After losing both central defenders to long-term injury early in the season the New England Revolution needed some help in a hurry, so the Gillette Stadium side went out and signed Avery John in May and immediately got him in the line-up, starting the Trinidad and Tobago native the Metro-stars just three days later.
In what has become a turbulent year for the team with new injuries weekly John has provided some stability at the heart of the defense where his determination and ability to read the game have made him a standout. 365s Don Cuddy had a chat with the Soca Warrior after the Revs 3-1 comeback win midweek against Chicago.
365: You had a good game tonight
Avery John: Thanks. We won and we got the three points. We still gave up a goal but I think the back four are communicating well and we are not giving up as many chances as we were earlier in the season. Every body played well for the full ninety minutes and now that we have some more guys back we can actually make substitutions that can help us. I think we deserved the victory. But this game is over and we have three more coming up real quick so now we need to try and get some shutouts.
365: As far as you integrating yourself into the Revolution setup, you were really thrown in at the deep end with all the injuries to the squad.
AJ: Well yeah, but thats my job. Everyone got me settled in fast. Theres a good team spirit at the Revolution and everyone helped me. Even when we were down everybody was still positive. Even the guys who were injured, who were out showed up and were there trying to boost the confidence. And everybody was letting you know what was happening which was good for the unity. Thats what you want. You dont want to be in a team where nobody says anything. People would say: This is what you need to do. Not to put you down but in a positive way.
365: You had a spell in Ireland. Did you come directly here from over there?
AJ: No. I was with Longford Town over there and then I had a spell in South Africa and the last three or four months I was training with Birmingham City. Until the transfer window came. I played under Steve Nicol at the Boston Bulldogs so when this chance came up I was happy to come in, try to fit in and focus on helping the team.
365: Youve become a regular now.
AJ: Thats what you want. You come in and work hard and always try to be better. Thats my goal. I want to help the team, not just to make the playoffs but to win the championship. Anything less, to me, is not good.
365: Do you think MLS is better than the League of Ireland.
AJ: Its two different styles. In Ireland its more about pace, more direct. Here theres more buildup. Its two different leagues so its hard to say if one is better.
365: What was South Africa like? They are hosting the World Cup. Will they be able to handle that?
AJ: Well find out. (laughs). Its beautiful there, absolutely beautiful. But I went there and Ive played a game and there is like 80-90 thousand people there.
AJ: Oh yeah. Remember they had the Rugby World Cup so they had good stadiums but they are building new ones.
365: Being a soccer player has really turned you into a globetrotter then. Have you been back to Trinidad recently?
AJ: I havent been home in a few months with all the traveling.
365: Are you still in the picture with the Soca Warriors ?
AJ: Yes, I spoke with them before they went to Korea and they said they would give me a couple of months to get back into playing regularly and get match fitness back. We have World Cup qualifying coming up and Im sure I will be back on the team. So for now Im back in New England and Im happy and the team is getting healthy.
365: The Revs might have turned the corner after tonight. Taylor Twellman seems to have found his touch .
AJ: Yeah, Taylor has the golden touch again which is great and Clint (Dempsey) gave us that really big goal when we needed it.
365; Giving up a goal right before the break was a bad thing.
AJ: Things happen. But at half-time we went in and said: Were at home. Theres no more excuses. We havent had a bad half but were down so we need to be better. And we did it.
365: Thanks for your time and good luck with making it to the playoffs.
AJ: Thanks, youre welcome.