Thursday, August 23, 2007

Oh, oh, Johnny O

That new U.S. soccer blog needs to catch up with this guy.

Like I told Luis once, "How does he play in the World Cup and then drop off the face of the earth?" It may not be that drastic, but it seems that way at times.

We get emails asking about JOB, but there's not a whole lot we can do to pass along news when he declines all interviews.

Which doesn't mean that I've personally seen him this year. He used to work out at the Home Depot Center and there were whispers of a comeback, even earlier this year, when Preki said he was waiting to hear from Johnny if he ever got healthy.

Chivas USA, the last club team he ever played for (they still hold his MLS rights), has contact info for him and they field a lot of requests for John to do interviews (including mine). So far, he's always said no. He didn't want to issue even a generic statment through them, such as, "Hey, I'm retired, I'm perfecting my bongo drum playing and getting a tan in Puerto Rico. I plan to become a chef one day - a kinder, gentler Gordon Ramsey. Leave me alone."

I did actually hear that Johnny was playing soccer again, with Hollywood United FC. He played twenty minutes of a recent match, along with some other ex-pros like Ian Russell. I drove out to HUFC's next match, hoping JOB might be amenable to a word or two if someone was there in person. Except Johnny never came. Not too surprising - players pop in and out of that club all the time. Lalas and Wynalda play for them sometimes, as does Vinnie Jones and a host of other recognizable names.

Even if JOB never plays for them again, he already put in more onfield game minutes for HUFC than he ever did for Chivas USA.


Anonymous said...

May you all should write an investigation article on "the fall of John O'Brien".LOL...seriously I think the man just got burnt out and just didn't tell anybody. It just sounded like 1) he didn't want to play anymore or 2) he's living the greenleaf life (among other things). I mean he looked fine in that Studio 90 video in Hamburg(?), I think the guy in that video with him could shade some light on the situation or maybe not.

Have you guys ever interview members of Chivas USA and USMNT for their input on what happen or what was going on with JOB?

In the end if JOB is happy thats what really matters, happy travels to him.

Anonymous said...

He's the Marvin Hagler of US soccer.

Anonymous said...

until john o'brien speaks out on his situation, i expect you two (andrea and luis) to do all that is humanly possible to find out what is going on with that tragic man. I think if you start writing articles about how he won't talk to anybody, things might begin to filter out. I'm guessing that he must at least talk sometimes with Landon, Cobi Jones, Mastroeni or Reyna. Try asking some of them if they've heard from him.

A.C. said...

To a certain extent, I respect what seems to be John's desire for privacy. I've never been one to hound athletes for interviews if they politely decline. Yes, perhaps an article put together by compiling a bunch of second-hand sources would be better than nothing, but it certainly wouldn't compare to hearing the story of where he's at now from the man himself.

Nathan said...

I am dying to hear this story told. This guy is the potential missing link in any MLS midfield and, despite the recent crop of up-and-comers, in the USMNT's as well.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why the guy just doesn't issue a retirement statement?

Anonymous said...

Maybe he's still trying to figure it out and that's why he hasn't retired yet.

While it would be great to have news about JOB, I appreciate that y'all are respecting his privacy.

Either way, I hope he knows that there are soccer fans out there wishing him the best.