Player Profile: John Troka
So John, the first thing I have to ask, is this you in high school?
Yes, that was me in high school
So what's your background in soccer?
Started out playing for North Kitsap Fusion, started playing for North Kitsap High School as a junior on Varsity and once the schools merged I was the first Senior class at Kingston high school and lead my team to the state semis but we lost to Seahome HS who went on to win state that year(2008) got recruited by Andrew Chapman at peninsula college played two years there and took some time off and started to play with Snohomish Skyhawks Semi pro indoor soccer team and I had a few players that played outdoor and they told me to come out for the Snoco FC Steelheads.
How would you describe your game?
My game is to not have any errors, no bad passes and win every tackle. I’m a hard fighter and I never give up.
You play for Snohomish County in WWPL, why SnoCo?
I had other options but after going to a practice with them the coach Dagi Kesim really made an impact on me, reminded me of my coach growing up. I instantly fell in love with the system that he had in mind and just felt like the right fit.
Does their branding play any role in players choosing to play for the club?
If I had to say why players come to play with us it’s because of our system and the attitude we bring to every practice we o lot want to make each other better.
How's the season gone so far this season?
I think we are having a great season thus far, we have our biggest game this Sunday Father’s Day and the first place team in the league, right now we control our own destiny in this league.
What other soccer do you follow?
I honestly love to watch Everton FC, coach growing up got me stuck on them and after I visited England.
You've got an interesting look and nickname. For those that don't know can you explain?
Awesome nickname though right? Haha I actually got it when I started to play indoor soccer we had a preseason tournament and I showed up as Jesus and since I’m a ginger Ginger Jesus was born and people all over our league fell in love with my hair and the way I played.
As a player in a regional league, what goals do you set for yourself each season?
Honestly the biggest goals I set for myself are to have a better winning record than losing and if I had to say another one is limit my personal errors to a minimum by learning the system we play and what the coach asks of me.
What are your thoughts on the current state of soccer in the United States?
My honest thoughts on soccer in the United States is that we need to watch our younger players a lot more the ones with talent need to be seen, but from growing up with not a lot of money I couldn’t afford to play for the big teams that got to go to other states for tournaments and such. I think the soccer system here is to money and politically driven. There are a lot of good players that can’t afford to go to combines or pro tryouts and I think that really needs to change.
What are you listening to?
I listen to a lot of everything but my pregame mix would have to be Excision Radio on Pandora.
What's the can't miss spot to grab a drink in your hometown?
We really don’t have a lot of bars back home haha but where I live now 13th ave pub for trivia night!
Chips Ahoy: original or soft baked?
We also got to ask Snohomish’s coach, Dagi Kesim, a couple of questions about John:
As an amateur coach, what kind of development have you focused on for John's game?
I do this for living so I do it professionally:). John is as dream player for any coach. John always learns and strives to improve. I focused on new techniques and teaching him a new system and he gets it down quick.
What are your thoughts on John as a player?
Outstanding athlete, natural leader .
How do you feel about your spot on the WWPL table currently?
Injuries really hit us hard but no excuses, we have the heart and discipline to win the league.
Glen Moffitt took the original photo of John, while Cory Mizer is responsible for the heavenly edits. For more of Cory’s work, check out his gallery.