will be off-line until next week Thursday. Have a good Canadian thanksgiving and Columbus day weekend.-Marc'98
"Tight marking by the Metro Stars had Stern John looking like a bowling pin for much of last night, but he kept popping back up." That was the comment of one sports writer on Stern John's performance Saturday night versus New York.
John was kicked around and was the recipient of a elbow in the back of his head that had him on the ground for a few minutes, however he bounced back to score one goal in regulation play and the game winner in the shoot-out.
The win means that John and Columbus move on to face either Miami or DC United in the Eastern Conference final of the MLS Cup.
John's first goal came just after he was knocked to the ground with a elbow delivered to the back of his head by US international Alexis Lalas. John still hurting from the injury headed home a free kick from Jamaican Andrew Williams to tie the game at 1-1.
With nothing settled at the end of regulation play, John scored the game winning goal in the shoot-out phase to complete the sweep of the Metro Stars. The shoot-out win was Columbus' first this season.
The news is not so good for Mickey Trotman, Brian Haynes and Dallas. Brian Haynes scored in the return leg of there encounter with Los Angeles but could do nothing from preventing the Galaxy from sweeping the Burn. The won the game 3-1 to move on to the Western Conference final.
Yorke scores in Man U win.
Yorke scored in the 11th minute to open the scoring for Manchester United. He just stuck his foot out a low Andy Cole cross to leave the Southampton goal keeper stranded.
The win by Manchester United moved them into second place behind Yorke's old team in Aston Villa. Villa lead by six points but Manchester United have a game in hand.
Clint Marcelle and Barnsley tied Bolton Wanderers 2-2.
In Scotland, Tony Rougier and Hibernian gained some ground on league leaders Falkirck. They defeated Airdrie 3-1 to move within two points of the league lead.
Marvin Andrews and Raith Rovers continue to struggle. They dropped to last place in the Scottish first division and are in danger of being relegated at season's end. Raith lost to Clydebank 1-0. Marvin had a chance to score his first goal this season when his header was cleared off the line. That proved to be the only chance for Raith on Saturday.
Leonson Lewis may be the only senior player left in Portugal but he is still keeping the T&T flag flying high. On Sunday he scored his second goal of the season in a 1-0 win over Campomaiorense.
Here is a little Monday morning chuckle. Take a look at the two pictures below. I know he changed teams but it looks like he changed more than that.
Finally, all the secondary
school action is up to date courtesy Shaun Fuentes of the Trinidad
In confirming the Oliver Camps as President it was agreed that the TTFA will now be called the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation.It was done to make a distinction between the parent body and the other regional bodies.
The changing of the name of the governing body means nothing. You can put makeup on a pig, spray it in "White diamonds" by Elizabeth Taylor and dress the animal in wedding gown it is still a pig. By extension you can change the name from TTFA to TTFF to "the man on the moon foundation," it still means an organization headed by Oliver Camps. This is the same association or federation that sends ill prepared national teams like lambs to a slaughter. As one football fan said, the TTFF is designed to give a chosen few a chance for plane trips outside T&T and a stay at fancy hotels with nightly drinks.
United were well on there way to winning the game when they went up 2-1 after a Paul Scholes goal in the 48th minute. However, Brazilian Elber took advantage of Manchester United's goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel's miscue to tie the game in the 90th minute.
In other European action, Jerren Nixon and FC Zurich progressed to second round of the UEFA cup when they defeated Anorthosis Famagusta 3-2 in Cyprus on Tuesday. The game was plagued with eight yellow cards and two red cards to Anorthosis Famagusta players.
Stern John can add another goal to his total this season but this time it is a play-off goal and that does not count. It does count when your goal is part of a convincing 5-3 win over New York.
John's goal in the 58th minute set a new league mark for goals by a single team in a play-off game. The real star of the night was his cousin and fellow national teammate Ansil Elcock. Elcock provided three assist to set a new play-off record. Columbus now travel to New York this weekend to face the Metrostars.
The task is more difficult for Brain Haynes, Mickey Trotman and Dallas. ON Thursday night they found themselves on the end of a 6-1 beating at the hands of Los Angeles. The Galaxy scored five first half goals and never looked back. Dallas now have to win at home to force the series to three games.
In Scotland, Tony Rougier and Hibernian play Airdrie. Marvin Andrews and Raith Rovers face Clydebank.
In Portugal, Leonson Lewis and Amadorra face Campomaiorense. In Switzerland, Jerren Nixon and FC Zurich face Servette FC.
Finally just a little house keeping. Alvin Corneal is back this month. Also, Shaun Fuentes of the Trinidad Guardain reports on the latest Secondary School action.