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Everybody has that one old boyfriend or girlfriend that they’ll never forget, the one that makes them smile every time they think of their time together. Sports fans are the same. We all have an “old flame” of a player out there who’s no longer with our club but we still get a little misty-eyed thinking about them.

For old-school Columbus Crew fans Stern John is that player. In 1998 the T&T-born striker took the league by storm, earning a place in the Best XI and winning the title of MLS Scoring Champion (the predecessor to the Golden Boot) with an outlandish 26 goals. Playing alongside Brian McBride the two formed one of the most fearsome strike forces ever to grace MLS. In short, the guy was damn good. Unfortunately for Crew fans he was too good because after another stellar season in 1999 (18 goals) he left Ohio for England, where he would spend the next 10 years playing for the likes of Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest and Birmingham City.

But John is back in Ohio rehabbing after a knee surgery and talking about a return to the Crew, something that’s sure to make the hearts of a few Columbus fans skip a beat. But as anyone who’s ever come across an ex on Facebook knows, the present isn’t always as pretty as the past. At age 34 John could be well past recovery (see New England’s recent release of Edgaras Jankauskas) or perfectly ripe (34 year-old Juan Pablo Angel currently sits second in the Golden Boot standings with a very respectable 13 goals). To take him back would be a risk by Columbus but one that might well be worth taking. Something to keep an eye on come camp time in January.