On a recent episode of Revolution Recap, Greg Johnston, Sean Donahue, Brian O’Connell and Jake Catanese discussed their all-time best 23 man roster for the New England Revolution. The crew mentioned a lot of fan favorites, but the one that stuck out the most to me was Avery John.
O’Connell mentioned John’s name, stating that the left back performed admirable for the Revs from 2004–2008. I couldn’t agree with him more, as I’ve always had a soft spot for the tough-tackling defender.
I started watching the Revs closely in 2006. It soon became a weekly tradition to watch my local team play on UPN 38. Taylor Twellman, Shalrie Joseph, Matt Reis, Steve Ralston, and Michael Parkhurst were well-known players with plenty of skill. John was a lesser-known name despite being a staple on the back line.
Part of intrigue of John had to do with the 2006 World Cup. I remember eagerly awaiting the second day of the tournament because Sweden was facing Trinidad and Tobago, which featured John. I excitedly told friends that John played for the Revolution. John started against Sweden but exited early when he earned a second yellow just 30 seconds into the second half.
John was the first player to earn a red card in the tournament but that didn’t affect my support for him. In fact, hard tackles were a big reason why I enjoyed him. John was a relentless player and he had no issue putting someone on the ground.
I recently watched a vintage Revs game where they faced D.C. United. John put in the type of performance you’d expect from him. Play after play, he either won the ball or took out the attacker. Either way, you were glad he was on your team.
I’ll always sing the praises of Twellman, Joseph, Reis, Ralston, and Parkhurst (as well as others), but I’ll also always list John as one of my all-time favorites. Players like him are an important part of a successful team, even if they don’t come to mind right away.