Stern John Ready For Round Two

Marc Purcell
Date Published: 

Stern John has his work cut out for him. John and company have to win at home on Sunday to force a third and deciding game back to Washington, DC next Wednesday.

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 starting lineup...

Dwight Yorke and Manchester United face Jamaica's Robbie Earle and Wimbleton. Shaka Hislop and West Ham face league leaders Aston Villa at home.

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 best defense.