Trinidad and Tobago striker Stern John and midfielder Angus Eve have found themselves in a neck and neck race to overtake former national striker Steve David as the all time top World Cup scorer for this country.
Eve, a veteran of three World Cup campaigns moved to 12 goals with his recent strike in the 2-1 loss to the United States, leveling with John while David remains the topscorer with 16 goals in 14 matches. David scored his goals during the 1974 and 1978 qualifying campaigns while Eve and John meantime have accumulated their goals over the 1998, 2002 and current 2006 campaigns.
Both players have passed former captain Russell Latapy (7 goals) and Dwight Yorke (6 goals) scored dating back to the 1990 campaign while current players on the list include Arnold Dwarika and Marvin Andrews with five apiece and Jerren Nixon, Errol McFarlane and Nigel Pierre with three apiece. Others in the top ten list include Noel Llewellyn and Marvin Faustin (five), Hutson Charles (four) and Everald Cummings and Leonson Lewis with three each.
According to the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF), John is now T&Ts all time top scorer with 55 goals in 75 matches while Eve is listed to have now appeared in 111 international matches for this country with 33 goals under his belt, joining the symbolic but exclusive circle of players with a century of caps the RSSSF stated. Eve made his senior international debut in a Shell Caribbean Cup match against Barbados in April 1994.
Both players were optimistic of adding to their tallies as they attempt to guide T&T to the Germany 2006 World Cup.
I think its a real honour to be up there with the top scorers in World Cup action for the country and to have so many caps. In this country we never look at records but we always prefer to judge someone from day to day. If Lara scores runs today hes great, if he makes less than ten tomorrow then hes a failure. That sort of mentality continues to plague us. But at the same time I feel good about being able to contribute to the national team over the years and despite being referred to as a veteran now, I think having come off the bench in recent matches and done well shows that I still have some fight in me and can make a contribution, Eve told TTFF Media on Wednesday. I dont go after records as such but I would probably bet in favour of Stern to break the World Cup record because hes a proven goalscorer, Eve added.
John, who is trying to shrug off a difficult spell at Coventry City, hopes to let his goals take T&T to some valuable points on the way to Germany.
Last game was the first time I hadnt scored in a while and it was disappointing. Its good to be on the record list but at the same time breaking the record is not the aim right now. Its more about trying to get Trinidad and Tobago to the World Cup. The record could come after, John said from his Birmingham home. He also responded to some recent critics who have been hitting out against the Warriors for the performance against the US. Its unfair to the guys because they have been trying their best and I believe now we are more a team than earlier on in this campaign. We dont expect everyone to like us but at the same time, those with the power of the microphone or the pen. we expect them to support us somewhat and particularly those who are on air who dont have the slightest clue about the game, maybe they should just not say anything. I think the die hard fans who came to the Oval will realize that we are growing and they will support us. As for the others, maybe we wont even hear or read them and if we, it should just make us stronger and leave them to eat their words by the time this campaign ends, ended John.
Eve resumes training with the senior team with a double session on Thursday before heading off to Barbados for Sundays opening Digicel Caribbean Cup final encounter against Jamaica.